In my blog series Wales : In their own words I am introducing readers to the people behind the businesses I have got to know and love in my travels around Wales. A huge thank you to Lynda of No 10 Dulas who kindly gave up her time, whilst installing her wildlife cameras, to answer a few questions.
What does your business do? We have a 2 bed holiday cottage in Hay on Wye and a Certified Location Caravan and Motorhome Site close by.
What prompted you to start your business? Sadly we had some tenants who caused a lot of damage to the cottage, so we had to carry out extensive repairs which we did and felt using it as a holiday let would help repay some of the money spent quicker, also I had always had an incline to try the hospitality industry. The campsite had been run by my father for 20+ years but due to my mother's ill health he closed it so we reopened it two years ago when the grass let tenant on the field gave their notice to leave.
What is your most popular product? As we have 2 bedrooms but can sleep 3, we tend to attract either couples or two friends traveling, several of our guests are now regulars and use the cottage as a girlie catch up several times a year.
What is your personal favourite? We love all our guests as long as they treat our cottage with respect and are polite and plesant to the neighbours which to date they have all been perfect.
Where are you based? Hay on Wye, which is in Powys, Wales and within the Brecon Beacons National Park but right on the border with Herefordshire, England so a real border town.
How long have you been in business? Since January 2018 – 2+ years.
What are your hours? All hours.
What is your favourite part of the day? First thing in the morning, although I do miss having to take a dog for a walk.
What is the easiest/most fun part of your business? Meeting our guests especially as they are about to leave and have had a great time and either don’t want to leave or definitely coming back.
What is the hardest part of your business? At the moment nothing springs to mind yes we are very fussy about our cleaning and I am not get lover of cleaning but I have a great team working with me which makes the task a lot more fun.
Where do you live? We recently moved so now live 300 yards up the road from the cottage.
How do you relax? Sitting watching the birds at our bird feeders, relaxing with friends over a lovely meal, or a walk or bike ride.
If you weren’t doing this what would you do? Retired! We do have another business which is helping small and medium business with their payroll, book keeping and management accounts but I am slowly trying to ween myself away from it, not quite there yet but hopefully not far.
Is this the career you thought you would have? No, although I had thought I would enjoy doing it for many year so when the opportunity arose it would have been silly to say no.
What have you learnt most since starting your business? I have learnt about my home town and the area surrounding, having become a Brecon Beacons Ambassador I have learnt what there is to offer or suggest to guests coming to stay which I have loved doing and continue to learn more and more about the area. And also meeting other like minded hosts learning a bit about the type of guests we may meet and what they may be looking for or in some cases picking up on what they don’t know but perhaps should know to make the most of their holiday in No 10 Dulas.
Where did you grow up? Hay on Wye.
Where else have you lived? Various part of London & Malibu, California.
What is your favourite meal? Chicken, Bacon and Avocado salad with fries.
Are you a Welsh speaker? Not really I learnt it as a child in junior school recently I joined a Welsh course but sadly had to leave after the first course as the timings just did not work so now trying to learn bits online but I am not very disciplined.
Would you ever leave Wales? Much to our deep regret we moved in December 2019 and now live 300 yards from the Welsh border so now really live in Herefordshire but we and most people around regard the area we live in as still being in Hay which is definitely in Powys and Wales and our official address says we are in Hay on Wye so it must be right …
What makes Wales so special? It is my home, my family are all here, the Welsh are friendly chatty wonderful people many with incredible voices, although some may say we are bit too chatty at times as well as talking way too fast. Wales also has amazing mountains and rivers and general landscape. On top of this Wales inspires and attracts lots of great entrepreneurs with great ideas, whacky ideas, fascinating idea that inspire, lead you astray or just give you the reason to get up and go.
Do you do online sales? Our bookings are via our website or Facebook page but we also advertise with Online travel agents (OTAs) but they charge a fee so are more expensive than booking with us direct.
Do you attend events? Yes events organised for Brecon Beacon Ambassadors which introduces us to other parts of the park or other types of businesses and what they are offering visitors to the area.
How have you adapted your business during this pandemic? We have had to close and either refunded guests or we have been able to offer guests a later date in the year or next year so no income for the next few months, several guest who are returners are hanging on to the last minute incase the lock down is stopped but I think we are in lock down for quite a bit longer.
What are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over? Being able to hug people & properly engage when you see them, not standing 2 meters away and having to shout to make yourself heard.
Who inspires you? Too many people to name one, all for very different reasons, some because they are generous kind loving people, some because they have made an interesting life for themselves some, because they have great business acumen, some because they are creative but most importantly they need to be kind, polite and straight with those around them or they are off the list immediately.
What is your favourite telly programme? Struggling at the moment, nothing really grabs me we tend to only watch between 9.00pm-10.30pm so our choice is limited to what is on at 9.00pm we do record other things at different time when we see them advertise but we quite often don’t actually getting around to watching them.
Anything else you would like to say? This is your opportunity to shout about yourself! We think No 10 Dulas is special and now aspire to find somewhere for our holidays as cosy, clean and so ideally situated, close to pubs and restaurants but away from the hustle and bustle of the town with a quiet secluded garden to sit in and with on-site parking which in Hay is at a premium. We are more often than not praised the cleanliness of the cottage, we ensure it is redeceorated every January to freshen it up to ensure it is not allowed to get shabby. We have several guests who come several times a year which is lovely to have regulars who love our cottage and happy to tell the world.