Image: Jeremy Williams standing in front of the Herbs on the Hill stall at the Cardiff Christmas market. Copyright: Elen Johnston

What’s new at Cardiff’s Christmas Market?

The Cardiffian talks to independent stall owners about trade, gift ideas and coming back after lockdown

THE craft stalls at Cardiff’s Christmas Market are a popular attraction in the city in the run-up to the big day, but the last couple of years have been challenging for traders.

The Cardiffian spoke to a selection of independent traders at this year’s Cardiff Christmas Market at The Hayes about what they have to offer for shoppers and how trade has been since the pandemic.

Find the full list of stalls at this year’s Cardiff Christmas Market at the bottom of the page.

The Cardiff Christmas Market will be open between November 9 and December 23.

Celtic Seren – handmade jewellery and giftware

Gareth Giddings at his Celtic Seren stall at the Cardiff Christmas Market. Credit: Elen Johnston

Celtic Seren is a family business selling jewellery and giftware handmade in their workshop in Glynneath.

Their jewellery designs are inspired by Welsh landscapes, history, legends, and ancient artwork.

Gareth Giddings, 65, is self-taught and has been making jewellery since 1979 and trading at the Cardiff Christmas Market for 20 years.

His business has been impacted by rising costs since the pandemic.

“All the materials have jumped up. The cost of electricity has gone up about three and a half times, so it costs much more to do.

“We do outdoor shows, and a lot of people didn’t come back after the pandemic, crafters and some of the public,” he said.

Find out more about Celtic Seren here.

Gossian Blurs – artwork, hand-painted notebooks, clothing, and jewellery

Lu Gossian, 30, is an artist and owner of Gossian Blurs which sells abstract art, hand-painted notebooks, clothing, and art-stone jewellery.

Gossian Blurs began when she decided to sell art prints to raise funds after attacks on indigenous Armenians of Artsakh.

The business expanded to include lines of jewellery, hand-painted notebooks, and abstract paintings.

This is the first year Gossian Blurs has a main stall at the Cardiff Christmas Market, but Lu Gossian has traded at the taster stalls for the two years before.

Lu Gossian has created art since she was a child but started exploring her fluid acrylic style at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Especially during Covid it was a really relaxing thing to do it meant I couldn’t look at my phone for the hours I was doing it so I could just be in my own head doing my own thing,” she said.

Her artistic style is inspired by fluid art and Armenian coffee fortune reading which involves reading the images that appear in the sediment that runs when you tilt an empty cup of coffee. 

Lu Gossian and her mother are Armenian, and her mother often interprets her art in this way.  

“I would paint whatever came to mind and my mum would find all these different images within them and it became a really cool process between the two of us and I found that doing that at the market it’s a similar thing.

“I’ve created the paintings, but people come up to me and tell me things that they see in them that I haven’t ever seen so that becomes a good collaboration,” she said.

The stock is unique so is currently only available at the Cardiff Christmas Market, but for the rest of the year her items are available to buy on the Gossian Blur website.

Herbs On The Hill – aromatherapy soaps, incense, massage oils and creams

Jeremy Williams in front of the Herbs on the Hill stall at Cardiff Christmas Market. Credit: Elen Johnston

Jeremy Williams, 50, of Somerset, and his wife set up the business Herbs on the Hill to sell hand-made soaps, massage oils, and other aromatherapy items.

Their products are all made from natural ingredients and they are suppliers to the NHS.

“My wife is related to a very old family of herbalists, so she started the business 25 years ago and I got involved and have been doing so ever since,” he said.

He said trade has been good with lots of regular and new customers.

“Since Covid it has been very back-to-back, the first year since after it was very busy, and last year busier again, and this year is similar to last year,” he said.

For more information about Herbs on the Hill find their Facebook page here

  • For the full list of businesses at this year’s Cardiff Christmas Market click here.