The idea for Nythu came to me some years ago when I was studying Community Development at Bangor University. One of the modules required us to look into social enterprise as a tool for community development. I was really inspired by the approach, and so instead of writing an essay I decided to write a business proposal. I was planning our own wedding at the time, and so my idea was for an online wedding gift list service offering handmade homewares, which would use profits to support opportunities for young makers to live and work in rural communities.
I managed to persuade my husband to be to let me test the idea at our own wedding. I cobbled together a wedding gift list website and added handmade blankets, baskets and ceramics by makers whose work I’d always admired. Our guests liked the idea of giving us something that we would treasure, use, and then pass down to the next generation – and we of course were delighted to fill our home with beautiful and useful objects that had meaningful connections to friends and family.
Whilst Nythu isn’t currently established as a social enterprise, my long-term vision is to grow the market for objects made by local craftspeople and eventually create and support opportunities for young makers who wish to live and work in rural areas. This is a lifetime’s work and will have to be achieved in stages; step one is to establish a viable business that can, in time, support such activities. In truth, our story has only just begun….