I have always wanted to make a rocking horse. It was something that has been at the back of my mind since I was a teenager. Eventually it was the right time and I made Dobbin. Dobbin looked good but he could have been better. I was hooked. I made 3 before I was satisfied that I had them right.
So I was making rocking horses. I wanted to make more. What was I to do with them?
It was at this time that the Palomino Rocking horses were looking for a new home. Should I keep making rocking horses? Yes I wanted to so the Palomino Rocking horses came to join the Timberhorse rocking horses. We had a stable of rocking horses.
It was at this point that we needed to market our rocking horses. We built a website. Now we are real. We needed to get our name out into the community. We then started going to shows. This was a really great experience. The people we met were great and I so enjoyed talking to them about rocking horses.
At the beginning of 2015 we got a surprise email. John and Carolann of the Classic Kiwi Rocking horses were thinking of retiring. Would the Classic Kiwi rocking horses fit into our stable? They had been making beautiful horses of John’s design for over ten years. Of course there is always room for more rocking horses. So in the early stages of 2015 we took on the Classic Kiwi rocking horses.
I needed help. I had been making the rocking horses and running the business more or less by myself. Dick, my husband, had been helping on a casual basis but I needed more help. He stepped up and we spent more and more time working on rocking horses together. We now had 2 websites and three ranges of rocking horses. What was the best way to combine the two? For almost a year we ran the two websites and showed the three ranges at home shows etc together but separately. I talked to a lot of people about the situation. I sought as much advice as I could get hold of. A decision was made. We needed one identity. We needed a name.
When we made a phone call or introduced ourselves to someone we had a tendency to say we were from the Rocking horse place so it seemed a natural progression to put all the rocking horses under the umbrella of ‘The Rocking Horse Place’. We reassessed all the rocking horses we were making. There were the Timberhorse rocking horses, made out of beautiful timbers. We had the Palomino Rocking horses made from laminated plywood. These are designed by Theo Bladen. This group had a few additions. We had introduced the zebra and giraffe. Where did they fit? We also had the Classic Kiwi rocking horses. They had three sizes of horses and a lion and dragon. The zebra, giraffe, lion and dragon aren’t rocking horses. They needed to be wild animals in a group of their own. The Wild Ones were formed.
So 2016 is another year of change. We are rebranding and setting up a new website. It is very exciting and will help our customers be aware of the full range we have. At the shows we will be ‘The Rocking Horse Place’ with all that that entails. It will be fun.