Working away in London jobs we didn't want to do forever, myself (Millie) and my partner (Dan) both found council-run evening courses, Dan’s in Woodwork and mine in Silversmithing. I made stuff I had never seen before and met some wonderful people. I loved it so much that I did the course three terms in a row.
We saved up and secured visas to live and work in Canada for two years. I knew I wanted to work in jewellery so I started to look for entry level jobs in the industry. With a lot of emails and hours hunting I secured a job working for a large local jewellers in Vancouver.
I found a jewellery studio in East Vancouver (an industrial area full of breweries and artist studios) in Jan 2018. Most nights after work I’d go and carve. My first two pieces were the exposed brain and the golden geezer. We sent them off to cast, and they came out better than we could have imagined. We got a pint to celebrate and scheme our next steps… Rat Betty was born.
A lot of people ask where the name came from! When I was young, I had a kind little pet rat called Betty.
Initially the driving force was to create jewellery that I hadn’t seen before. As the designs got more popular, the goal became finding a way for us to work for ourselves. We researched the industry and found the most motivating elements for us were examples of brands actively choosing to do the right thing. Historically, this industry isn’t best known for this, so we hope to be an example to other smaller brands that it's possible to make sustainable choices from day one.
In 2019 we moved back to the UK. Now we are a team of 4 working out of a beautiful historic ex-perfume factory in Brighton, a seaside town an hour from London.