Tag Archives: business

Meet Charlotte: teacher, tailor, sewer, superfly

Have you ever wanted to learn to make your own clothes? Do you want to embroider swear words or cross stitch your wifi password? Fancy making gorgeous, unique home furnishings?

Well, we have found the woman for you. Twin Made (aka Charlotte) is quickly becoming our favourite creative micro-business in Cardiff. Operating out of a shipping container at the Bone Yard in Canton, she runs INCREDIBLE creative workshops to help you make anything from retro skirts to lampshades – no experience (or common sense, in our case) necessary. T

We were lucky enough to experience her circle skirt workshop this weekend and were so impressed that we asked her to tell us a little bit about her recent journey from secondary school teacher to full time creative queen!

Hi, I’m Charlotte. I have just left my day job to see if I can make my craft business in Cardiff into my full time job! Current feelings: scared, excited, worried, elated, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, a whole mixed bag of emotions! 

I am the Boss Lady at Twin Made. I often rope my husband in – have two colourful creative containers at The Bone Yard in Cardiff, slightly hidden but conveniently located in the heart of Canton. We run creative workshops, sell craft supplies, and rent sewing equipment.

It all started about 13 years ago, when doing a standard 9-5 job in a library. I got royally dumped by someone I thought, but definitely was not, THE ONE; he just happened to be the one who was still in the pub at the end of the night. About a month after our split, when he was off with his new fiancee,, I decided that I really needed to get a hobby that wasn’t just drinking two bottles of wine for a fiver ( or at least something I could do while drinking this admittedly questionable wine).

I had always been creative and had been to art college. I moved to Cardiff because I loved the band Mclusky, but also to study Graphic Communication at what was then UWIC. I dusted off my art supplies and started painting and knitting and making all manner of creations. My bedroom in a crappy shared house, in Roath, soon became the creative haven for a business I proudly called Boozy Floozy Designs. I would sell my makes on Etsy and Folksy and at local markets.t was great fun and I got to meet lots of Creative Cardiff types. Later on my twin sister Kathryn got involved and we rebranded and relaunched as Twin Made.

About five years ago I did a Design Technology PGCE at the Cardiff Met and became a qualified teacher. This was a really steep learning curve but I realised I was able to transfer my skills in a more creative way and at weekends I began to run workshops in Cardiff and London with my twin sister, teaching people how to create lampshades and embroidery.

During this time I met my now husband (out mutual likes were gin and embroidery). He was my dream man *insert emoji heart eyes* and he encouraged me to go ahead and find a more permanent home for Twin Made. And so it was that two years ago we moved in to the Bone Yard and set up a colourful new home.

Look! It’s Helia and Hana from We Are Cardiff after making their circle skirts! No sewing experience necessary, just lots of lolz

We run a wide range of creative workshops, such as lampshade making, modern embroidery, macrame and our very popular dungaree dress class. All our workshops are designed so that in 2-3 hours you can come to Twin Made, learn a new craft, and create an item to take home having gained the confidence to make more. The workshops are always very creative, relaxed, and are a great opportunity for people to forget their worries and, without too many distractions, engage in a new skill or refresh an old hobby. We also host craft parties, one-to-one sessions, and corporate events.

This year we are looking to increase our craft supplies and our range of equipment hire, as well as teaming up with lots of local makers to create more excellent workshops. I love reusing any leftover fabrics and am currently working on a exciting range of colourful collars and capes, all created from leftover textiles from our workshops.

In short, then: come and visit us in our colourful containers, support your local creatives, and even if you buy just a card we really appreciate it all. I’m looking forward to making Twin Made bigger, brighter, and giving it my all as my full time job!

Give us a follow to see what we are up to next! You can find us on Twitter, or if there’s something in particular you’d like to make/do email twinmadethings@gmail.com .

********

New business klaxon! Welsh Cheese Company brings the finest Welsh cheeses TO YOUR DOOR!

How exciting is this! The brand new Welsh Cheese Company (run by a founding member of the awesome Barry Horns) is launching on Monday! They’ll be selling the very best artisan Welsh cheeses online through their website, working directly with 12 cheese producers, and stocking over 50 cheeses. They’re also doing a subscription service called Clwb Caws and a range of hampers and gift boxes – just in time for Christmas! 

Cardiff-based musician Tom Pinder – who plays the sousaphone in Welsh Supporters’ band The Barry Horns and the trombone for world famous performers such as Paolo Nutini – is about to embark on a new adventure after founding The Welsh Cheese Company, an online retailer selling the very best Welsh cheeses.  You can check out the produce at www.welshcheesecompany.co.uk, or on Twitter @welshcheeseco. 

WHY CHEESE, TOM?

Tom decided to create the company when he realised Welsh cheese doesn’t always get the attention it deserves:

“Over recent years I’ve been getting more and more interested in the sourcing and the quality of the food I eat, and as a non meat-eater I’ve been particularly interested in the dairy side of my diet.
I’ve been eating a wide range of amazing Welsh cheeses from the delis in Cardiff, and local farmers’ markets, but I was frustrated that I couldn’t get all of the Welsh cheeses I’d come to love from one supplier, so I thought I’d do something about that and start a business that would bring together cheese from my 11 or 12 favourite Welsh cheese producers in one place.”

Since founding The Welsh Cheese Company, Tom has enjoyed getting to know the producers behind his favourite varieties. He is now keen to introduce more people all over the UK to these cheeses.

“The producers are so passionate about the cheeses they make, but Welsh cheese often seems to be a bit overlooked somehow. Some of the English cheesemakers are great at publicising themselves, and promoting themselves online, but some in Wales don’t seem to be as well known, despite often being even more critically acclaimed than their English counterparts.”

