I’m excited to announce that Mam Cymru will be hosting a series of events this year, an opportunity for us to meet each other face to face and an opportunity to support mothers who run businesses here in Wales!
During the event, you will have the opportunity to work with Buddug to create our own enamel plate, before enjoying a scrumptious afternoon tea prepared by Gail. At the end of the workshop, your plate will be fired and ready to take home – how good is that?!
Buddug became a mum in 2015, and she recently returned home to Wales after living in London, where she mastered her craft and ran a shop on Columbia Road. We thought you’d like to know a bit more about Buddug before the event, so we organised an interview…
First of all Buddug, where are you from and what memories do you have of your own childhood here in Wales?
Well I was born in Wrexham but we moved to Cardiff when I was a baby. When I was 6, we moved to Bontnewydd near Caernarfon and the thing I remember most is the opportunities we had in Ysgol Bontnewydd to weave, sew, crochet and also to create arts and crafts for the Eisteddfod.
Is this where you first became interested in art?
Definitely! I remember weaving a piece of work in Ysgol Bontnewydd and I just loved it! The idea that you could create a piece of art by putting wool and string together amazed me. Art is all about putting things together and I’m so lucky to be doing this as a job!
So how did you end up creating enamel plates and jewellrey?
Well, I simply love creating things and I love working with enamel. My dream was to be able to do this full time ….and here I am!
How did you manage to make a name for yourself here in Wales and supply shops in Wales whilst living in London?
When I started, the internet didn’t exist so it wasn’t as easy to promote myself and give people an opportunity to see my work. It was a combination of attending and having a stall at trade fairs and trying to make sure I had publicity in the welsh press, particularly in Golwg and Y Wawr, also the fashion magazines.
How difficult was it to run your own business when you became pregnant?
I continued to work as normal until the last few months, when it became harder to create and keep up with demand. I simply couldn’t do as much and many didn’t really understand why! I had to refuse orders, which is difficult when your depending on them for your livelihood, but it was hard and we were also busy doing a lot of building work at the time! It was actually quite a stressful time in my life!
How has life changed since your daughter came into the mix?
Marla was born in December 2015, I made sure I had two quiet months so I could get used to looking after a baby. Having said that, I was still working in between feeds and naps! Now, I organise my time and use my time carefully to ensure I can do everything I set out to do.
What advice do you have for mums and dads to be?
Children test your patience so try your best not to put pressure on yourselves to be the ‘perfect’ mum and dad!
Is Marla the reason your returned home to Wales?
Yes. I wanted to move from London for quite a while, I was ready for a change of scene and more security in terms of a home. Rent in London is so expensive, and when I fell pregnant I didn’t know how much work I’d be able to do after having a baby. I wasn’t eligible for maternity pay either, this was the right time to come home to Wales.
Is it hard to run a business and be a mum?
I think it’s quite hard to juggle any career with parenthood, I don’t think there’s much difference if you run your own business, except for the fact that I have to work and look after Marla at the same time and I have to work on weekends. In the long term it will be brilliant to have the flexibility to pick her up from school, look after her if she’s unwell and I’ll be able to arrange my work so that I can spend a lot of the school holidays with her.
What’s your favourite thing about being a mum?
Seeing her grow and develop.
What type of role model do you want to be?
One who proves to my child that success comes from working hard.
Looking ahead, what’s the goal in terms of the business?
This year I’m looking forward to developing new pieces for my new shop in Cardiff and also developing my work beyond this.
A big thank you to Buddug for allowing us to be nosy! If you would like to join us for our first Mam Cymru event in Machynlleth, we have a handful of spaces left for our additional workshop on Saturday the 19th of January at 15:00, but both workshops on Sunday the 20th are fully booked. The cost is £90 including the workshop, afternoon tea and the plate to take home. To book a space email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – first come first served!
*Keep your eyes peeled for our next event – it’s all set up and we’ll be announcing it on our Facebook page before the end of this month!*
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.