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Made in Cymru started during another one of the UK’s lockdown’s, it was a thought that came into my head in early January 2021, and due to having time off because of being furloughed, it was a thought, I decided to throw myself into.
It was over the Christmas period, where I noticed that the demand for handmade products had grown to a significant level, there’s no doubt that Covid contributed to this, but people wanted something different to send to their loved ones, and more importantly because of the restrictions, something locally.
Facebook was great for finding these products from independent artisans, there are literally thousands of Facebook groups for users to join and look over the latest creations, the issues that a buyer might face though was that due to the social media’s algorithm, a user might not come across that product again and then there’s the trust issue, where an agreement is made for a user to buy a product but agree to pay when picked up or pay after the unique product had been made, this involved a lot of trust between both parties and there were many a post saying they had been let down by one party or the other.
So they were the steps that I wanted to address when building the website, I knew I wanted it to be a Welsh marketplace (A Welsh Etsy, as I call it sometimes) that will allow sellers to list their products to sell and be confident that once the order was placed, there was a secure set of procedures being followed to ensure that they would be paid.
Nearly one later, Made in Cymru was ready to go live, it wasn’t perfect, it had 113 products from 18 different sellers (shops) that had agreed to join from the very beginning, of which, I will always be thankful for as without my sellers on the site, Made in Cymru is nothing. But, I could have sat there and tried to add more sellers but not really learnt anything, it’s only once something is live and you can experience the day to day issues that you can learn from mistakes, and grow/improve.
Today, we have close to 600 sellers signed up and there are 2500 gifts, products & crafts listed on the site. In the 12 months, we have been live, the site has grown dramatically.
So, this, brings me on to the new brand, our current or old logo, served a purpose, it had the Welsh dragon, it was in the Welsh colours, but in all honestly, it was very generic, it didn’t stand out apart from the fact it looked Welsh, you wouldn’t see it on a social post and say that’s a post by Made in Cymru. We are updating our branding to be clearer about the messages and products you see that come from Made in Cymru.
The new logo was designed for clarity, and to strengthen the site branding and the identity of the business.
We are going from strength to strength, starting out from nothing isn’t easy for a website with no money behind it, Google search is a very hard nut to crack, and it takes months to start ranking for certain keywords. There are SEO agencies out there that literally charge £1000s a month to get companies to appear high up the ranking, trying to do this on my own is no easy feat. But the site is getting there, our daily audience is now predominately from organic search, and we have many keywords ranking in the top 10, in fact, whilst I’ve been waffling on writing this blog, an order has just come in for a bottle of Welsh rum. A quick check and I can see this order came through a customer who found us on Google. For the keyword Welsh rum, we are currently in the number 3 position by the way 😊.
This brings this blog to a close, I hope you all like the new logo, I hope all my sellers, like me, are proud to be Welsh and love what you do, and I hope that our customers from all over the UK (we have even had some orders from America) enjoy the products they buy.