One of the most important parts of The Welsh Cheese Company’s mission is to tell people the story behind the cheeses it is selling. The website will have lots of information about all of its cheesemakers, and the farms that each cheese comes from:

“We’re working directly with producers, and buying direct from the farm, so we’ll be able to get cheese to the customers in the best possible condition.”

Tom isn’t stopping at cheeses, either: The Welsh Cheese Company will offer a glorious selection of other Welsh produce to compliment its cheeses:

“We’ll be offering a range of hampers and gift boxes, all full over the very best Welsh artisan food and drinks, to suit every budget. From gin to chutney, and from beer to chocolate, there will be something for everyone!”

Meet Tom Pinder, he’s great

The Welsh Cheese Company’s founder Tom Pinder is well known in Wales as a founding member of the Welsh football team’s official supporters’ band, The Barry Horns, but his career in music has taken him on many other adventures, including travelling the world with acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini.

“It’s taken me all around the world,” he says. “The tour of the last Paolo album took us to New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, the USA several times, and most countries in Europe. Our last tour was to South America just a few months ago.” He plans to continue performing with Paolo as much as possible, as well as continuing to play with the Barry Horns at Welsh international football matches too.

“The Barry Horns has been a big part of my life over the past 7 or so years. When we started the band it was just a small group of close friends who had played in Cardiff bands together for years, but it’s grown and grown and been an amazing experience. The Euro finals in France last year were absolutely incredible.”

Tom has been working primarily as a musician ever since finishing his music degree at Cardiff University in 2002.

“During university I was in a couple of bands, and when I graduated I moved into a two bed house with the six other members of one of the bands, and we toured round Europe and the UK for a few years. In 2006 that band came to and end, and I decided I should try to get a proper job. I worked briefly in public affairs in the Bay, and then more music opportunities came along, so I started touring with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, and then with Paolo Nutini, and that’s been my main job since then really.”

Alongside the touring, Tom also set up a music rehearsal studios business in Cardiff around six years ago, called the Cardiff Arches. That’s still going strong and has been his main preoccupation when he’s not touring. With the new cheese business taking off he will be handing over the running over the studios to colleagues.

“I’m very excited about The Welsh Cheese Company and it’s refreshing to be doing something outside of music – although I remain as passionate about music as ever, and will always continue to play in bands,” he says.

***

Mark, Odd Jobs Cardiff: “I’m fed up with people being ripped off”

We don’t usually promote businesses on We Are Cardiff. But Mark (aka @oddjobscardiff) is our exception.

Processed with Snapseed.

Mark pitches himself as an ‘honest man for hire’, and both of us at We Are Cardiff have been super impressed with him and his work. In a Facebook post, he describes his frustration at seeing people being ripped off for odd jobs, and vowed to provide a better service to the people of Cardiff:

cc9clbiwoaavt2s-1

He provides window cleaning, gardening, gutter cleaning, hedge trimming, airport pickups, power washing, house painting, home security… basically anything!

Mark’s unique business operates on a pay what you want policy – ie. you give him whatever you feel is appropriate. He doesn’t quote for jobs, and he’s really honest about payment. He spent 4 hours clearing my garden and trimming a huge hedge – when I tried to pay him he gave me half of the money back ‘because it was too much’!

Alongside his great attitude to business, he’s reliable, punctual, fast, clean, works in any weather, very scrupulous and thorough in his work. Check out his Twitter account for examples of great before and after photos.

If you want to hire Mark, get in touch with him on Twitter or phone him on 07801 432 863 – you won’t be disappointed!

Creative Cardiff: a new network for the city’s creative economy…and a Christmas party!

If you’re creative and are based in Cardiff, it makes ALL THE SENSE to join the wonderful new Creative Cardiff network. Plus, they’re having a Christmas party on Wednesday 16 December in Chapter – go along and get involved! Here they are to tell us more about it.

Christmas party flyer

Over the last year we’ve been working to build a new city-wide network that connects people working in any creative organisation, business or job. You may have been to our freelancers’ breakfast, to our event at The Abacus, or have met with one of our team to share your thoughts about what this should or could be.  

And now we’ve launched Creative Cardiff – a network which provides information and promotes new opportunities as well as enabling its members to find new people to work with, build their audience and promote their work. There’s already lots going on in Cardiff and there are many creative networks but, unlike other cities such as Edinburgh, Bath and Dundee we didn’t have something here which pulls it all together in one place and encourages people to work together across all the different creative sectors. We believe that by playing this connector role Creative Cardiff can help to make our city the most creative place it can be.

Over the first year we’re offering a programme of ‘52 Things’ which we want to make with and for the city’s creative community. Online we’re profiling the people and places in the city which give it a unique identity (look out for our forthcoming city guide which we’ve worked on with ‘We Are Cardiff’ and ‘I Loves the Diff’). And we’re running events – so far we’ve held a ‘Show & Tell’ event where people shared their work, we’ve had an ‘In conversation’ event with Dick Penny from Bristol’s Watershed and later this month we’re having a Christmas party

Come and join us at Chapter for a Christmas party for the creative community on Wednesday 16 December from 7:30-11:30pm. We’ll have music from DJs, GRLTLK, and live performances. And we’ll have a few surprises up our sleeves too! Celebrate the work you’ve done in 2015 and you might even meet some new people to collaborate with next year. Tickets are just £10 and include a glass of mulled wine and a hot buffet. Buy tickets.

Creative Cardiff is free to join. You’ll receive our fortnightly newsletter, invitations to our events and the opportunity to list yourself on our members’ directory. To find out more about the network and join for FREE visit: www.creativecardiff.org.uk
Creative Cardiff is run by Cardiff University with support from BBC Wales, the City of Cardiff Council and Wales Millennium Centre.

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Check out what’s going on with We Are Cardiff Press