What started out as a mission to find Christmas gifts from sources other than the big names of the high street, has ended up in becoming a business all of its own, showcasing the creative talents across Wales.

As Mike Gwynne's wife was shopping for the festive season, he became aware that she was buying more and more from local traders, finding many via their Facebook pages.

He said: "The demand for local, handmade items from independent sellers has never been higher, but after seeing my wife struggling to find a suitable platform that placed all of these sellers in one place, the idea for Made in Cymru was born."

In early January, the marketing manager started sourcing creative sellers from North Wales, and it got such positive feedback, he pushed ahead to expand his search and include independent producers from across the whole of Wales.

Made in Cymru launched on February 1 this year, with about 113 products from 15 sellers. They now has more than 250 sellers, including a recent Leader Trader of the Week, Rosewood Crafts, in Rhes-y-cae.

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Mike, based in Llandudno Junction, in Conwy, is seeing a growing demand for more locally produced goods and handmade gifts, with the pandemic seeing many veer away from the "fat cat" brands.

He said: "There's an appetite for it as a result of the pandemic, and it will only continue to grow."

And he practices what he preaches, having bought plenty of items himself through the Made in Cymru site, with a particular soft spot for anything with the Welsh dragon on it.

The innovative new online marketplace, designed to give independent Welsh businesses the chance to showcase their products to a wider audience, also gives shoppers the chance to search for goods and traders in their own counties, further helping the message to 'support local'.

Sellers also have the opportunity to offer discounts for local collection, and with nine categories to choose from: art and collectibles; clothing and shoes; food and drink; flowers; health and beauty; home and living; jewellery and accessories; toys and entertainment; wedding and party, there's bound to be the perfect gift you're looking for.

Each store is giving its own unique URL, allowing them to actively promote their own products and send customers directly to the website. All payments are made through Shopify's secure, SSL-encrypted platform, giving retailers and consumers complete peace of mind that the purchase is safe and protected.

Mike's passion for all things Wales doesn't end with his website. We briefly talk about the changes at Wrexham AFC, and how the takeover from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has put Wales, especially North Wales, on the map.

He was most enthusiastic about the pairing's most recent video with Welsh translator Maxine Hughes, adding "it was so good for the Welsh language, it's got it around the world".

With Made in Cymru, supporting local and independent just got a whole lot easier, as the decision to help our communities can be no more effort than the click of a button from your sofa.

• To find out more about Made in Cymru, or to sign your independent business up to the platform, visit https://www.madeincymru.com.