Do you ever wonder who writes these blogs? I thought it might be interesting for our customers and Facebook followers to learn a little bit more about those of us that run Abaca, so I’ll start with myself! My name is Rhiannon Rowley, I’m the person who started this business, and I was born and bred in the depths of rural Wales.
My father was headmaster of our local school, and his passionate interest in natural history meant that my childhood was largely spent in the open air; a school without walls as one ex-pupil called it recently. I wasn’t ever very taken by academic learning, and was in my twenties before I realised that what I wanted to do more than anything was to be self employed. The next twenty years or so were spent turning things I enjoyed doing into small businesses. I liked cooking, so I had a restaurant; enjoyed renovating houses, so started a small building business …. I’m sure you get the picture!
Unfortunately there came a time when circumstances dictated that I had to abandon my entrepreneurial bent, and I went to work for someone who manufactured beds and mattresses. I really liked the fact that we made things which were both useful and well designed, but it wasn’t very long before the entrepreneurial streak raised its head again.
My father had taught me the value of walking lightly upon the earth, and I started looking into whether it would be possible to create a mattress that was entirely organic. Organic farming is both holistic and principled, and recognises the direct connection between our health and how we farm. At that time we were buying wool from the South of France, and with around 10 million sheep in Wales, lots of which were organic, it didn’t seem to be beyond the bounds of possibility to create a mattress which used locally sourced wool. It may have sounded easy, but it wasn’t! Some three years later I had a product which i was proud of, but the company I was working for had no real interest on promoting it. That was the point at which my entrepreneurial spirit became fully engaged, and I left to start Abaca.
That was in 2004 and the business has seen many changes since those days. Our customer base grows from year to year and many more people now think hard about the consequences of buying a mattress that isn’t organic.