Americymru: Hi Ashleigh and many thanks for agreeing to an interview with AmeriCymru. Can you tell us a little about POBshop Cymru?
Ashleigh: Well, it's just as the name implies- (POB means all / everything in Welsh). I do a little bit of everthing. I have tried to develop a one stop shop for quality modern Welsh / Welsh language gifts. We do handmade wool cushions, bunting (pennants I think they would be called in America) tea towels, mugs, posters, bags and cards. The link between all of these items is the Welsh language. I only do things that incorporate Cymraeg or have a direct link to Cymru.
Americymru: What type of goods do you carry?
Ashleigh: Anything special for St David's Day? Well, as I said we do a bit of everything. Our cushions are made here in Wales using all British materials, we do mugs and tea towels with Welsh sayings or poetry. We have translated the British WW2 slogan 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON' into 'GAN BWYLL A DALIWCH ATI'. This is available as a card, tea towel,poster or mug. This has proven to extrememly popular, and quite apt in these trying financial times! The largest proportion of my business though is greeting cards. At the minute, including the designs in production I have 113 different designs. I haven't as of yet done anything specifically for Dydd Gwyl Dewi- St David's day- I have concentrated on the day to day events like birthdays, babies, new house etc...
Americymru: You are from North Carolina originally. Care to tell us how you came to be living in Wales?
Ashleigh: Long story this one! My father as it happens is of Welsh stock, his family came over to mine in the States and liked it-I am an Edwards by birth so in a roundabout and totally accidental way have made it to my homeland. I came over to England inititally in 1993 for university but as so often happens met someone and ended up in Wales- very happily I might add too.
Americymru: When did you embark upon the POBshop Cymru venture ? How did it get started ?
Ashleigh: I started this in earnest on New years day 2010. I had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of good quality well thought out / produced items available for the Welsh market. Everywhere you turned there seemed to be a Union Jack but the only place one saw the Draig goch was on a flag or a nylon cushion. I wanted to show my pride in Wales in a modern way and was sure I wasn't alone in this but the market just didin't seem to cater for it.
What really forced me was the small choice when it came to greeting cards. With 5 children, as you can imagine I am always in need of a card for some sort of occassion. I found myself constantly buying and sending the same cards- and receiving them too! There are literally millions of cards to choose from out there in English but a very small choice when it comes to Welsh Language. I wanted to fill what I saw as a gap in the market. I wanted to produce original, high quality modern greeting cards.
Americymru: Where can people find POBshop Cymru on the web?
Ashleigh: At the moment I am primarily a wholesaler. There are two outlets www.bodlon.com and www.adrahome.com I do also have the facility to sell thorough my facebook page. Were anyone to be interested in wholesaling any of my goods I would be happy to discuss it.
Americymru: What's next for Ashleigh Stevens and POBshop Cymru ?
Ashleigh: Well, I have the Eisteddfod to get ready for. I have several projects linned up to be released at the Urdd in May. Apart from that, I just want to carry on growing the business and , hopefully, providing a much needed service.
Americymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Ashleigh: DIolch am eich amser, thanks for your time. Keep supporting your Eisteddfod, a wonderful and unique thing, almost as wonderful as being Welsh!
Find more Card images like this and much more at POBshop Cymru