Stained Glass artists Cariad Glass have seen a boost in online sales during lockdown after developing
a fun make at home glass mosaic kit to give crafty customers a creative fix.
The Llandysul business had received a micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales to support
their growth and give them working capital shortly before lockdown was announced.
Husband and wife team Justine and Chris Dodd use traditional methods and techniques to create
bespoke art and glass pieces, specialising in commission and restoration work. They also offer face-
to-face courses at their studio for those who wish to learn more about glass crafts.
Co-owner Justine said: “We realised fairly early on in to the lockdown that we’d need to move
production of our studio. We took home a bench and set up a studio in our log cabin summerhouse
at the bottom of our garden. We had a few commissions to work on, but needed to postpone all of
“Chris was working on a piece that had been pre-ordered for May. I filmed him working so that we
could share this with our customers, many of whom had booked courses with us. That had a good
response and it got us thinking about other things we may be able to offer our customers during
Keen to offer something to do at home for customers who were missing face-to-face courses, the
pair came up with idea of a small hanging glass mosaic panel that you can make at home. They built
a 20cm by 10cm ready-to-hang frame and cut and leaded glass pieces – the bit that cannot be safely
done in a domestic kitchen. The process of putting together a glass mosaic using domestic
equipment was filmed and they put the video on their Facebook page. They were soon inundated
with requests to buy the £25 kits.
“Our sales of smaller artisan pieces usually comes through galleries and exhibitions which are all on
hold at present. Our website shop, the Stained Glass Emporium has been invaluable – we’ve sold
nearly 200 of these kits since we made that post. There’s been a real appetite for them and people
have loved sharing pictures of their finished creations with us,” added Justine.
“They’ve been so popular that we’ve drafted in our daughter Hattie, who would have been sitting
her A Levels this summer, to take over the boxing and delivery part of the processes. It’s kept us
fresh and busy through the lockdown, keeping creative ideas going is so important for an artisan
businesses like ours. But it’s also been fantastic seeing our customers have fun and learn new
techniques. We love teaching glass making and glass arts and this is a way we’ve been able to carry
on this whilst our studio remains closed to customers.”
The family have recently moved production back from the garden summer house to their studio and
are looking at ways that they can safely re-open to the public when restrictions ease further.
They’ve been supported through lockdown by Development Bank of Wales Portfolio Executive
Donna Williams. She said: “It’s great to see how west Wales businesses are using their ingenuity and
grit to come up with new ways to keep their business going through these uncertain times. Justine,
Chris have been fantastic, offering a new product which has provided a valuable creative and mental
boost to customers.
“Faced with new restrictions and the need to keep their family safe, they moved their operation to
their own home at the peak of the pandemic. Thinking about the needs of their customers first,
many of whom have had face-to-face courses postponed, they developed a fun and flexible new
product. The ‘make your own glass mosaics’ have been selling like hot cakes and have opened up a
new way of doing business for this family team. We’ve been happy to support them and are excited
to see what the future holds as we slowly return to normal.”
Have your say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire
RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to have their say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council is developing a new 10-year Housing and Regeneration Masterplan and residents are being asked for their views.
Providing quality, affordable homes is a key priority for the council and it is investing millions of pounds in new housing stock; creating much-needed jobs and helping to grow the local economy and regenerate communities.
In 2015, the council became the first in Wales to suspend the Right to Buy to retain its declining housing stock, and built a number of bungalows – the first local authority housing to be built in Wales since the 1980s.
A year later, in 2016, it launched its affordable homes plan to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes in the county by 2021 by building new, buying from the market and converting empty buildings.
Now the council is shaping its plans for the next 10 years which includes building over 900 new council homes and investing nearly £150million across the county by 2029.
It is important that the new homes are of the right type, size and tenure, and in the right places to build strong sustainable communities where people want to live and work.
The Housing and Regeneration Masterplan will also recognise the role of housing development and investment in stimulating the overall economic growth of the county – which is now even more critical as we recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents are being encouraged to take part in our online consultation which starts on Monday, June 14.
Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to be leading the way here in Carmarthenshire to deliver new, affordable, high quality and much-needed homes for local people.
“We have already achieved so much during the last few years, but we must now plan for the next 10 years and we need the views of our residents to help tell us where they think these homes should be developed, who should have them, and what type and size they should be.
“We are committed to making more homes available for those in highest need, and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, with a range of homes to suit specific needs.
“This includes our rural towns and villages, where we must help to make sure that local people are able to afford quality affordable homes and remain in their communities; as well as increasing the residential offer in our town centres, increasing footfall and helping businesses to thrive.
“Aside from providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.”
The council is delivering this commitment in a number of ways, including building more council homes and working with housing association partners to deliver more new build schemes, buying stock that suits our needs, working with developers to ensure a range of affordable homes are built as part of private developments and bringing empty homes back into use.
It is also actively working with landlords to encourage them to make their properties available at affordable rent levels, including bringing more private sector homes into the management of our in-house social lettings agency.
To take part in the survey please visit the consultation pages on the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/consultations Paper copies are available from one of our customer service Hwbs. The survey closes on July 26.
Community wardens hit the streets of Tyisha and Glanymor
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has appointed two new community wardens to patrol the Tyisha and Glanymor areas of Llanelli.
The community wardens will support the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and other agencies to provide a visible presence within the area and will have a varied role which will include:
- Patrolling hot spot areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour
- Tackling vandalism and fly tipping as well as issues relating to communal areas and open spaces/parks
- Supporting the introduction of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
- Organising the installation of crime prevention measures
- Offering targeted support to vulnerable members of the community
- Encourage wellbeing activities and community engagement with youth projects, schools and clubs including the promotion of volunteering opportunities.
Linda Evans, chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member for housing said: “I am delighted that Tyisha and Glanymor now have community wardens who will work closely with Dyfed Powys Police and other agencies to deliver a multi-agency approach to tackling issues of community concern. In response to community feedback they will prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour issues, reducing crime relating to drug and alcohol misuse and engaging with the community to make positive changes throughout Tyisha and Glanymor.”
Ann Davies, Executive Board Member and vice-chair of the Tyisha Steering Group said: “The work carried out by the community wardens will make a positive difference through helping to reduce fear of crime and incidents of anti-social behaviour as well as improving quality of life for those who live in these communities.”
The introduction of community wardens to the Tyisha area forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.
To contact the community wardens or for more information on joining Tyisha and Glanymor’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Pollinators protected during annual grass verge cuts
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council highways crews are starting their annual roadside grass cutting operations this week, but not every verge will be fully cut.
As part of its duty to protect biodiversity, grass will only be cut in one metre swathes in most areas where growth is affecting road visibility and pedestrian safety and several verges will be left until later in the year allowing flowers to set seed before being cut.
Much of Carmarthenshire’s roadside growth of grass and wildflowers will be left untouched to support local wildlife and pollinating insects.
Cuts will only be taken in these areas if there are health and safety concerns, particularly in 30-40mph areas in towns and villages.
Cllr Hazel Evans, the council’s executive Board Member for Environment, said the authority has taken a careful view of grass cutting operations not just for the sake of biodiversity but also to keep costs down.
“We have to carefully balance the needs of local wildlife with our responsibility for highway safety,” she said. “The importance of the road verge network for nature conservation is reflected in our verge maintenance policy. We delay the cutting of some verges in the interests of conservation as long as highway safety for motorists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians is not jeopardised.
“This is not only a reflection of our duty to the environment but also follows budget reviews which have identified cost savings by reducing and delaying grass cutting operations.”
Pollinating insects are essential for the maintenance of ecosystems through pollination of the wild plants which form the basis of most habitats. They also play an important role in the production of many crops.
The council works to conserve and enhance biodiversity and has a range of projects to support local species and habitats.
Managing areas for wildlife can provide opportunities for individuals, community groups and schools to get involved, benefiting wildlife and people.
Visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/biodiversity for further information and ideas for ways to support local conservation.
For further information on highways operations, visit the website’s travel, roads and parking pages.
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