Mwnci – The Welsh Toy Company – that designs a vibrant line of eco-friendly, Welsh language toys and resources, has seen a 250% increase in sales as Welsh and non-Welsh speaking households looked for educational resources to home school their children over the last year.
Despite a global pandemic and additional Brexit challenges, Mwnci has thrived as demand for its Welsh language toys were much sought after for their educational focus for children.
Company Director, Aled Powys Williams explains: “During the first lockdown our business was fortunate enough to benefit from the introduction of home schooling, and because our toys have an education element, they were just the resource parents needed.”
Their Alphabet Abacus was a firm favourite with families learning the Welsh alphabet with an emphasis on recognition of letter. The playful and colourful designs make it fun to find a letter or character tile. There are also useful resources for practising to form and write the letters or enjoy colouring, encouraging good pencil grip.
Something suited for a slightly older child is their Teaching Clock which has proved to be invaluable whilst supporting home schooling. Obviously telling the time is the principal feature, however, you are able to engage with vibrant colours, 2D and 3D shapes, recognition of numbers and their spellings.
They also found that their customers were searching for a product to send as a gift for births and birthdays, and the Shape Sorter was perfect for this. The tactile element is ideal and the wooden box is naturally attractive, which makes the colours of the 3D shapes stand out. The most recent addition to the range is a beautiful Baby Rattle Set.
Mwnci launched in 2019 by Aled and his wife Liz, who were inspired by their young children and saw the value of incorporating the Welsh language into their children’s playtime, as well as the advantages of bilingualism in the family. The couple were surprised and disheartened to discover that tactile, educational products in Welsh were scarce and as a result, they developed a vibrant and attractive line of eco-friendly toys and resources. Pronunciation guides are also available for non-Welsh speaking parents to assist with their children’s learning.
With the entertainment industry decimated due to the effects of COVID, Aled, a professional singer and former member of Only Men Aloud, had more time to devote to this venture, which was much needed in order to fulfil the increased demands on the company.
Aled continues: “It’s been lovely being at home, spending time with our children during lockdown. I feel incredibly privileged to have watched Gwen and Morgan grow in confidence. The Welsh Calendar, one of our best sellers, became part of our daily routine, and this seems to have been a popular choice with our customers too.”
Customer Sharlaine Quick added: “Once again, we love this special resource. Everything from the company has been done to a high standard and I’m so grateful that such appealing resources are available in Welsh.”
Mwnci has been recognised for its educational initiative and efforts in promoting the Welsh language and is a finalist for the Welsh category in the Cardiff Life Awards 2021.
The company is already gearing up for Christmas, preparing for festivals and markets, including a pop-up shop in John Lewis, Cardiff. It is also looking forward to meeting customers, old and new in person, in the near future.