Hi, I am Liz Cooke the founder of Chester & Cooke, along with My Jack Russel Chester. It was on one of my country walks back in 2017 that my business idea went full steam through my mind. Every day I use a boot jack that Simon (my husband) made me, many years ago to prize my beloved wellies from my feet. Thinking about that Boot Jack, I decided there and then that I wanted to design and make beautiful country related products that are practical and solve a problem, but which would be treasured personal items, I wanted them to be the top-notch quality and just shout I am British.
Go back a few years to late 2015 I had to give up my job in finance to look after Simon, while he was on dialysis, unfortunately his kidneys failed due to having Polycystic Kidney Disease. I stepped in and helped run the family Pattern Making business based in Cambridgeshire.
We always said that it would be great to make our own products, but it never really went any further. Working at the business then gave me more knowledge and understanding of our capabilities.
That is where my design journey began, very slowly to start with, until thanks to his sister, Linda, and a paired scheme Simon received a kidney transplant in May 2018. This was a massive life change for us. Once life settled down again, I soon found I had more time to work on designs & think about branding and websites etc, It was a huge learning curve, having never worked in retail, design or marketing & back then I wasn’t even on social media so didn’t have much of a clue. In fact, I look back at how far I have come and feel pretty proud of myself.
It started with the Boot Jack which now has 15 different options of engraving, next came the welly racks which can be personalised, and my range extended to Dog beds and gardening products, Such as our very popular seed box. Then in 2020 I also started on equestrian products. We now ship worldwide mainly into Europe but as far as Australia, Canada and the US. Yet our products are still made by us in our workshop in Cambridgeshire. That is how I want it to stay.
I’m always looking for ways to improve and move forward. I really love engaging with our customers and keen to keep the friendly personal touch which really embodies great customer service – Something I really strive for.
The ethos of Chester & Cooke is really rooted in the countryside, having such a love & passion for Dogs, Horses & Gardening looking after our environment is something very close to my heart and always at the forefront of my mind. I try to analyse every stage of our processes to ensure we are being as Green and eco-friendly as we can be.
I am really excited about our future, new opportunities always seem to turn up unexpectedly, but my goals definitely include extending our product range especially our equestrian products. So, I hope you will love our products as much as I love designing and making them.
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