Bio The path that led her to this point
The dream to create my own online kids' store came about while I was pregnant with my daughter Poppy. The idea was built with my sister during our many walks around Centennial Park chatting about nursery decor and ways to create amazing spaces for kids that were interesting and inspiring.
I always knew i wanted to work from home while still being able to connect with the outside world and use my experience in styling and visual merchandising. My background is in women's fashion, I have supported new store designs and would work with buying teams to create collections for brick and mortar stores and create window concepts which would be rolled out to all stores across the country.
I've worked with brands in Australia and England and travelled extensively while supporting new store setups in India, New Zealand, UK and China. This was fun and inspiring for 10 years but travel is not maintainable when you have a young family and I knew my days working for someone else were numbered.
My talented sister and business partner Cat who works as Head of Sponsorship for a big Australian media company with experience in design and marketing.
After a few years travelling Cat did a double degree in Communications and International Studies which took her to Spain for a few years. The exposure to different designers, trends and cultures throughout the world has shaped much of her style and confidence with design.
Now along with the City2Surf and Good Food Month among other events keeping her busy, she gets creative with Dinosaur District, fulfilling her true passion of good design and beautiful fabrics.
The business is still very fresh; we have only been open for six months and we are learning new things every day.
It has been a real team effort with all our talented family and friends supporting our journey along the way. We are also very lucky to have patient partners who believe in our dream.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Turning the dream of Dinosaur District into a reality has been our greatest achievement so far. It was a long journey and the day our online store went live was truly amazing. The reaction we have had from customers, friends, family and people within our industry has been worth the hard work.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge has been understanding the IT involved in running an online business. We are both very creative people who love the world of design, shopping and creating but with limited understanding of technology. We have had to source help to build and maintain the website and help us understand the big world of SEO. Very challenging indeed.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Best lesson we have learnt so far is the importance of building relationships with people in your industry and collaborating with people who can guide you and mentor you along the way. If I was to start again I would learn everything I could about creating content suitable for SEO.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Our top three business resources include Shopify, which has helped us customise and design our online store. We also love General Assembly, a school who transforms thinkers into creators and blogger Sarah Von Bargen who helps make you awesome on the internet!
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Megan Morton is a real inspiration. Her philosophy on kids and their bedrooms matches our own brand and styling. She has helped us look at the challenges of living with kids in a new way and her workshops are motivating and stimulating. She is a big believer that good design doesn't need to be expensive to be beautiful!
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Do your research. Talk to friends, strangers and get a feel for the market. Discover how you can stand out from the rest. It's important to be unique and have a good understanding of who your customer is and how they shop, and then what you can provide to make it easier for them to get exactly what they want.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
Poppy was born. The concept of the company was created when I was pregnant with a little girl and was exposed to a new world. I struggled to find the right products and design to create the space for this beautiful child. Once she was born, my world exploded with the amount of stuff that a child has, some of it given to you, other bits inherited, other bits out of pure need. So as my experience around babies and toddlers increased, the concept of the store and the products that we wanted to sell changed from the beautiful to also encompass functional design, and the things I wish I was given!