In 1990 with the help of my wife Emma, we set up Northfield Property Solutions, a small building company undertaking general building work and renovations. A successful few years followed and in 1995, Northfield became a limited company. It was in 2010, whilst painting & decorating the outside of a house using a small ‘A’ frame ladder, that the ladder gave way as I over- stretched and I found myself flat on my back on the floor. Although not seriously injured, it became immediately apparent to both Emma and myself that this potentially life changing accident could have been prevented.
As the proprietors of a reputable and successful building, painting & decorating company, personal injury would have had catastrophic consequences for us. A solution was needed to prevent this type of incident happening again and we needed to find a way to balance safely with one hand on the ladder whilst still being able to hold a paint kettle with the other. After searching in several merchants, DIY chains and on the internet, it soon became apparent that such a tool for painters and decorators was not available.
It was while playing with a Frisbee one sunny Summer day in the garden with our daughters that the idea of using a similar material for a paint holder and carrier started to evolve and so the Betsy Paint Mate was born.
The material was both strong and flexible and, when folded in half, the shape and stability was just what we needed. A quick trip to the local DIY store to purchase a sheet of Perspex enabled us to start experimenting and after a couple of different mock-ups, we were able to come up with the basic design for a paint carrier that could be fixed around the waist with a belt, thus allowing one hand to be free to hold onto the ladder. Not only would this make the job of painting & decorating a lot quicker, it was also a whole lot safer.
In 2011 the decision to take the design of The Betsy Paint Mate further was made. With the help of our business advisor, Angie, Emma and I were put in touch with a product engineer, Mark Newland, who produced the technical drawings and specifications of the design.
By the Summer of 2012 after several months of product design and research, we had our first The Betsy Paint Mate prototype. We swiftly moved forward and created the Betsy Group (UK) Ltd, patented the design and trademarked ‘Betsy’ and ‘Paint Mate’.The Betsy Paint Mate then become very real and exciting, and although it had already taken two years to get this far, the journey for the Betsy Paint Mate was only just beginning.
In 2014, after extensive market research with both the trade and the general public and taking on board all the fantastic feedback and constructive criticism, the final design changes to The Betsy Paint Mate were implemented and we now had a product that was the perfect decorators tool.
In 2015, the Betsy Paint Mate went into production and we are very proud to announce that it is now available to purchase on–line. It is manufactured in the UK, is available in a variety of colours, has an adjustable belt and comes with a full 12 month guarantee.
The response from the trade, professional associations, health and safety professionals and the public has been outstanding. We strongly believe that the Betsy Paint Mate will keep you safer, possibly reducing the risk of serious injuries and potential deaths. It even makes the task of decorating just that little bit quicker and you can’t argue with that!
The future is also looking bright as we are currently working on more exciting and innovative products to run alongside the Betsy Paint Mate so, as the saying goes, ‘watch this space.’
Testimony from Chris R, Andover:
“Thanks to the Betsy Paint Mate, you’ve made my work so much easier. I feel much safer on the ladder instead of carrying everything, I can concentrate on my painting, producing a better quality of work and I look more professional, without any drips or mess. My efficiency is improved and it saves me time, probably about as much as a third. I would definitely recommend this to my fellow professional painters & decorators”.
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