THE owners of a specialist ski shop have celebrated their first year in business.

White Stone, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was set up by Nicola and Jonathan McGuinness, a former assistant coach to Olympic skiers Graham and Martin Bell.

Father-of-three Mr McGuinness hit upon the idea after accepting voluntary redundancy from his job as an account manager at a finance company. He spent four seasons working with the Bell brothers, who are from Harrogate, after developing an interest in the sport at an early age.

Mr McGuinness bought a shop unit in Cold Bath Road for the venture and has since built up a reputation for top-of-the-range clothing, expert advice and professional service.

Last year, he spent a week in Saalbach, Austria, with the Bell brothers, testing skis - many of which he stocks in White Stone.

Mr McGuinness said: "It really is my dream to have opened White Stone - to be working for myself and making my own decisions.

"We have sacrificed a lot to get to this point and make a success of things. Now we have to work even harder for the success to continue."