Welsh independent business, Max Rocks, will host a pop-up shop in John Lewis

Cardiff’s John Lewis pop-up initiative with The Great British Exchange will feature Welsh independent design company later this November

Max Rocks’ calendars depict the founder, Sian Cartledge’s iconic Christmas designs. 
Image Credits: Shubhangi Dua

Welsh independent business, Max Rocks is coming to Cardiff’s John Lewis for a week-long pop-up starting 29 November as part of The Great British Exchange (GBE), an initiative to grow small local businesses.

Max Rocks’ founder, Sian Cartledge will showcase her 2021 Christmas collection which is inspired by hardworking traditional Welsh ladies. The Swansea-based company specialises in designing Welsh learning material, greeting cards, gifts, homeware and stationery. 

John Lewis Cardiff partnered with The Great British Exchange to provide Welsh independent businesses with a week-long in-store pop-up. The Cardiff branch plans to host 19 local businesses by the end of the year.

John Lewis’s press office said, “This initiative empowers independent brands and makers to experience the retail high street from the inside.”

The award-winning entrepreneur Sian said that she began by designing flashcards to help her son, Max, learn the Welsh language and soon after demands for her designs boomed.

The businesswoman says, “My business grew when I introduced greeting cards. Today, my design style is iconic and we stock our Fair Trade products in 220 stores around Wales.”

Today, my design style is iconic and we stock our Fair Trade products in 220 stores around Wales

Sian Cartledge, Founder
Designer, Sian Cartledge is illustrating at her desk. Image Credits: Alicia Smith

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified eco-friendly business follows the circular economy model. The packaging material received from Max Rock’s suppliers and their own is recycled, reusable and recyclable. 

The 42-year-old designer is currently expanding her company. She is moving the headquarters’ from her mother’s Post Office to an industrial unit in Swansea. Sian says, “I’m most excited about the photography corner in the new space which will also have an office and a studio.”

“John Lewis is the perfect platform to show off our wide ranging products from Welsh learning resources to cards, calendars, chocolates, gifts, homeware and the latest Christmas tote-bags,” said Max Rock’s owner.

Sian tells us 10 reasons why people should learn Welsh language.

  • It’s a part of our heritage and culture.
  • Speaking more than one language has cognitive benefits such as improved memory function.
  • It gives you the opportunity to make new friends.
  • Bilingual children reach language milestones at the same time as monolingual children.
  • Learning a new language encourages creativity.
  • Bilingualism encourages diversity and cultural appreciation.
  • Being bilingual can provide more opportunities.
  • It’s fun! There are some funny Welsh words like, Gwdihw – Owl!
  • Learning with your child can nurture your relationship.
  • You can still learn as an adult and enjoy the journey with your children.