Her inspiration to open a wool shop stems from a lifelong interest and passion for creating beautiful knitted garments, toys and other items, often produced from her own patterns. And today, with knitted garments a growing fashion and craft shows appearing on BBC for the spring, it was an ideal opportunity for her to open her own shop.
With her environmental background Glenys is keen to source local Welsh wools for the shop and has already bought and spun fleeces from a prize winning flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep kept by Lis Dawson in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Lis separated out the shearling fleeces from her flock and sent them to be spun into lustrous dark chocolate chunky wool balls ready for knitters to make into jackets and coats.
Hoping to extend her colour range of local wools Glenys said, “I am on the lookout for lighter coloured good quality fleeces from shearlings reared in North Wales. But, they are hard to come by as so often farmers mark up their sheep with a dab of paint to help them organise their flocks and painted fleeces are not acceptable by the spinning company. I would love to hear from any local farmers who have suitable fleeces for sale.”
Glenys found that turning away from a career in education to starting up Snowdonia Wool was a real challenge which involved a lot of research.
She said, “I worked hard to get the business plan together, find suppliers that would bring high quality yarns to the shop and be able to stock yarns and accessories which were new to North Wales. A brilliant find was the Plymouth Yarn Company in Bristol, Pennsylvania. 'I had seen patterns in books using their yarns, but hadn’t been able to find a stockist in the UK. They were very supportive of my venture and have given me the exclusive right to import their stock to the UK. Their catalogue of yarns and patterns is enormous and I’m selling these in the shop and online'.
“Although it’s been a lot of hard work, it’s been really exciting and so far I’ve had a fantastic response from customers from all over North Wales who’ve visited the shop.”
Although Glenys loved working at Kew Gardens she has no regrets about opening her own shop, “I still can’t believe that I have changed my life so much from being at Kew, to being surrounded by so many interesting people in the middle of beautiful yarns. Now that knitting is fashionable again I have the complete range of ages of people coming to the shop. I even get to knit as part of my day’s work, which can’t be bad.”