A WOMAN has turned the hobby that changed her life into an award-winning business

Leah Kelly, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Cwmbran, has made it to the final of the Best of Welsh Business Awards with her crocheting business, Malfie and Cro. 

Mrs Kelly, who originally took up crochet at 18 as a way to help her cope with her chronic pain condition, founded the company in 2021. 

She has continued to use the craft as a way to manage her pain since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia at just 22 years old. 

All her toys are UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) tested and certified, which means they are suitable for all ages. 

South Wales Argus: Leah Kelly has reached the final of the Best of Welsh Business Awards Arts and Creative Category

The business, named after her beloved dog and as a combination with her new-found passion, has now been nominated for the Best of Welsh Business Awards in the Arts and Creative category, and also for the Business Professional 2024 award.

Mrs Kelly says reaching the final of the Best of Welsh Business Awards means so much to her, particularly as it is a vote-based award, which means she had to have been nominated by a member of the public. 

She said: "It is an honour to be up for the Arts and Creative award, and also the Business Professional award.

"To even make the final means so much to me. I’m really looking forward to celebrating small businesses at the event."

The prestigious award marks a very successful year or so for Malfie and Cro, after Mrs Kelly also reached the final of the National Young Trader Awards in August 2023. 

Other significant achievements include Young Business Person of the Year 2023 at the Torfaen and Monmouthshire Business Awards and being highly commended at the Swansea Young Trader Regionals. 

The final of the Best of Welsh Business Awards is being held in Cardiff at the New House Hotel on Sunday, March 17.