A 23-YEAR-OLD woman is using her flair for design to establish a real leather bag and accessories business, which she makes by hand from her workshop in Machynlleth.
Elin Evans makes bags and belts from leather, taking commissions to design bespoke items for customers locally and across the UK under her business name Elin Angharad. She specialises in reusing second-hand leather products – from jackets to shoes – which often hold sentimental value for her customers, that she works into her new designs
Elin stumbled into leather work by chance during work experience in her second year Artist Design & Maker degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where she had the opportunity to work for a short time with a local shoemaker in Machynlleth, Ruth Emily Davey. Here, she fell in love with working with leather and focused the rest of her university coursework around leather products.
After graduating, Elin discovered a space in Machynlleth town centre where she set up her workshop space and has made over 70 commissioned products since the start of this year. Her designs include everything from small clutch bags and wallets, to oversized tote bags, ranging from £90 to £270.
She said: “I was nervous to take the plunge and pursue my designs as a full-time business venture because I wasn’t sure if I had the clientele to make it viable, but in such a short amount of time the orders have rocketed. I rely on social media heavily to market my products and it’s a great way of chatting to potential clients about what they’d like me to create.
“Starting a business in a rural community brings with it many challenges, but it also brings many benefits, including having loyal customers and not having to compete with the ‘fast fashion’ culture. I have strong roots in the area, and I’m a member of YFC Wales, which gives me freedom to have fun out of the workshop, which can be an intense environment for a young business person.
“I would like to work further afield at some point, but Machynlleth is a great starting point for me – I feel comfortable to explore here. It was important for me to start my business journey in an area that I know and I love making myself and the business a part of the community.”
In only a few months of trading, Elin has been approached by a stockist, Siop Mirsi in Pwllheli, and aspires to work with more stockists, both locally and further afield, in the future.
She continued: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the demand for my products which has kept me really busy during the last few months, but I’m hoping to find time soon to create stock to allow me to venture to produce fairs across Wales. I have set myself a goal to have a stall at next year’s National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, so by then I hope to have plenty of products to sell.”
Elin developed her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, the youth entrepreneurship service in Wales. Big Ideas Wales is part of Business Wales and is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.
Earlier this year, Elin joined a cohort of 50 other budding young businesspeople at the Bootcamp to Business residential event in the Urdd Centre in Bala, a free three-day workshop hosted by Big Ideas Wales. Bootcamp gives young entrepreneurs the chance to learn and hone their business skills with advice and mentoring from successful Welsh businesspeople.
Speaking of the experience Elin said: “I learned a lot at Bootcamp and it wasn’t until I was putting what I’d learnt into practice in my work that I realised just how valuable it had been. It’s a great starting point for young Welsh people with a business idea who need guidance and the assurance to get it off the ground.”
In the future Elin hopes to start using leather from more local sources. She said: “Being from an agricultural background, traceability is an important aspect of what I do. Although the traceability of leather is hard, if not impossible, to determine in some cases.
“I am aware of some tanneries in the UK that I would like to visit in future, once my business is more established. It has been a passion of mine to explore the process of turning a skin into a leather hide, and I hope to fulfil this in future.”
David Bannister, a Big Ideas Wales business advisor has been working closely with Elin offering advice to help her develop her business further. He said: “It’s no surprise to me that Elin has seen such high demand for her products as she is a very talented designer. She’s thrown herself into the responsibility of owning a business and learnt a lot quickly. I’m confident her enthusiasm and talent will make her business a great success.”
Dyfed-Powys Police Prepares for Royal Welsh Show
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is inviting Royal Welsh Show visitors to their stand to find out more about what the force is doing to protect the public over the summer months and beyond.
The stand, located at E340 behind the main grandstand, will be bringing to life key pledges and crime prevention messages from the Chief Constable’s Police and Crime Delivery plan, which sets out how police will tackle crime and keep people safe.
The force will be showcasing their summer campaign, called #EnjoyDPP, which is about helping people who live in, work in and visit the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys respect those areas and prevent crime from occurring.
Rural-trained officers from Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and North Wales Police will be offering practical advice, at the police stand. They will also be on patrol throughout the showground listening to any concerns from the farming community. They will be accompanied by other officers, staff, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Special Constables and Police Cadets.
Specialist officers will also be speaking to landlords about County Lines drugs, and the signs to look out for that might show a tenant is being exploited by gangs, in a practice known as ‘cuckooing’.
Superintendent of Powys, Ifan Charles, said: “The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest event of the year we police in Dyfed-Powys, and also where we concentrate huge efforts on engaging positively with visitors to the show at our police stand.
“Come and say hello, meet our experienced and knowledgeable officers and staff and find out more about our commitment to keeping all of our communities safe by giving people the advice and confidence to protect themselves effectively.”
Visitors will be able to explore police vehicles, chat to Tarian colleagues about cyber-crime, meet a police dog, dress up as a police officer or Police Community Support Officer and solve a crime using real police techniques. Venture inside, relax on a hay bale and have a chat with experts on issues including rural crime, cyber-crime, issues that affect children and so much more.
Key partners will also be based at the stand including Crimestoppers, Modern Slavery group, Tarian and GoSafe.
There will also be a special children’s corner where young people can have their fingerprints taken, colour a police-themed picture or dress-up as a police officer or PCSO.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has a host of activities planned throughout the week. In addition to engaging with our communities, he is particularly keen to hear from victims of rural crime about their experiences when contacting police.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “The Royal Welsh Show is a great opportunity for me to engage with the public and gather their views on specific policing matters. This year, my team will be at the showground speaking to members of the public about rural crime and police contact. Please head over to speak to my team so that we can hear your views.”
