This blogger hails from England, and while there are many Australian words that I’ve willingly adopted, there are some English ones I just can’t let go of. Sorry, they’re flip flops, and gumboots? Nope, definitely Wellies. I’m digressing though because the Welly of Welly’s Wonders is Llewellyn. Not English at all, but Welsh, and the name of Demelza & Adam’s son.
Welly’s Wonders was established only two years ago because Demelza wanted something for her son that wasn’t on the market. In a world of strong graphics and catchphrases, she wanted something for boys that was gentle and story-based. Luckily Adam could draw (literally) on his 20 years animating for Disney and he created a series of illustrated characters that have captured the imagination of many.
Jenkins the Hare and his friends are characters based on stories Demelza’s father told her from his own childhood in Wales. Her idea was originally to publish a book, but it took so long to put together that a range of clothing and prints were produced in the meantime.
Now with a second book being illustrated (and at least two more in planning), the Welly’s range includes greetings cards, prints, T-Shirts, onesies, bibs & blankets and is gathering worldwide interest. Demelza now has a licensing company on board and is aiming to break into the highly competitive UK market later this year.
Demelza puts this popularity down to the universal and approachable characters, which have a unique style. The company has grown so fast that she is having to take advice from her father: “You’ve got the tiger by the tail and now you just need to hold on”.
They are particularly popular in Canberra, from where Demelza originated (they now live just north of Wollongong) and from where their business was launched at, among others, the Handmade Market. Coming back to the market always feels like a holiday, as there is very little time off these days. Demelza and Adam take the opportunity to try Canberra’s restaurants while Welly stays with his Nana, and they love catching up with Handmade’s designers.
Sharing the Handmade love, Demelza has high praise for jeweller Ahoy Birdy, run by her neighbour, Meg. (Demelza encouraged her to attend the markets once she’d seen the beautiful product.) Continuing the jewellery theme, she also admires Naomi at Appleye Designs and clothing from Josephene by Jo Lucchesi.
And with this much love to share, there’s no chance Welly’s Wonders will be getting too big for their own boots. See what I did there?!