OWNING an independent business can be "wonderful", but it is also "tough".

This is according to some independent traders in Caerleon who spoke to the Argus ahead of Independents' Day this weekend.

Independents' Day is a campaign that, in partnership with Local Rewards, exists to support and promote independent retail businesses across the UK.

Independent business owners face a multitude of issues when setting up.

Holly Havelot opened DT Crystal Creations in Caerleon three months ago and admits that it has been "tough" so far.

South Wales Argus:

DT Crystal Creations is a small, family-run business selling crystal crafts and gifts.

"I'm taking it slow and steady," she said, "but the overheads are ridiculous.

"Getting there, trying to come up with new ideas.

"It meant having to change."

South Wales Argus:

Ms Havelot used to work in a rugby club in Cwmbran.

"I was there for five years," she said.

"I got sick of it and decided to take a bit of a leap of faith.

"I’m glad I did it."

From new businesses to those who have been around for years.

Alun Evans took over ownership of new age craft store Spirit of Awen four years ago - but the shop has been in Caerleon for more than two decades.

He said running the shop had been "wonderful".

South Wales Argus:

"The place had been run by a lifelong friend," he said.

"I’ve tried to keep it true to their ethics.

"We’re both druids and members of the OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids)."

He explained that the coronavirus pandemic had had its ups and downs.

"My mother died two or three days after the first lockdown, it was a blow," he said.

"Covid did my swede in, but I was able to get out to cut staffs and wands.

"It was good to keep myself busy."

South Wales Argus:

Incense and dream catchers might make visitors assume that running such a store would be a relaxing way to spend the day.

However, Mr Evans said the opposite was in fact the case.

"I was hoping for a quiet life," he said.

"No such luck. I’ve been on 11-hour shifts."

He said that business had "gone through the roof".

"We're doing really well, but you can never pin it down," he said.

"One day it was pouring with rain and we took loads.

"The next it was sunny and we made about a tenner."

Another business which has been in the town for more than 100 years, although only a relatively short while in its current guise, is The Village Bakery.

Offering fresh-baked pastries, cakes and reporter-recommended bread, The Village Bakery opened shortly before the coronavirus pandemic plunged everything into uncertainty.

South Wales Argus:

The original bakery started in 1910 and there have been a number of owners since then.

Gareth Bevan, co-owner, said: "We dragged the venue from being a dirty old mess up to its current state.

"We have been working six days a week since to bring the community a quality bakery like most villages and small towns need.

"We love working in and being part of the Caerleon community due to, in the main, the beautiful people and families that live here.

"The majority of the community are warm welcoming and make you feel part of their lives.

"Running a small business in such a historic and green environment like Caerleon makes our team want to deliver the very best service and value for our customers."

Independent's Day will be on Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3 this year.