The force is also offering advice for people heading to the Royal Welsh Show, including home security, personal safety and advice for people towing caravans.
Before you leave the house, take a photograph of your child. You’ll then know what they’re wearing if they become lost.
Write your contact number on a slip of paper and put it on your child’s person.
Before you head inside, double check your vehicle is locked and any valuables are safely out of sight.
. Lock your home, vehicles and outbuildings before you leave.
. Take your keys with you.
. Switch on any CCTV or alarm systems.
. Keep an eye on your neighbours’ properties while they are away.
. Check your driving licence. Do you have the correct category to tow?
. Number plates must be fitted to the rear of the caravan. They must comply with the regulations and not . be hand-written in pen on caravan OR written on a piece of paper or cardboard
. Ensure brakes and external lights are working correctly
. Check wheels, tyres, wheel bearings and suspensions are in good condition. This is particularly important if the caravan has been stationary for some time
.Tyres should be all the same type and size and have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Also check the pressure
For more advice visit this website: https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/advice-and-training/advice-for-beginners/
There is more information for visitors on the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show’s website: http://www.rwas.wales/royal-welsh-show/
For updates on our activity follow us on Twitter @DyfedPowys, or like our page on Facebook.
Local farmer sentenced for animal welfare offences
ON JULY 10, Dylan Williams of Neuaddlwyd Uchaf, Neuaddlwyd, Ciliau Aeron appeared before magistrates at Aberystwyth Justice Centre and was sentenced for animal by-products and animal welfare offences.
Mr Williams, 47, had previously appeared at the Aberystwyth Magistrates Court where he entered pleas of guilty to the four offences brought before the court by Ceredigion County Council.
On 11 April 2018, 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition were found on Mr Williams’ land, and these were accessible to live sheep and their young lambs. This formed the basis of the offence brought under The Animal By-Products Regulations which requires carcasses to be disposed of without undue delay, due to the risk to animal and public health.
The majority of the flock inspected on the day were seen with severe wool loss and irritated skin which are signs of sheep scab. Sheep scab is a debilitating condition which can lead to weight loss and thickened skin with scabs due to the intense, uncomfortable itching caused by the condition.
There were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, two of which were for causing unnecessary suffering to two ewes. One ewe was suffering from severe weakness due to scab infestation. Another ewe was found unconscious on the land with her intestines protruding from her flank, likely due to predation as she had also suffered from scab over a prolonged period.
Another offence related to Mr Williams’ failure to ensure the welfare needs of his flock were met by his failure to properly inspect the flock and to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.
Magistrates sentenced Mr Williams to a community order with a requirement that he carried out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community, he was also ordered to pay the investigation and legal costs of the council which amounted to £1648.
Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Corporate Lead Officer with responsibility for Policy and Performance said, “The council is deeply saddened that yet another serious animal health offence has been committed within the county. It is to the credit of our staff that they have undertaken a successful prosecution of this case.
Our animal welfare officers and our legal team had no option but to carry the prosecution due to the seriousness of the offences committed. I would urge individual farmers who are facing difficulties in caring for their stock to seek advice from the County Council and the Farming Unions.”
KT Tunstall and “ABBA” Rock the Castle
OVER 2,000 people descended on Cardigan Castle on the weekend of 12 -13 July as the live season oF events for summer 2019 kicked off in fine style with ‘Thank you for the Music: A Celebration of ABBA” on Friday 12, and a sold out KT Tunstall headlining on Saturday 13th with support from DJ Wozza Woz.
This is now the fifth year of the hugely successful partnership between Theatr Mwldan and Cardigan Castle. Past years have seen artists such as Bellowhead, 9Bach, Tinariwen, From The Jam, Talisman, Dreadzone, Gwenno and Only Men Aloud all play the site of the first Eisteddfod. KT Tunstall’s show night was the second time the venue has reached full capacity after Bellowhead played to a full house in 2015.
Cardigan Castle director Jac Davies said: “It’s a real coup for the whole town and it shows the ambition and appetite we have to make the castle central to attracting people to the area.”
Dilwyn Davies, CEO at Theatr Mwldan adds: “Every year these events are gathering momentum. They clearly provoke quite an emotional response in those who attend. The obvious economic benefits to the town are one thing, but what’s also so tangible is the sense of pride and joy that is building in Cardigan, and seeing the community coming together like this to really enjoy themselves is just amazing. We’re truly thankful and overwhelmed at how supportive people have been of these events, and we’re determined that we’ll build on this success well into the future.
“The production set-up we have is phenomenal, and we are fast developing a reputation for a quality experience for artists to play, and of course the setting and the atmosphere is so special – the castle has its own magic.
“The arts and music scene locally is more vibrant than ever before. The streets are busy, the bars are busy, we’ve seen a number of new eateries and independent shops coming in to town and there is a real vibe about the place.
“Mwldan has been developing a reputation on the international music scene for over a decade with our external music productions and our record label ‘bendigedig’, ran in partnership with ARC Music International Ltd. These are very exciting times for us, and for Cardigan as a town, and we will have another major announcement coming in the coming weeks. Cardigan is definitely on a roll!”
The next castle events include Billy Bragg on Wednesday July 24, The Magic of Motown on Friday July 26, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music’s Huw Stephens presents Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon with support from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard and Adwaith on Saturday July 27.
Tickets are available from Theatr Mwldan’s box office on 01239 621 200 or online at www.mwldan.co.uk
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