A curated space in Dinas Powys to hire where creatives can work, sell their wares and locals can shop.
Firstly, please introduce yourself…
Hi my name is Tanya Lynch, I am a mum of 2 boys living in an idyllic village called Dinas Powys not too far from Cardiff. I was born in Bangor, lived in Mid Wales throughout my teens and moved to Cardiff to study Food Science. I never left the city lights! I realised after graduating I wasn’t ready to work in the food industry and by being in the right place at the right time I landed a job in radio. Due to being a very sociable character, particularly inquisitive about business and why certain people manage certain brands I became a very successful media expert. But working in the media was never enough for me, I wanted to run my own business. From 2007 onwards I had launched my own brand of coffee shops, bought and edited local magazines, managed networking events and hosted wellbeing retreats. I soon realised I was born to launch new brands but more than anything I wanted help others start their own businesses. Today I feel very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had so far. I am happy, village life suits me and one day I’ll be building my own beach house in West Wales, who knows what adventures I’ll experience as I don’t think retirement is quite cut out for me.
Tell us about Work:Shop Dinas Powys…
The Work:Shop is a concept I founded in April this year, facilitated by Dinas Powys chartered surveyor Alex Easton. During the week the venue is a WORK space available to hire by the half or full day and on the weekends the space transforms into a pop up store. I am planning that in the evenings there will be a timetable of local workshops for all ages to participate in
What inspired you to start this venture?
I was looking for a project to work on in my own village. I was approached by Alex Easton whilst I was sitting in my local coffee shop The Plug, he wondered if I had any ideas for his empty showroom and within minutes I knew exactly what would work and that was the moment the idea of The Work:Shop came to fruition.
I am at my happiest when I have multiple projects on the go, hence why I’ve always had a side project. I am super excited about the potential of The Work:Shop, mainly because it gives a variety of small business owners and start ups the opportunity to test their market with very little risk. It also offers landlords and property owners the opportunity to utilise what normally could be classed as empty or dead space, they get rent plus they are supporting a wonderful community project which helps keep the high street alive.
Why not just a retail space?
Good question, I knew that a multipurpose creative space was in demand. This business model is a clever one because it provides a retail space and a work space under one roof for local creatives.
The retail industry continues to have its challenges. High street retailers across Wales are struggling to survive due to unaffordable rent and rates forcing small businesses out. So The Work:Shop is the perfect platform for any landlord or retailer that prefers a ‘Pop Up’ retail offering rather than long annual lease agreements.
The Work:Shop concept will encourage the return to a 'shop local' mentality providing the village with a temporary yet beautifully curated store. Not only is there a demand for retail space in this village there is also a need for affordable office space. I realised that The Work:Shop could have 3 elements to it, work space during the week, a retail pop up during the weekend and workshop tutorials in the evening.
Our local online brands such as Peastyle, Blossom & Nectar, Lisa Valentine Home and The Good Wash Company were looking for a temporary storefront space. The idea behind a Pop-up store like ours on the weekend has become more prevalent in recent years and is continuing to grow in popularity due to the fact it is low risk for many small brands. These short-term retail environments enable customers to experience products first hand.
Can you tell us a bit about the set-up and design of the space? How is this important to the mix of work/retail?
It’s a clever use of space. It was previously a property show home and so the décor is of a high standard with its own kitchen and toilet. Due to it being decorated by property developers it was the perfect blank canvas for our talented local carpenter Sampson Carpentry to shop fit. We used recycled materials and designed funky storage solutions such as peg boards to maximise each wall space. The look and feel of the space whether it is for the Pop Up or the Work space is super versatile and very calming to work from.
Can you give us an insight into the creative community of Dinas Powys and the surrounding areas?
There is a great entrepreneurial vibe in the village. The Plug Coffee House and The Humble Onion restaurant are great examples of young enthusiastic talent that are making their mark in this particular corner of Wales.
Do you see this concept developing further?
That is the plan. I have had interest from a variety of local businesses that have empty space particularly during the weekend. More and more people are becoming more socially aware and are keen to support local brands by offering them space to utilise at an affordable rate. It’s a win/win scenario with a very happy story, what’s not to love?!
And anything else you'd like to share?
Eek what else can I say? I am super keen to share the love for the brands I collaborate with so a big shout out to them. If there are any local businesses wishing to find out more information about how to get involved with the Work:Shop or you have a space to let please connect with me on social media @theworkshopdinaspowys and lets talk through some ideas.