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Carol stays on the move at @MUD

Written by Mickey Mentz

Her idea was to take it easy. She felt it was time to take a step back from an extremely competitive textile industry.

She actually just wanted to have more time to enjoy some of the small things in life after she had built one of the most successful businesses Barrydale has ever seen, but instead Carol Morris finds herself knee-deep in MUD and busier than ever – MUD Gallery that is.

As the founder of Barrydale Hand Weavers – which today is the second largest employer in the town – Carol dedicated nearly two decades of her life to ensure that her brand becomes internationally recognised for its quality.

If she was not managing production at the factory, she was on the road marketing her unique product to both local and international clients.

It was an extremely rewarding experience, but after so many years of being one of the most industrious women in business, Carol was ready for a well-deserved break.

As fate would have it, she found the perfect couple to take over Barrydale Hand Weavers.

In 2019 she sold to Kate and Arran Bastable who have since introduced new energy to an already thriving business.

Carol would, however, through the MUD Gallery remain the official retail outlet for Barrydale Hand Weavers.

And while textiles remains at the core of her new business, it does not stop there. Within a short space of time she explored other avenues that would complement her industrious small business.

She reinvented her @MUD Coffee shop to cater for the increase in vegan customers while continuing to produce freshly baked sourdough bread and delightful treats like her famous carrot cake and home made pies on a daily basis.

“It is a complete change from what I’m used to, but I must say that I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience,” Carol said.

She also started selling unique locally produced items and, shortly after the first hard lockdown, MUD Pots & Plants was introduced into the mix.

In what can only be seen as the perfect fit, The Farm Deli followed Mojoe Coffee Roasters in making use of her serene setup to further their business ideals.

This latest addition the MUD Gallery proved to be a huge hit with visitors and local residents as fresh produce, a top notch breakfast or light lunch and some interesting gifts and treats can now be found in one place.

This latest venture has also become somewhat of a magnet for her friends.

“There are many rewarding facets to this new adventure like occasionally being able to stop and chat to friends over a cup of coffee, and I definitely have a bit more time on my hands than when I was running the weavery,” Carol said before rushing off to check on another order.

Judging by increase in customers and the speed at which stock flew off the shelves this festive season it is no secret that Carol deserves another break.

But with that said, we can safely assume that it might not be such a good idea as these breaks seem to end up in new businesses – businesses that arguably take more of her time than she ever imagined they would.

Carol and Fred doing in their happy place
In the mountains – her happy place

About the author

Mickey Mentz

From my Barrydale base, my goal is to tell the stories of people and places on the picturesque R62. Ek het oor die jare 'n cappuccino verslawing ontwikkel en my hond se naam is Bella.

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