Dotty Dungarees: Founded on Friendship
Friendship is so important to us here at Dotty Dungarees. Our whole company was built by just two friends and so friendship runs through our core values.
Whether it’s on our photoshoots, which are basically just our children and their friends having fun, or our shop being managed by a group of friends from college, Dotty Dungarees is all about having fun, playfulness, and lasting relationships.
To celebrate International Day of Friendship, we thought we would share our story of how Dotty Dungarees first began.
So how did Dotty Dungarees start?
Co-founders Alice and Georgie, met fresh out of University at their first job, and worked alongside each other in the field of Research. Here they gained valuable skills in gathering data, analysis, budgeting, and logistics.
In their lunch breaks, they would dream together about starting their own businesses. They didn’t know much else at this point, but they both knew they wanted to create a fun company that gave back to the community, and was good for the planet. And so the seed was planted…
Eight years later, after moving to another job together and gaining much-needed skills, as well as developing an even closer bond, they had an idea.
By 2013, Georgie had given birth to Otto, and Alice had had her firstborn, Dolly, the two close friends realised how they could create something really special together.
They both had grown up in dungarees and had loved the simplicity and practicality of them. As parents, they were now looking for quality clothing that would last as their children grew. Fashion that looked good but was also practical and comfortable to allow their children to go explore the world.
Georgie had just moved to China, and they both realised that they needed a business which they could run together from China and the UK, and so the idea of a fashion company specialising in children’s dungarees was born!
“We both knew we really wanted to continue working together. We had literally always worked together and even shared a desk for many years. So it was just figuring out a business that would work with me living in China, and Alice being based in the UK.”
“We had a very special friendship as we were two individuals coming together as friends, rather than being part of a group of friends from school or something. We had such a strong bond, and even though people would come and go, and we would go through tough times, we always had each other, no matter what. I think that’s what makes our relationship so special.”
Dotty Dungarees originally was simply Dotty as their hope was to create a range of fashion collections under the brand. However after a disappointing rejection from another brand already called Dotty in America, the two friends decided to rename their company, Dotty Dungarees, and so the name stuck.
“Dotty is a mix of our two eldest children’s names, a combining of Otto (my eldest) and Dolly (Alice’s eldest).”
Not only was the company, Dotty Dungarees founded and created by two friends but everything within the brand and company is based on friendship.
“All of our children are now really close friends so when we have photoshoots, they are all really excited to catch up with their friends, it’s really sweet!”
“As our company has grown, we have incorporated more child models, but now they are all friends too! It’s really lovely to see them all just having fun and playing together on our photoshoots. It also has the benefit of us being able to capture some really great, authentic photos.”
One of the keys to the success of Dotty Dungarees was also the help from other friends that Alice and Georgie both brought to the brand. Georgie’s friend, Miriam Cooper has a food blog (Mimi’s bowl) specialising in simple and healthy recipes for parents on the go.
Another of their friends, Nicky Hilton, helped Dotty Dungarees to launch successfully in the US with her very own collection with the brand.
Other friends have really helped with the launch of the new range of adult dungarees, showing that mum fashion can be cool and sexy, while remaining practical for busy mums. Friends, Victoria Roper Curzon, Jemima Jones, and Victoria Von Westenholz, have modelled the new adult dungaree collections, really helping with their success.
“Our adult dungarees have literally flown off the shelves! We couldn’t believe how fast they sold out. So much so that we had to do another order.”
“It’s so great to be able to work with our friends and just take some fun photos! I think it really helps to see the dungarees on a range of different body types and mums, so people can get a feel for how they can wear them.
Having these initial photos has really helped encourage other people to share their photos also. It’s just so great to see so many women feeling empowered and comfortable in our creation.”
Since then, the brand has been growing so rapidly that more people have reached out to Dotty Dungarees and even more friends are being made.
“I really love the strong relationships we are building with our influencers. As the Marketing Manager at Dotty Dungarees, building strong relationships is really important to us, and I love carefully choosing our influencers and really nurturing those relationships.
We go through each collection and choose the influencers we think the outfits will work best with. It’s a lengthier process but so lovely to see the content they are able to create and build long-term friendships. I love chatting to our friends on Instagram, it makes my job far more rewarding!”
So what’s next for Dotty Dungarees?
“Our plan is to continue to grow through an organic approach. We are now reaching out to brands and companies with a similar ethos to our company to be able to offer you more rewards and treats, as well as inspiration to help you discover new brands we think you’ll love.”
Dotty Dungarees is a company built on friendship, and it’s exciting to see what’s next for Dotty. Even our little shop in Lymington is based on friendship! Our team of girls who run the shop during the holidays and on Saturdays, are all college friends. They each work together really well and take it in turns to cover our little shop.
Alice and Georgie remain super close, and we hope to continue to nurture our existing friendships, and create new ones too!
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