Betty & Dodge are our childhood nicknames, and between us we make hand-engraved and painted English oak gifts and wedding favours in our workshop in Kent. ‘Dodge’ is a carpenter/joiner and he buys timber ‘in the round’ (whole trees) so we work with it from start to finish. We always used to have leftover bits of oak cluttering up his workshop (although these days there is much less).
Our ‘cottage industry’ came about by accident when I decided I wanted to be creative and make ‘Save the Date’s for our wedding. Everyone loved them, so we made keyrings engraved with everyone’s names as place names that doubled as wedding favours. Six years later and we still see our friends and family using theirs, and our keyrings remain our most popular product.
Betty & Dodge is the dream, I spent five years working full-time and juggling Betty & Dodge around my job and my family which meant a lot of late nights. This year it all changed and what started out as a hobby has become a full-time business – which will mean less time working away from home and more family time. I’m driven by the fantastic feedback we receive from our customers and a belief that buying handmade products made in the UK is the way forward.
We make a range of products all using English-grown oak, and each one is handmade to order by us. This ensures that every product is different – no piece of oak is the same. I prefer to use pieces with a bit of character! From Dog's Lead Hooks to Keyrings, Christmas Bunting, Signs, Doorstops, Magic Santa Keys and Children’s Hooks – there’s something for everyone.
Dodge's website is www.kilbytimber.co.uk - so you can see where the oak comes from - we really do start off with big round timber!