The Leader is continuing to put the spotlight on local independent traders, producers and high street heroes across the region.

If you know of or are a business that goes above and beyond, or has a great story to tell, we want to hear from you, and celebrate our local traders and producers. You can let us know via our Q&A here or email for more details.

DILLY BLUE, Llay, Wrexham

Sometimes a company makes something so beautiful, it doesn’t matter what it is, I want it.

And that is exactly how I feel about October’s first Trader of the Week, Dilly Blue.

Zoe Guest is the creative force behind the business. The wonderfully whimsical name comes from Dilly, a nickname Zoe and husband Alex gave to their youngest daughter – “her hair used to float around like a dandelion” – and Blue is her youngest son’s middle name.

Dilly Blue has been going for almost three years, and the couple’s children have been at the heart of things since the beginning.

Forty-year-old Zoe explains: “We make planet-friendly wooden toys for tiny humans that encourage free play.

“They enable children to create their games and help develop their imagination and creative skills.

“Our first design was made for our youngest son when he was non-verbal as a means to help him express himself and that led to the creation of Spectrum, and the start of Dilly Blue.

“We now design a range of educational toys that are available year-round (such as Numbers, Days of the Week) but we're probably best known for our limited edition releases focussed around 'hallmark' events such as Valentine's, Easter, Christmas, and our personal favourite, Halloween.

“We have customers from all over the world and we regularly sell to five of the seven continents from our humble little abode in Llay!”


Spooky Dilly Blue dolls ready for Halloween.

Spooky Dilly Blue dolls ready for Halloween.


Zoe, originally a nurse by trade, has always enjoyed artistic pursuits as a hobby. Initially painting the dolls for her own children, she found them in demand from friends and things “exploded” from there.

There is already so much for Zoe to be proud of but has a recent reason worth shouting about.

She said: “Definitely winning the Gold Award for Best Eco Toy Design at the Junior Design Awards this year!

“Colour me absolutely stunned! I can’t even form coherent words to describe how utterly thrilled and humbled I am.

“It was totally unexpected due to the level of competition from larger and longer-established businesses and we received wonderful, affirming feedback: one of the judges said: ‘Just absolutely love this and would buy! Such beautiful simple design that would look beautiful in any family home’.”

The award means a lot. Zoe takes the ‘green’ credentials of the business seriously.

She said: “Creating wooden toys with a low environmental impact is important to us, and everything from the materials we use to bring Dillys to life, to the packaging we send our Dillys out in, comes from sustainable or recycled sources.

“Dillys are hand-painted using low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) eco-friendly paints and sealed using a child-safe blend of plant-based waxes and plant oils to preserve the paint.

“We also plant a tree for every order to ensure we help replenish the wood used to create Dillys.”


Dilly Blue doll adventures.

Dilly Blue doll adventures.


And it’s such attention to every detail that sees Dilly Blue’s customers fall in love with the brand and feel a part of something.

Zoe adds: “Our customers are great, they often share the adventures and mishaps that the Dillys encounter!

“We've got a great Facebook and Instagram community who get involved with scavenger hunts and play along with the games that we create to help get kids excited about exploring the outdoors and learning about nature.”

If you want to be part of the Dilly Blue family, they currently have a much-sought after Halloween range, with their festive collection due soon.

What youngster wouldn’t be thrilled to meet a Dilly doll on Christmas morning and start their own adventures?

• For more details or to order, visit