For over 50 years, within a few modest rooms in an 18th century silk mill at Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, a small team of people has created 3,418 individual new products, leading to sales of over 46 million items around the world.
In 1955, fresh from the Royal College of Art, Robert Welch was looking to set up a studio somewhere between his parents' home in Malvern and London, where he might find work.
He rented a small room in the Old Silk Mill in Chipping Campden and installed his drawing board and a truckle bed. It was an inauspicious start for a man whose strong design principles would later make him an MBE and a Royal Designer for Industry.
Being an enthusiastic cricketer, Robert Welch believed in the close working efficiency of small teams. He called upon the complementary skills of designers, prototype makers and manufacturers to help realise Robert Welch designs.
Most notably, John Limbrey worked closely with Robert Welch for over 40 years until Robert's death in 2000, and Robert's son Rupert and daughter Alice have been responsible for the company's direction since 1993.
Each new Robert Welch product is evolved from rigorous questioning about its function, manufacture, durability and ease of use. For example the four main questions used in the design process of the Robert welch Signature Knife Range was What will the knife be used to cut? Who will use it? Can it be strong with a razor sharp edge? and Will the design last as long as the knife?.