by Angharad Evans, Welsh Editor
The past year has been a difficult and challenging one for us all. We have had to adjust our lifestyles, our priorities have changed, and everyone has found a new appreciation for the small things that may have been taken for granted before Covid.
But one young girl has adapted and gone on to help others through lockdown. Betsan Jane Hughes’ family, who are members of the Union in Ceredigion, farm near the village of Llangwyryfon, and Betsan's interest in sewing developed into setting up a business on the farm overlooking Mynydd Bach and the windmills.
Betsan admits that home is very important to her, and gives her the opportunity to combine the two things that are close to her heart - sewing and agriculture. During her time at college, Betsan enjoyed considerable success designing for a number of well-known companies, but now it is home that offers her the most inspiration.
After the busy lambing season, Cornel Clecs had the opportunity to talk to Betsan about everything from sewing to farming, and what inspires her creative work. Here is Betsan to explain more:
My name is Betsan Jane and day to day I run a clothing design and renovation business called Betsan Jane Design & Alterations. I set up my business back in 2017 after graduating from Carmarthen School of Art while doing a degree in 'Fashion: Design & Construction'. During my last year at University I was fortunate to win a scholarship in memory of Miriam Briddon, this inspired me to start my own business.
I love helping out on the farm with my Father and Gethin my brother. I am happiest amidst the bustle of lambing, milking and the cattle. It was really important to me that I could set up a sewing business on the farm as well as help out on the farm as much as I could - I'm so grateful to Dad, Mum, and Gethin for all the support during this time.
By now the business has grown a lot, I have two workshops. One on the family farm in Llangwyryfon and the second in Bow Street once a week. This has been an extremely challenging time as the business has had to close overnight during the lockdown periods and the workload reducing as a number of events have been postponed. During the first lockdown back in March last year I set up a 'Beti Bwt' clothing label.
I came up with an idea back in January to create a collection of jumpers designed to raise money for three charities, DPJ Foundation, Tir Dewi and Ceredigion YFC. As many charities are missing out during this time with a number of fundraising events postponed, I thought I could help them in a creative way with the hope of raising awareness on mental health in the agricultural community. The other reason for choosing these charities is that I suffer from mental health myself, and organisations like the YFC have personally helped me through many difficult times. As well as the YFC, DPJ Foundation and Tir Dewi do excellent work in the agricultural community in raising awareness of mental health and offering support to farmers on a daily basis.
I have now raised £1,500 from selling the jumpers and will be sharing the money between these three charities. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for the support I've received in selling the collection and also during these difficult times - it really means the world to me, thank you x.
It's so nice to see a young girl developing a business in the countryside, but also thinking of others, and that's something we can all take inspiration from. One of Betsan's recent jumpers featured the words 'Remember there is a value to your smile', and that speaks volumes, and is important for us all to remember. Congratulations to you Betsan for successfully raising a fantastic amount of money for these three vital charities and good luck in the future - we look forward to seeing your business continue to thrive.