People’s Champion finalist 2018: Phelps Innovations

It's the parent company behind Doddl; ergonomic cutlery that’s helping children in more than 30 countries learn a key motor skill. Does it get your vote for People’s Champion?

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Start-up name: Phelps Innovations (t/a Doddl)
Founders: Catherine Dodd and Rosie Phelps-Goggin
Started in: March 2016
Based in: Gloucestershire
Business description: Ergonomic children’s cutlery

Shortlisted categories:

Export Business of the Year, Family Business of the Year, and The Start Up Loans Company Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year

The Phelps Innovations story:

Phelps Innovations is the company behind Doddl, the innovative children’s cutlery brand founded by Catherine Dodd and Rosie Phelps-Goggin.

With schools reporting that a worrying number of children can’t use cutlery properly to feed themselves, the sisters saw a gap in the market for “a cutlery revolution!”

Their research showed that as toddlers had become more independent and want to feed themselves, they often become frustrated with long-handled cutlery and would resort to using fingers.

The Doddl knife, fork and spoon are perfectly shaped for a child’s hand and promote development of the ‘pincer’ grip: a key fine motor skill. This design improves control and coordination whilst developing skills and confidence.

After 40 prototypes and 18 months of research and testing with child development specialists, Doddl’s sales took off in mid-2017 multiplying turnover ten-fold in just two months.

It’s now regarded as the UK’s number one baby-led cutlery brand by parenting bloggers and influencers and has picked up a number of industry and innovation awards. It’s also endorsed by child healthcare experts including NHS occupational therapists, nutritionists and child development specialists.

Doddl now has a new product development programme in conjunction with the University of Gloucestershire and 2019 will see the introduction of three new product lines. Beyond that, the brand will explore products based around mealtimes and feeding at an advanced stage of development.

Why Phelps Innovations made our shortlist:

These sisters are solving a longstanding problem with ingenuity and, as well as making mealtimes more enjoyable for the whole family, are helping children learn a vital motor skill and eat independently in more than 30 countries around the world. We can’t wait to see what exciting new product lines they have in store…

Where to find out more about Phelps Innovations:

Twitter: @doddlcutlery

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