After a career as a community support worker, working for the local council, Jo decided that she would also like to try to utilise her life-time passion for crafts.
In partnership with her step-daughter Rebeckah, who like Jo is also passionate about art & crafts, they had a light bulb moment when they saw an empty shop and decided this is the right time to try to sell their arts & crafts. They used the covid lockdown to trial retailing crafts though a pop up shop in Cowbridge.
After a successful trial, Jo and Rebeckah have formed R and J Sunflower Designs Limited & decided to become co-owners. That trial gave them chance to consider what they wanted to provide going forward. They knew they needed more space and hence looked at bigger units & were delighted to find an empty shop on Nolton Street in their home town of Bridgend. They wanted to compliment a café with craft sales and also have workshop space to manufacture their own crafts, able to teach crafts & to host groups.
Rebeckah studied art at Bridgend College, loves vintage, rustic & shabby chic & creates her own hand painting. Jo loves sewing, knitting and crochet and has been making cards for 15 years & jewellery for 12 years.
They began renovating the café, called the Sunflower café and opened in August 2021. They serve breakfasts, salads, jacket potatoes, sandwiches etc and have now added selling some of their handmade crafts of rustic home décor, cards and gifts. Further phases planned are workshops and given their community work, to improve access and availability for disabilities.
With no funds to just go ahead and do all they wanted and unable to get traditional finance support, Jo was pleased that as well as securing a small grant from the local council in Bridgend, her loan application was also accepted by Purple Shoots.
Jo and Rebeckah can be contacted on https://www.facebook.com/RandJSunflowerDesigns and can be found at 57 Nolton Street, Bridgend.