A YOUNG university drop-out has built a Welsh-inspired luxury hamper business – and they are the perfect gift for a special occasion.

At just 20 years old, Abigail Chamberlain set up the Welsh Luxury Hamper Company in October this year.

Having only been up-and-running a month, she admits it “has been absolutely manic”.


And it’s little wonder: her hampers offer a unique selection of Welsh-sourced items which make for ideal birthday, baby shower or new-home presents.

“I always explain to people that this is not your traditional hamper," she said.

“With a normal one, after a month or so everything is gone, and you are left with just a basket.

“But with this, you are left with keepsakes, too.

“One half is made up of Welsh-inspired items and the other half has your perishable goods, like food and drink.

“All the products we use are award-winning.”

South Wales Argus:

A selection of Welsh-sourced products

Using items from Welsh businesses is a source of pride for her.

“I think its really important to do something that represents Wales," she said.

“It’s so important to support local businesses.”

She says Wales has an abundance of luxury products – but that this isn’t being properly exploited.

“I have always thought that there was a gap in the market," she said.

“We have loads of luxury products, but if I asked a member of the public to name them, they wouldn’t know any at all.”

South Wales Argus:

Birthday drinks: award winning alcohol

The home-warming hamper, packaged in a keepsake box, contains a candle, a traditional love spoon, soap, an elegantly designed apron, a box of Welsh cakes and locally sourced honey.

The inspiration for this hamper comes from the fact that she believes “Wales is very homely”.

“Everyone who visits Wales says they feels at home,” she said.

Home felt far away, however, when Ms Chamberlain attended university at Bath Spa.

“It was absolutely awful," she said. “I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and struggled academically.

“I had a bit of a low point, struggling with anxiety and I had no support whatsoever.”

South Wales Argus:

A Gift of Wales: some of the finest Welsh products

She dropped out after a year and attended a business course at Coleg Gwent. It was there that she had the idea to start her own business.

“It started out as a school project, but then we realised it could actually work," she said.

“They (Coleg Gwent) put me forward for a competition for funding from TaffLab from the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).”


She won a £500 grant to start her company and sought advice and support from the Prince’s Trust – a business mentoring charity.

Crucially, too, she gained the confidence to overcome her mental health issues and says that suffering from anxiety or depression “isn’t the be all and end all” and that you “can pick yourself up and go again”.

Entering into a business world still “dominated by males” was initially daunting and she described her first sales pitch as “absolutely horrible”.

“It is really difficult going into somewhere being 20 and a woman," she said.

“But I have had help from other women and feel more confident now.”

She looks up to Baroness Karren Brady – judge on The Apprentice - who “has tackled that environment” and succeeded.

A Welsh Baby Hamper offers an adorable mini-plush sheep, baby blanket, a bib and baby-sensitive oils and soaps.

South Wales Argus:

A cuddly sheep is included in the Welsh Baby Hamper.

There is also a Welsh Afternoon, Birthday and a Gift of Wales hamper.

And if you’re scratching your head wondering what to buy your in-laws this Christmas, you need look no further.

Ms Chamberlain has now put a luxury Christmas hamper on sale. Ms Chamberlain was coy about what would be included, preferring to keep most of the contents a secret.

But she did say there would a Christmas tree decoration made from 700-year-old Welsh slate. A number of different price-options will be available, ranging from £40 to £90.

You can browse her hampers online at www.welshluxuryhampercompany.co.uk