What to buy a man at Christmas dilemma solved by Hampshire businesswoman
PUBLISHED: 16:51 18 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:51 18 November 2014
What do you get for the man that has everything? Poppy Dent has come up with an ingenious solution to this Christmas gift dilemma
After just scraping through in her GCSE Art, Poppy Dent thought she would never go near a drawing board again - how wrong she was! It was during her career in the advertising industry that her passion for design was reignited and, after the arrival of her two children, she decided to marry that with her love of sport to come up with a creative concept.
Poppy and her sports-mad husband spent many years competing in everything from lacrosse to swimming, cricket and tennis, and in that time accumulated a huge amount of sporting paraphernalia, which ultimately made its way up to the attic. She continues: “When it came to my husband’s cricket bat from school, the line was drawn. He had so many fond memories that he didn’t want it to just disappear into the dark hole that was the attic. I, obviously, didn’t want it just cluttering up the house…it had to have a purpose. At the time our children needed a coat rack, so after much deliberation he agreed to let me put some hooks in it. The children loved it because it is ‘daddy’s bat’ and I loved it because it was serving a practical use.”
Since then Poppy’s designs have evolved over time, some taking a few hours and others taking months. She sources her materials from antique shops and auction houses as well as eBay and any other treasure troves she stumbles across, as she laughs, “It’s best not to invite me round for a cup of tea as I’ll find a way to rummage through your under-stairs cupboards; they’re age old storing spots for old racquets and bats.”
Working from her kitchen table, Wicket Ideas is a true cottage industry. While Poppy does much of the design work, she also collaborates with local craftsmen to help her produce a number of her items.
Due to the sporting theme running through her products, Poppy’s customers are usually men, or women looking for a gift for the man that has everything. She is continually developing her range and is always looking to broaden the sporting goods that she uses. She loves running her own business and comments: “I love that it gives me the opportunity to work around my children. Coming up with new designs and then spending hours trying to work out how on earth we are going to create it is great fun, but my main buzz is when I hear people saying ‘wow, that is brilliant…I have never seen anything like that before’.
You can buy Poppy’s products online at wicketideas.co.uk or she can be seen at a number of fairs throughout the year.
• Name: Poppy Dent
• Business name: Wicket Ideas
• Length of time in business: Two and a half years
• Number of employees: Just myself and four fantastic local craftsmen… and sometimes a few friends are drafted in during the busy season
• Ethos: Sporting equipment normally has too many memories just to be cast away… give it a new life and you will continue the memories
• Location: Kimpton, Hampshire
• Contact: 07971 846398
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