Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Rhiannon Rowley, Founder of Abaca Ltd
Website URL: www.abacaorganic.co.uk
Social Media Links:
Number of outlets: 1
Location(s): West Wales
Other relevant info: Manufacturer of organic mattresses, bedding, and oak beds
Modern Retail talks to Rhiannon Rowley, Founder of the most comfortable mattresses “Abaca Ltd” where they’ll help you sink into the most peaceful night sleep in their beds.
MR: Why should people shop with you?
RR:We’re a great company! Small enough to be completely flexible, large enough to deal with any order a customer chooses to make. Abaca is able to make beds and mattresses to any size or shape and we have a range that will suit everyone from the tiniest baby to the biggest rugby player! Our customers love the fact that all our products are hand made with the finest materials, and that we produce everything in our workshop in Wales. No high pressure selling in our showroom, we book you in for an appointment so that you have the place to yourself and can draw on all the expertise and experience that our staff have to offer. Take as much time as you like, so that you’re sure when you buy that the bed and mattress are the best choice for you.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
RR: The best thing about Abaca Ltd is the people that are involved with it. Our workforce, our suppliers and our customers are all people that have bought in to the organic ethos.
Typically customers come to us with a list of questions as long as your arm because they have done lots of research beforehand. This is admirable in a market where too many people buy purely on looks or a careful sit down on a bed, and we relish the opportunity to help people get the answers they need. It is impossible to work in the organic textile sector without being part of a virtuous chain. For example, our wool comes from organic farms in Wales where there are high welfare standards. When the wool is clipped from the sheep it is sent to be graded by the wool board, then scoured (washed), and some of it is then needled. Every time the wool is handled it has to go through the certification process, so by the time it gets to us, four separate businesses have committed themselves to handling the wool in a way that conforms to the certification requirements. It’s just brilliant that they’re willing to do so!
MR: What advantages/disadvantages does your location bring?
RR: There is no disadvantage to living and working in beautiful West Wales! Our transport manager might complain occasionally, and our suppliers might mutter about how far away we are, but I think our location is perfect. Abaca Ltd is based on a hilltop site that used to be a farmyard, so we are surrounded by green fields and have a fantastic view of the mountains the other side of the valley.
It is so important to the rural economy that companies such as ours are committed to providing employment, and our staff have learnt many new skills over the years. Living and working in the countryside means that we are surrounded by the cycle of the natural world. Soon there will be lambs in the fields, then later on in the year the sheep will be sheared, and there is a huge satisfaction in knowing that some of that wool will end up in our mattresses.