We have a passion for creating beauty in everyday objects. Perfectly proportioned (ie. larger and chunkier than what is available elsewhere) practical home accessories that enrich our lives. With a personalised engraving we turn the simplest designs into something truly special.
Only perfect is good enough because every single day we are making that special piece that is going to be a family heirloom or a present for somebody's very special occasion. Everything therefore has to be just right for you. If you are not sure, contact us to discuss your requirements. We can always give you a preview of your bespoke order before you commit.
We enjoy a challenge, whether it is a large corporate order or a particularly short delivery time, we will do everything we can to provide the perfect solution for you.
Our team of talented and experienced craftsmen are keeping traditional skills alive (like hand engraving) combining these with contemporary designs made for modern day living and made to last a lifetime.
Everything has lead to this…
Over the last 4 years I have often thought how amazing it is that The Oak and Rope Company has come to be… but then everything that has happened before in my life feels like a preparation for what Caroline & I are doing today…
That is from the Summery afternoon in Norway when my Grandfather showed me (age 9) how to tie knots and spleise rope, just because he had a piece of rope in his pocket too short to be useful for anything else. This was going on whilst my parents were building our house (entirely normal where I come from). They were busy and I was given pretty much free rains with a box of nails and wooden offcuts. Apparently I built a full size bed around that time, but there is no photographic evidence, this being some time before the iPhone and bragging parents on Facebook.
When I grew up I wanted to be a carpenter, but woodworking wasn’t recommended by the career advisor, despite the number of tree houses in my portfolio. I ended up studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics instead, first in Oslo, then in London, which explains how I got to live here.
Years of number crunching, looking at internal efficiencies and developing web tools in UBS Investment Bank further prepared me for the stage we are at in the business now. But, none of this would have actually happened if my husband and I had not decided to leave the City behind and settle on our farm in Kent. Or if my mother-in-law had not decided that I should be the one to inherit father-in-laws fully equipped woodworking shop.
I started to play around with little querky designs, met Caroline who said I bet this will sell well… and she was right!
So with a bit of Oak and a bit of Rope and more ideas than we can ever execute, we are bucking the trends of economic down turn… and it is all meant to be…
When Oak & Rope was born, we set up in the farm workshop at my home in Elham. It is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, by a house we rebuilt ourselves, my husband was busy establishing the garden, young children running around in bare feet, Caroline & I discussing ideas and drinking coffee in the kitchen. You get the picture.
Before long the workshop was filled with our team of local crafts men/women, delivery vans coming and going, and eventually my husband had enough of me living at work. We (the business that is) had to move.
There were tears and tantrums. I could not see how Oak & Rope could exist anywhere else. The beauty of our surroundings and the family atmosphere could not be found anywhere else. To me these things are essential for the way we design and make our products, and for the choices we make for the business going forward.
I simply do not believe that people working in unit 5c at some industrial estate can make the things we do, with the love, care and attention that the whole team feels for what we deliver to our customers.
We know that every single hand carved oak piece we make potentially becomes somebody’s heirloom. It is THAT special present for THE big day. A lot of thought goes into giving someone a present from The Oak and Rope Company, and we have to make sure it is perfect in every way. You can not get into that mindset if you are next to a ‘unit’ selling plumbing supplies (convenient as it may be).
So luckily (for my marriage) and by complete fluke, we came across The Joinery at Lenhall Farm in Bishopsbourne. A collection of beautiful buildings surrounded by hop fields, horses and a proper ha-ha. We most certainly landed on our feet. The fact that it is also equal distance from Caroline and me, on the school run, close to Bridge Farmers Market and Mama Feelgood coffee shop, was a bonus.
Being where we are, makes us who we are… It helps us to be the very best at what we do!
Love what you do and do what you love, and it will enthuse your staff and inspire your customers.
A lot of hard work comes into it also of course:
"There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going!"