Ex-servicewoman, Rosie Phelps, and her sister, Catherine Dodd, have received support from X-Forces for their innovative range of children’s’ cutlery. Doddl combines Rosie’s business acumen with Cat’s creativity and, after a two-year journey through research, design, manufacturing and crowdfunding, the strikingly different products will go on sale in a matter of weeks.
Rosie said “As a business leader, implementing plans for steady and sustainable growth is my speciality. Doddl is an exciting new venture and I am really enjoying working with my sister, Cat. We complement each other really well; Cat is the inventor and I supply the business know-how and together I think we make a strong team.
Sisters Cat Dodd (left) and Rosie Phelps (right), founders of Doddl
The products are the first of their kind, taking a new approach to the grip of a tiny hand, and give parents a solution to mealtime headaches. The sisters are used to overcoming challenges, indeed this is not the first pioneering move in Rosie’s career.
Rosie began her working life in the Royal Air Force, as an Intelligence Officer, and was the first female in an intelligence post on the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW), providing air intelligence support to Special Forces. Rosie said “The Armed Forces appealed to me as it offered adventure with combined physical and mental challenges, but overcoming the gender barrier was the greatest challenge, as females were not always welcomed by the frontline troops.”
Rosie served six years in the RAF, straight after graduating from University, and spent half of this on overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the end of her short-service commission, felt it was time for a new challenge. “I was offered the opportunity to extend to a permanent commission. However, working with JSFAW, I had been fortunate enough to do one of the best and most demanding roles in my branch.” said Rosie. “I felt that a mainstream intelligence post would not stretch me, so I decided it was the right time for a new challenge outside of the Armed Forces.”
Doddl has been supported by X-Forces, the official partner of the government’s Start Up Loan Company, guiding the sisters to access the crucial funds required to begin manufacturing the first batch of product. Rosie said “From the start, X-Forces showed a strong belief in me as an ex-service entrepreneur, and understood our drive and determination to succeed. The X-Forces advisors are very knowledgeable, their processes are very thorough and they take extra care in assessing whether your business is viable so they can lend responsibly. It is fantastic that this support is available to nurture the potential that comes out of the Armed Forces.”
CEO and Founder of X-Forces, Ren Kapur, said “These sisters are most impressive to me as a businesswoman and also as a mother of four. They’ve shown pragmatism and commitment in bringing this inspired product to market. Many ideas never get this far, and it’s testimony to the acute blend of focus and problem-solving skills we often see in the Armed Forces community.”
“It is fantastic to support this a family run business, and the many others set up by military families; it is an important value that strongly resonates with X-Forces and the Community as a whole.”
More Information about Doddl can be found on their website, http://www.doddl.com/