My hubby Tim and I bought Knobbs Hardware in April 2011. Previously we wanted to match the original door knobs in our 1930s house and found a company online who by coincidence were based just a couple of miles away, quite something for rural West Wales. The owner, Robert, made us some doorknobs and we stayed in touch.
Several years later Robert told us he was going to retire in 6 months time and asked if we wanted to buy the business. Neither of us had turned door knobs before or run our own business. Tim is a marine engineer in the Merchant Navy and I was working as a receptionist. We jumped at the chance though and on my days off I learned the art of woodturning with Robert while Tim designed and built the workshop with a builder.
All the tools, machinery and equipment was brought down to our new workshop and we were up and running a couple of days later. We inherited some trade customers and had the website rebuilt to attract more private customers. Our work nowadays is about 50% trade and 50% private and we've tried to keep things as Robert did them as he'd perfected his craft over many years.
Nowadays we specialise in replica work, making a lot of doorknobs that aren't easily available to buy as well as our own designs and old favourites. We pride ourselves on our high-end finish and excellent customer service and have had many customers come back to us several times over the years. It's quite a niche product but we have built up a great reputation and our trade customers know they can rely on us to produce something different and unusual as well as some regular styles.
All our door and cupboard knobs are turned in sustainably sourced hardwood and as there's hardly any waste our work is completely environmentally sound. We use water-based stains and lacquers and virtually no chemicals at all. Back in 2013, we were commissioned to make some door knobs for an architect and the house they were made for won the Grand Designs House of the Year competition.
We completed an order for a customer who happened to be ordering on behalf of the department store John Lewis. They ordered the Oak Feet door knobs to act as feet for a piece of furniture they will use in a window display.