At home: Springtime and startups

Authentic House is nearly two months old! It's been great fun getting started and thanks to all who have followed and subscribed so far. We've got lots of new ideas for the months to come.

One thing I'd like to do a lot more of is share with you the process of starting up the directory, more on different aspects of life in South Wales and a little on me, Alice - as I'm telling you about all the experts I meet, it's only fair you know who your writer is.

I'll start with this little token I received from Yasmin, founder of The Wonders Of... at her launch event this month.

And that's exactly it. I moved back to Cardiff in January and since then have met so many entrepreneurs out creating something new. I'm now lucky enough to be based at Natwest's Accelerator in One Central Square, Cardiff.

Pop by for a visit. Here's the view:

These are just a few of the amazing people I've met:

- Cardiff Meditation - Mode Pour Sept - Nao Hoa - Dog Furiendly - Proud Pads -

While it can feel as though every new idea out there has already been done, it's not true. Zeitgeist as a concept means 'spirit of the age'. There are ideas that are on the tip of people's tongues, all it takes is to realise one and start.

An example is Ripple by Sophie Rae. She couldn't find a zero-waste shop in Cardiff. Now she's out founding one of her own.

That's not to say it can't be stressful. In fact, it really can be. Authentic House in its first two months has been a series of little experiments with the failures and successes that go with that.

My aim is to help people locally create homes that are better to live in, better for the community and good for the environment. There are thousands of ways that can be done, but it's important to me to create a website that you enjoy visiting - something that you can read and relax into like a magazine, but also learn something that you can act on one day.

I am learning myself and getting immersed in the stories of the people I interview, local events and community projects. The first businesses featured here are special to me because, not only are they all sustainable, ethical and trying out brave new ideas, they also were kind enough to invest some time with Authentic House early on and help a new initiative grow.

Meanwhile in the wider Cardiff, because I want to talk more about that too:

The RHS Flower Show was on at Bute Park. I went on the last day with my mum and my sister. Here we are looking very happy with all our loot and flower arrangements taught to us by Floral Innovations. The secret I learned is to be there in the last hour, where you can get all kinds of fantastic plants and bouquets for as little as a pound or for nothing at all.

I spent a morning picking salad leaves with the Cardiff Salad Garden. They're a social enterprise growing salad in Bute Park for local restaurants. They had more salad than restaurants this week so I got to take a bag home and we exchanged another for a coffee at the Secret Garden Cafe who supports. More on this to come.

Dyffryn... My favourite garden in Wales. I was back here with the family after a break of seven years. The restoration has come on far in the big house, where my sister and I got creative making traditional perfumes. A peek though through doorways and at snapshots hanging from door handles shows that there's a lot left to go. The lady at the house told us she has never been up to the top floor. This led to some spooky thoughts of Sarah Water's The Little Stranger.

Last but not least, you may have seen our new Authentic House logo by local creative Hannah Garcia from Blod Design. She's done a brilliant job.

I hope you enjoyed the first weekly blog in my 'At home' series. The idea is simply to speak as myself and give you a better idea of what's going on behind Authentic House each week.

It would be great to hear your feedback so please leave a comment or send me a message on social media. Have a lovely weekend wherever it takes you.