When it comes to the business of babywear, Dimples has firmly established itself as a destinational store with Newmarket playing a big part in its brand story. This growing business has also meant for new opportunities, including a brand new space located on the corner of Kent Street and Crowhurst Street. We caught up with owner and founder Jane McAllister to find out more about the new space and get more insight into the burgeoning baby brand.
N. Congratulations on your new store in Newmarket. Where did the idea for Dimples Babywear come from?
The love of babies and what they wear. I love design and crafting new ideas, I would always be making my children clothes and with the inspiration of my entrepreneur father, I couldn’t help myself and started a business doing something I am extremely passionate about.
N. Can you tell us why you chose the iconic Bee logo for Dimples?
I wanted to create an iconic symbol that was suitable for both boys and girls.
N. As a mother of 14 yourself, how have you balanced the demands of owning a business whilst having such a large family?
It was very difficult at times, but I would always make sure my days were organized and planned out. I made sure my children were always put first but I was extremely fortunate that the older kids were willing to always help out.
N. Are any of your children involved in the business?
Over the years, many of my children have been involved with Dimples. Currently I have Felicity, Rebecca and Charlotte.
N. With a large family comes a lot of experience in deciding exactly what is needed for a baby or child (and a lot of hand-me-downs!). What do you think the most important consideration is when designing and selecting a range for children?
Practicality, comfort and style. I always take into consideration the babies needs and want to ensure that they are comfortable as well as offering them natural products with proven benefits.
N. There is considerable pressure on working mums to juggle it all. How do you take time out for yourself?
When I was working from home with multiple children I made the decision to hire a housekeeper so that I had one less thing to worry about. I also stayed up a couple of hours past when I put the children to bed so that I could sit, relax and catch up on some new crafts.
N. What has been the most challenging aspect about starting a business?
With so much competition out there the biggest challenge is brand awareness. Getting everyone familiar with your brand and values, so that people are able to recognise why we are different.
N. What’s been the most rewarding?
Watching the brand grow. From starting out in my home in Titirangi to now opening a brand new Newmarket store with the first New Zealand Stokke and Nuna flagship store inside.
N. With the rising movement towards sustainably sourced and quality fabrics, new parents are becoming increasingly conscious about what their baby comes into contact with. What goes into the design decisions and production process when designing for the Dimples customer?
Natural and comfortable fabrics; I have always seen the benefits in children wearing natural cotton and merino fabrics. We design and make in New Zealand so that we can make sure there are no chemicals added to our fabrics and to ensure the quality of our garments across the whole production process.
N. Your Newmarket store originally opened in 2006. What is the best part about having a store here?
It’s central Auckland and is easy to get to across all areas. We have also found that Newmarket is the hub for good quality brands.
N. What are your top 5 Dimples essentials?
Bodysuit, Babygrow, Beanie, Gown and Snugglewrap.
N. How has technology and social media impacted the way you do business?
It has impacted it hugely. It has changed the way we see and do things dramatically, it is now so much easier to educate and connect with people anywhere.
N. In an increasingly digital environment, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to making retail decisions resulting in a more competitive and challenging space, especially for bricks and mortar stores. How has Dimples balanced the demands of operating both digital and physical stores?
We listen to our customers and are always trying to improve their shopping experience. We have launched a new website, refreshed our branding and have expanded our Newmarket store to provide our customers with more quality brands and service that they deserve.
N. What was the best advice that you received as a Mum?
Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything is passing. What might be a problem today won’t be a problem tomorrow.
N. Dimples gained recognition on an international level after being picked up by Harrods in London. Can you tell us how this came about?
I put an ad in Junior Magazine and out of the blue I got a phone call from a representative of Harrods saying they loved my brand and wanted to stock my product.
N. It’s 10am on a Sunday morning, where will we find you and what are you doing?
Most Sundays I am visiting the Newmarket store, catching up with the girls. I also take the time to relax so that I am refreshed for the busy week ahead.