After persevering through education, it was only when Abi reached university that she was assessed for dyslexia, which had been making completing assignments a real challenge. Abi made the decision to drop out of the course after just four months, which left her feeling anxious and lost.

“I now had student debt for a course I did not enjoy, and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was scared about my future and had reached an all-time low. My mum was my rock during this time and after a few months, she encouraged me to try out a college course in Newport. One of the assignments was pitching a business idea to a panel, which excited me as I always loved the idea of running my own business.”

Abi’s idea for this assignment was the start of her journey with The Welsh Luxury Hamper Company

“We never really went abroad when I was growing up, so all my holidays were spent travelling around Wales, where I got to see and try different things across the country. My idea was to combine these products in a hamper to celebrate Wales and support local produce. My college tutors told me my idea had great potential, which is when I got in touch with The Prince’s Trust.”

In March last year, Abi took part in The Trust’s Explore Enterprise programme, a free self-employment training programme for 18-30 years interested in turning a business idea into a reality. Abi received £700 of funding to purchase initial stock launch her website, and was provided with a volunteer business mentor.  

“The Enterprise course with The Prince’s Trust was fantastic. I learned so much about running my own business, and it was amazing just to meet other young people like me, with the same drive to be their own boss! 

My mentor, John, has also been a fantastic help. He is always there to give me a second opinion and is strong-willed when I have important decisions to make.” 

While the current CV19 pandemic has put a few of Abi’s plans on pause, she is still very optimistic about her future, and the future of The Welsh Luxury Hamper Co.

“My biggest barrier in business so far has been this crisis. I have lost some stock as it only has a short shelf life, but I was able to support my local foodbank with some of my products as well, so it hasn’t all been bad news. John has been a great help and I am learning to adapt and make necessary changes with his support. The Prince’s Trust have been vital to the success of my business so far, and it gives me comfort to be able to pick up the phone and speak to someone when I have any problems.”