10 Welsh Makers and Brands to Watch

With St David’s Day literally just around the corner, I thought I’d give a lil’ shout out to some local brands, creators and amazing entrepreneurial babes.  There’s so much creative talent here in Wales that we’re almost spoilt for choice!  So, if you’re on the hunt for a present for someone, or fancy treating yourself to a little somethin’ somethin’, you can’t go wrong with these fab local brands. 🙂

Cymraes Badge from Dyfal Donc, Jumper from Oliver Bonas.

1. Dyfal Donc

I get a little misty-eyed seeing all the traditional welsh dress costumes in the kids section this time of year because it reminds me of wearing one myself as a kid.  So, instead of pinning an oh so traditional daffodil on my jumper this St David’s Day, I’ll be wearing my new ‘Cymraes’ (Welsh Woman) pin from Dyfal Donc to remember my Welsh Hat wearing days as a kid!  If you’re up on your Welsh proverbs you’ll recognise Dyfal Donc from that old phrase “dyfal donc a dyr y garreg” (Steady tapping breaks the stone – hard work always pays off in the end).  I love the saying, and I love almost everything in Dyfal Donc’s colourful online store, selling bilingual stationary, mugs, cards, pins (I’ve got my eye on their pink “Hogan Ddrwg” pin) and children’s clothing. 🙂

2. Liz Mosley

I first came across Liz’s beautiful hand drawn and lettered stationary over on Instagram and had total handwriting envy (yes, that’s a thing!).  From enamel pins and washi-tape to cards, gift wrap and prints she’s got your next birthday covered, and also does branding design and custom orders.  (And she also blogs 🙂 )

3. Welsh Girl Problems

My “Don’tcha” mug is my Monday Morning “let’s do this” mug (and also a sneaky reminder to my English husband that he bagged a good ‘un when he put a ring on this Welsh gal’s finger 😉 ). But there’s more than a cheeky mug or two in the Welsh Girl Problems online shop; the Rugby and Chill and Brenhines (Queen) jumpers are essential Six Nations wear for every Cymraes in the crowd.

4. Gold Freckles

A while back I noticed one of my favourite American Instagrammers wearing a lovely hand-knitted jumper and did the usual tag trawl to find out where it was from and couldn’t believe it when I found out it was handmade in Wales.  Goldfreckles is run by Saskia Thomas, who’s taken her hobby for knitting and opened up a made to order shop selling her gorgeous bell sleeved chunky knits.

5. Miss Patisserie

If you’re a Cardiff local and haven’t dropped by the Miss Patisserie store in High Street Arcade (right opposite another of my Cardiff faves, Barker Tea House), then you need to stop by pronto tonto as the products are just as sweet and as indulgent as the name suggests.  If not, fear not because you can also find their gorgeous Vegan Bath and Body products in Boots.

Miss Patisserie “Rosie” Bath Bomb

6. Maykher

“Be Bold, Brave, Bright and Kind for Womankind.”  I love the story behind Maykher.  Based in Cardiff Bay, ethical fashion brand Maykher sells women’s accessories created by “makers not machines” (from fabrics and materials traditionally created by makers in India, Haiti and Guatemala) and donate 10% of their profits to educating girls in poverty around the world.  ❤

7. Rhian Kate Makes

You all know how much I love my yellow tassel earrings from Rhian Kate Makes; I’ve barely taken them out since I got them.  As well as tassel earrings in every shade, Rhian creates beautiful pendants, necklaces and earrings each with her unique, handmade textured pewter moons.

Yellow Tassel Earrings by Rhian Kate Makes

8. Spectrum

Run by sisters Sophie and Hannah, Spectrum Brushes started up in a garage in Barry and now roll around the makeup bags of the rich and famous!  Their super-soft synthetic makeup brushes are not only vegan and cruelty-free (with handles made from FSC-certified wood), but are also the most colourful brushes you’ll ever own.

9. Sadler Jones

Created by designer Cath Jones and based in Cardiff, Sadler Jones is definitely one to watch if you’re a full-on stationary nerd like me! 😉  I’ve got a few of their cute cards in a drawer in my office for whenever a card-emergency arises!  But, they don’t only sell greeting cards, notebooks and gift wrap, they also sell pins, beautiful makeup bags and children’s clothes too.

10. Delicious Monster Tee

Run by Claire, Delicious Monster Tee sells oh so Instagrammable hand-embroidered T Shirts with slogans like “I’d rather be in Ibiza” and “Sorry, not sorry”, with even the option to create your own!

Who are your favourite Welsh designers and brands? 🙂

What’s in my Bag?

I bought a new bag the other day.  One of my favourite shops in Cardiff is closing down (Rossiters – please don’t leave!) and they had loads of bags on sale, so I got stuck in and snapped up this lovely powder blue one for £15 (below).  I’m not up on the current bag lady lingo – so bear with me – but I think you’d call it a cross-body, messenger bag (?).  I’ve never been comfortable with a huge bag swinging from the crook of my elbow – I like to have my hands free – so cross-body bags are my fave.  Anyway, I was moving everything over from my old bag (so many balled up receipts… gah!) and thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little ‘What’s in my Bag’ post.  🙂

My Purse.  Can you tell that I like blue?  This little Micheal Kors clutch was a gift from my parents last summer.  Inside it’s got plenty of room for cards and receipts, and keeps everything organised and easy to find.

Tissue Pack.  Can’t go out without plenty of tissues loaded up my sleeve, but when I’m feeling a bit more refined (or I’m sleeveless!) then you can’t go wrong with one of these packs from Tiger.

Hair Tie.  For hair emergencies (i.e. two hours after leaving the house).

Revlon Lip Butter in ‘Berry Smoothie’.  I think I’ve got every shade of the Revlon Lip Butters; the formula’s just so good.  The shades are all quite natural and they never seem to dry out my lips.  Their staying power isn’t as good as others (although they don’t leave that horrible lipstick line around the lips like some brands do), so I always have to cart my shade of choice around with me.

Pen with Stylus.  I always carry around a pen and this one’s extra handy because it’s got a stylus attached to the end.  I’ve been getting into using Instagram Stories more, and so it’s handy to have something that allows me to add my handwriting 🙂

Sunglasses.  Wishful thinking, right?  Still, a girl can dream!  Now that we’re creeping towards summer I always keep a pair of sunglasses in my bag on the off chance that the sun makes an appearance.  These ones are from Primark and I think they were only a pound.  Can’t go wrong!

What’s in your bag right now?