Looking After Nature So it Can Look After Us

Now more than ever, people are dropping this “throw-away” culture and venturing into a new, sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. There are many environmental issues that need to be dealt with, one of which being the bee colony collapse. Here at Cowbridge View, we spoke to Tamzin Ford, founder of Blossom & Nectar. An independent retailer focused on nature, sustainability and supporting trade industries without harming our environment

Why Shop Local?

The importance of shopping local is something us at Cowbridge View truly understand, a view that we share with Tamzin, who is a big advocate for supporting your local independent business.

“Because when we shop locally, the money stays local, people buy from me and I will buy from fellow independent places. So much better to have a small independent community, than a fat cat shareholders with offshore accounts inflated and rarely paying their employees a working wage.

The heart of Pontcanna’s high street is the independent businesses. All of whom work together to support one another, by not selling the same things and buying from each other. This way, the money stays within the local economy, which can only mean good things for the community. Tamzin expressed her love and support for the businesses she shares Pontcanna Mews with; “We look at for each other and with an open line of communication, we’re sure never to step on each others toes. It’s how the community remains strong.”

One of a Kind

It’s safe to say, I’ve never seen a business quite like Blossom & Nectar. There are many “zero-waste” and “eco-friendly” retailers popping up all over the place, but the passion and pride that has gone into every decision in creating Blossom & Nectar is truly unique. Even their displays are all made of reclaimed wood and each label is bi-degradable.

“My business is quite niche, being focused on the plight of pollinators and also having so many products made in house, with Blossom & Nectar being a brand not just a shop name. We try to help and promote living with nature and helping it, helps us feel better mentally and physically.”

A Found Passion for Bees

“I was researching how to feel less rubbish after a long period of caring for my terminally ill father, who passed away at the end of 2016 from throat cancer. I learnt about the effect of chemicals on our body and how they affect our health, I created some products from beeswax and honey, studied aromatherapy and made more products to help with my health and wellbeing. Beekeeping is great for anxiety and puts you in a space where you’re very in tune with nature.”

“Understanding how bees and pollinators are affected by our bad habits really changes how we treat our environment and how in turn we treat our bodies. Burning candles full of artificial chemicals, fake plastics lawns and chemical heavy cleaning products directly affects our health and the natural habit of nearly all creatures.”

Starting Anew

Opening a shop wasn’t on my agenda as I’d had a shop with Dad and it was hard work. In 2019, the shopkeeper itch came back and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. We opened in September and it went well for a few months until we had to close in 2020. I felt I was back into the abyss after dad died, instead this time I knew the emotions that were coming. I sat on my own for a few weeks and let myself grieve, I had just moved to a new home after separating from my partner and needed to heal. Luckily, my new neighbour is an illustrator and 2 new product ranges were born. I got a bounce back loan and launched Blossom & Nectar honey gin and fair trade teas. I bought more beehives, used a local printer in Penarth for the labels and Rebecca Harry created the beautiful designs. The eco warrior in me made sure the labels are sustainable, the jars and tins can be refilled and everything is selected to be pollinator friendly.”

The Big Plans for the Future

“I am working on a whole new project called Yellow TSE and that is taking up a lot of my time so Blossom & Nectar’s 200 product inventory will stay at that size for the rest of 2021/2022 while we launch Yellow. Blossom & Nectar will have a concession in Yellow with the refillable inventory, so that’s super exciting!”

Yellow will be a social enterprise. The goal is to create a different kind of store, a zero waste lifestyle for our customers and paying a fair wage to the staff. Yellow wants to show support for running a business in a different way, a business where it benefits everyone; customers, retailers and staff.

Yellow TSE has been created out of a need for people to shop more sustainably. As a society, we are becoming more aware of what we need to do to help our environment, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Within the city, there are a clear lack of eco retail outlets and so the idea for Yellow TSE is born.

Soon to be opening in February 2022, Yellow TSE will be the place to go for any of your eco-friendly needs, and being a social enterprise means that all profits into social projects that benefit the area.

Check out Yellow TSE’s Instagram here

Head down to Blossom & Nectar at

6 Pontcanna Mews,

200 Kings Road,

Cardiff

CF11 9DF

For more about Blossom & Nectar’s visit- www.blossomandnectar.co.uk // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter