Despite its relatively small stall space, it’s hard to walk by The Cuckoo’s Nest (Nyth y Gwcw) without at least shooting a passing glance in its direction. Situated close to the Maes main stage, the tranquil blue of its branded flag and cuckoo makes for an extremely attractive welcome to a stall that lives up to the connotations of its name.
This welcome extends to its half-owner, Lisa, who was more than happy to have a chat with me after I decided that her business would be a perfect candidate for the Llais Y Mais Stall of the Day. Jointly run with business partner Diana, Lisa herself is from Llandeilo and clearly takes pride in the variety that her store offers its customers. From signs and cards, to posters and “Drink Charms” (quirky items that you can attach to your drink so nobody can ever use the I didn’t know it was yours excuse again), The Cuckoo’s Nest is a browsers’ dream.
Although Lisa has been to the National Eisteddfod before, this is the first time that her and Diana have attended as a business and the decision seems to be paying off. “Trade is picking up every day” Lisa explains, and this isn’t a surprising trend given the stall’s location just in front of the food court, where hungry revellers can’t resist some brief retail therapy before lunch.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the “Cuckoo’s Nest” branding, Lisa recalled that her and Diana believed that the name gave the business a “homey” feel, in keeping with the quaint gifts that they specialise in selling. “Home” seems to be a philosophy that’s stitched into the fabric of the business – there’s no department store sections here, and this simply adds to the impression that you’re walking into a life-size treasure box.
Lisa’s favourite item in their entire range are prints by local artist Helen Elliot, and I can’t disagree. Their unique and colourful style is both charming and impressive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were a “Cuckoo’s Nest” best seller. They certainly fulfil the three values that Lisa summarised her business with (quirky, unusual, and gifts), as does almost everything, and it goes without saying that there’s no reason to be stuck for a birthday present ever again.
Thanks to Lisa for taking the time to chat – if you can’t make it to the Llandeilo store or the Maes stall this week, then you can check out their website at www. cuckoosnestgifts.co.uk.