Wales in their own words : Welsh Vernacular Antiques by Yvonne and Jon
I caught up remotely with Yvonne and Jon of Welsh Vernacular Antiques in beautiful Ceredigion to hear all about their life and business.
Welsh Vernacular Antiques is a long established independent family business run by husband and wife Jonathon and Yvonne Holder. Located in the beautiful coastal hills of Ceredigion, West Wales, they hold the country's largest stock of Welsh Antiques and quality Country furniture.
Yvonne is also the presenter of the television series Trysorau’r Teulu a Welsh language programme on S4C/Channel 4 about antiques and vintage items.
"We are passionate about what we do and always wish to provide our customers with as honest and detailed description of our items as possible, helping them to make a well informed decision on each special purchase. We are always happy to provide additional photos or measurements and expert advice."
We are happy to offer a professional and friendly delivery service with our local independent courier with all items if required (price may be dependent upon location).
Every item we sell is treated to prevent against insect attack upon arrival to ourselves as a matter of professional practice. This way you can be assured that every piece will be safe for your home and give peace of mind. All our furniture is professionally finished to the very highest standard using only the highest quality Welsh manufactured furniture products ensuring they continue to give long and serviceable life and look their very best.
We specialise in all things Welsh and antique; that is we deal in all the items you might expect to find in a Welsh cottage or Farmhouse should you have been around between 100 and 300 years ago. Things like Furniture, seating, pottery, ironwork, blankets and quilts and domestic utensils which are most often made of wood and commonly referred to as treen. Our most popular items are storage furniture and seating. These sell to all types of homes from Suburban semi-detached houses to ultra modern Apartments and Manor Houses. The beauty of Welsh Antiques is that with just a little thought they can work perfectly in any home.
Practical furniture is always in demand and the quality and durability of traditional country made antique furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries is unsurpassed by modern equivalents.
Our personal favourites are items of primitive furniture such as Welsh Stick Chairs and simple Cricket Tables. We are also suckers for a Welsh Love Spoon. Our passion for Welsh antiques has always ran deep and our home is brimming with some of the most wonderful examples and pieces that we have a personal connection to.
Our business is based in a former Welsh Chapel Vestry on the main road in Cross Inn near Nebo in Ceredigion. We are just 4 miles from the beautiful harbour town of Aberaeron, around an hour and a quarter from Brecon, 15 minutes from Aberystwyth and 45 minutes from Carmarthen. We are very easy to get to and there are some wonderful places to eat and stay nearby (there most certainly are!).
We are open by appointment at any time as we do not live on the premises and we are often out on private house calls buying new stock or on deliveries to our customers.
We have been in the antiques business for 22 years and have specialised in Welsh Antiques for the past 18 years. We both have a deep rooted passion for antiques and as teenagers we would go to auctions and antiques fairs on our dates and would spend our money earned in our Saturday jobs so our interest started long before we started dealing.
We typically work a 90 hour week. Starting to around 8am and finishing between 10 and 11pm and work every day. It can be hard work but being self employed means that you will only get out what you put in and we love what we do.
The most enjoyable part for us is and always has been the buying. It can be truly exciting looking for that one rare or important piece and we still get the same rush from a great find that we always have.
We are very fortunate, as a result of my TV work and being a local first language Welsh girl we get invited to do a lot of house calls. We get to meet some of the most wonderful and interesting people this way and it is always so rewarding knowing that the purchases you have made will be of help to them be it making some much needed room or raising some funds.
The hardest part physically is the restoring and lifting and carrying, this can be quite heavy and demanding work but it is all part and parcel of what we do. Some of the early Welsh oak furniture can weigh in excess of 150kgs which is quite a lift for the two of us.
The hardest part in other ways can be actually selling some of the rare and beautiful pieces we are fortunate enough to buy, occasionally items can resonate with you so much that it is hard to let them go as you know you will likely never see another. It makes things so much easier to know that they will be going to a loving and appreciative home.
We live in a beautiful traditional Welsh stone and slate cottage in the Village of Mydroilyn in Ceredigion, just a stone’s throw from New Quay and the surrounding beaches. We have two boys aged 8 and 12 and a huge fluffy Norwegian Forest cat called Seren.
We are very fortunate in that our job is also our passion. Relaxing takes the form of a day out browsing for antiques with lunch or evening meal at a village pub or the occasional afternoon fishing.
Jon is a master Harp Maker by trade and a superb craftsman, he left harp making 11 years ago when our business became so busy that he could join me full time in running it.
We didn’t set out to have careers in the antiques trade but looking back it was inevitable that with our passion and understanding of the subject that it would always happen. The advent of the internet for selling is what really made it a reality for us. We have had a prominent online presence since 2004. This allowed us to bring our business into the homes of people all over the world and allowed us to make a success business from a comparatively remote location. As a result we fast became the go to company for people wanting to purchase Welsh Antiques.
Regularly contributing to magazine articles and Television has meant that we remain firmly on people’s radars.
Yvonne is an Aberaeron girl born and bred and knows everyone (she does! She really does!!).
When we met I was 15 and Jon was 16, we moved into our cottage together at the age of 18 and bought it when we were 22, our friends thought we were mad to buy at such a young age but we could see the market starting to rise and were very glad that we were brave enough to take the plunge. By the time we were 34 we were mortgage free.
We are both Welsh speakers, Yvonne is first language Welsh and Jon has learnt the language.