It is no secret that us TMJ mamas absolutely adore companies that are socially responsible and aim to make a positive impact in our world. There is so much sadness on every news network at the moment and even more sadness that does not actually make the nightly news. A lot of times I find myself asking questions, can I really make a difference? What could I possibly do to help people? How can tiny me, Emmy, actually make a positive change? But then I read about companies who actually give back to communities and individuals in need and I feel positive. I feel like perhaps I can positively contribute to making the world a better place. I can consciously choose to support companies, which give back. One of these companies that is striving to make a difference in the world is Baby Dino. Today I’m chatting with Co-Founder and #mumboss Dominique Perri.
Dominique, can you share a little bit about yourself as a mama and how you came to create Baby Dino with your husband back in 2012?
Just before we married, my husband’s mum passed away. He’s from Sweden so he didn’t have any family here in Australia which was really hard for him during that time.
We’ve both always been very business minded and so we decided to start a business together as a distraction. Having full time jobs, we knew it would have to be an online business, and even though we didn’t have kids yet, we identified a gap in the market in online kids fashion.
Since then we’ve had 2 little boys – Lucas is 2 ½ years old and Oliver is 8 months old, and while it makes life super busy, having children has really helped me grow the business as I’m much more relatable with our customers and use the products first hand.
Many of our readers know Baby Dino as a divine online boutique which stocks cool threads for our babes, but you also work with companies that are sustainable, eco and ethical. Can you share with us where this passion for social responsibility comes from?
Being passionate about fashion, I’ve always been curious about how clothes are produced, and my interest in fair working conditions was first sparked in high school when my business class did a study on sweat shops.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about organic baby clothes when we first launched Baby Dino and they certainly weren’t as popular as they are now.
By coincidence, it was actually through one of the first brands that we stocked (Mini Rodini), that I learnt about how important sustainability in fashion is. Mini Rodini has always been ahead of the crowd with regards to sustainability, and are continually impressing me with the extent of their commitment as they push the boundaries each collection.
As Baby Dino has grown and I’ve become better educated, I’ve felt a greater level of responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet and so gradually my personal preference for socially responsible brands has filtered through to the buying I do for Baby Dino.
I love that on your website, you are transparent about ways in which as a business you reduce your environmental impact. What are three simple things we can do at home to make our house more eco?
For me, it’s all about making little changes that are realistic.
I’m a huge advocate for choosing well and buying less, having less things and more quality. This can be applied to anything in your life – clothes, make up, food, furniture, toys etc.
Another easy way we can reduce our impact is to buy gender neutral clothes for our children so they can be easily passed down to future siblings. So many people assume my kids have huge wardrobes and it’s not the case. My 8 month old does have lots of his own things, but a lot has been passed down too. It’s great that gender neutral is trending!
Lastly, changing all your bills to being emailed rather than posted is just a small thing, but collectively makes a huge difference.
How important is it for you – as founder of Baby Dino – to use your social influence to help make a difference in our world?
As Baby Dino grows, so does our responsibility to make a positive impact and educate our customers about how the brands that we stock support the greater community. I think in fashion, it’s especially important because the average person isn’t aware of exactly how much impact their purchases make, or what they can do to help. By giving our customers an understanding of where and how their clothes are made, we can help them make informed decisions.
As a rocking #mumboss, do you have any advice to other mamas who wish to start their own business?
Don’t do it! Haha Just kidding. It’s a lot of work, but once you’re able to automate your processes and work ON your business instead of IN it, having a successful business is one of the most rewarding things you’ll experience (after having kids of course!)
Something that stuck with me from uni is “failing to plan is planning to fail”. I’ll admit I didn’t do anywhere near as much planning as I do now, when we first started out. If I was to start over, I would do a lot more planning and research. My second piece of advice is not to be afraid to invest in your business. You can’t expect others to back you, if you don’t back yourself.
What is something you hope to pass down to your children?
My sense of humor and work ethic.
What do you love to do on a Sunday morning?
I love a long sleep-in (anything past 7am is considered a sleep-in in my house!), but with two boys under two years old it’s very rare! We’re usually up making breakfast and watching movies together in our pyjamas which I also love – just spending time together without distractions.
Most kick-ass quote?
‘Focus on your own shit’.
Finally, what is next for Baby Dino?
There’s always lots happening at Baby Dino HQ! Summer stock has started arriving and I’ve just finished placing orders for AW17. Next year we have a very BIG surprise which mums with older kids will be happy about (hint hint)!
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