Professional singer Aled Powys Williams and former member of Only Men Aloud, who won BBC’s Last Choir Standing, now balances making toys alongside making music.
Aled and his wife Liz felt it was important to integrate the Welsh language into their children’s playtime. Knowing the obvious benefits of bilingualism in the family, they were surprised and disheartened to find very little in the way of tactile, educational products in the medium of Welsh. With this in mind, and with the help of their friend, Owen, founder of Friend and Friends graphic design studio, they set about creating their own, under the company name MWNCI. The result is a vibrant, fresh and attractive range of educational toys, all made from FSC approved, sustainable wood. Encouraged and inspired by other non-Welsh speaking parents at various playgroups, who were also searching for Welsh products to support their children’s learning, there is a pronunciation guide to help them feel more confident in using the language. Something Liz felt was important, as she is a Welsh learner herself.
The company was first introduced to the public at last year’s Eisteddfod yr Urdd in Cardiff Bay and since then has grown considerably. Their products have been well received by parents, teachers and childcare professionals alike. The feedback so far has been encouraging:
“A massive well done to Mwnci for creating such high quality, fun and educational Welsh language wooden toys. As a nursery manager, I have purchased many toys for the setting over the years & have not come across any as good as yours.”
“What is most lovely about this company is their real family ethos. It makes both their service and their products second to none.”
Mwnci enjoys engaging with its current customer base to see what needs they have and what they would like to see in the future. The goal is not only to create a great range of toys but to have an online hub that supports each product, full of resources that include pronunciation guides and videos, worksheets, games and more. Aled and his family hope their new venture plays a small but integral part in the government’s target of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. But most importantly Mwnci’s continuing aim is to encourage people to have fun whilst #playingwithlanguage
For more information, visit their website at www.mwnci.co