Welcome to Betsy Benn - A design for every story. We specialise in personalised prints, typographic and unique gifts, creatively clever greetings cards, heavenly home-wares and present perfection. Lovingly designed and created by Betsy Benn at her Cheltenham Spa studio in the Cotswolds since 2009.
Like all good stories, we begin at the beginning and hopefully never end
Once upon a time, there was a little girl born in the east end of London long before Albert Square even existed. She lived with her family and their disappearing rabbits and did the things little girls like to do. She was, amongst many imaginary things, a ballerina, an astronaut, an explorer of jungles and arctic wastelands, an ice dancer, a marshmallow cloud designer, a successful novelist and very fond of her mother's crumble and custard.
She had exciting adventures on routemaster buses and underground trains, in museums and galleries, in parks and monuments and lived her life in London taking advantage of our capital city with all of its magic and mystery on her doorstep. She also loved signs, and London is full of beautiful signs pointing you this way and that to new destinations and adventures.
As she got older she continued to draw, doodle and design, studying art and history and people in London and Pearl Jam and Nirvana in Camden, all the while realising that art would most definitely one day be her career and passion, but Eddie Vedder would probably never be her husband.
After being distracted for a while by book reading, academia and degrees, then a successful career in events management she found herself with an interesting conundrum as her family grew. To do the sane and sensible, or have a go at doing what she already knew she loved and was rather good at. All of those lovely things she made and designed for her friends and family might just grow wings and find another way out to the world and use her designs for the benefit of mankind and potentially save the universe*.
So Betsy set up a virtual shop selling her very real designs over the interweb. The very lovely Bodie and Fou were quick to begin selling her designs while lots of lovely little boutiques in Cheltenham Spa and around our fair isle did likewise. She was invited to join the marvellous www.notonthehighstreet.com where she soon became rather popular with their customers and in her second year of trading won the prestigious Make Award for Best Customer Service and was a finalist for product of the year.
The very next year she was awarded the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 award and this time it was judged by business people like herself, people who write for magazines and rather scarily a person who used to work in a dragons den. Her little one, upon hearing of the prestigious accolade was heard to proclaim, "I can't believe my mum is Emperor of the year." She then jolly well went and won the Personalised Product of the Year in 2013, the very next year and was awarded the honour of being named Business of the Year by the Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards.
And with the help of all of these lovely people came the chance for her products to be featured all over the world in magazines and blogs. The Independent, The Guardian, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Junior, Living etc. The list goes on and on and on and keeps on growing.
Most importantly, Betsy realised that the very best way to be successful was to really love what she sold and try and make sure her customers did to. She believed that everything that left her home was to be of exactly the same high quality as those things she had made for herself. You can't make people like things, but you can at least try very, very hard. She told me she'd done the calculations and for every corner cut in trying to do things cheaper and not so nicely, a biscuit crumbles in the middle of dunking, and she doesn't want that kind of catastrophe on her mind.
Betsy Benn as a company has grown from being just Betsy and occasionally her family and friends, to employing another three full time Betsy's, as well as five (or is it 6) other virtual Betsy's who become full time Betsy's at busy periods. Not to mention the many local suppliers and trades who help out and benefit from a successful growing local business.
So we come to the end of the story - which isn't really the end as it's really just the beginning in the grand scheme of things. You'll find all sorts of information about Betsy and how she does what she does and how best to speak or write to her here on her web site. If you get a minute, stop by and take a look and maybe you'll like something enough to want to buy it for yourself or someone you love, someone you like, or, someone you just have to buy a present for.
* That bit may be slightly ambitious as we aren't sure whether the universe is in peril and if it is, whether typographic art is really the medium to stop the ever increasing expansion of dark matter. But, you never know.