I am really excited to be able to share this news with you today. You all know how much I champion independent brands and I am thrilled to announce that one of our favourite small baby brands has been shortlisted in the Amazon Small Business Awards. Dotty Fish is a small family run business founded by mum of two, Helen who along with her dedicated team designs and makes beautiful soft leather baby shoes and lightweight rubber soled shoes for toddlers. We are huge fans of Dotty Fish here and over the last couple of years have built up quite a collection of their shoes. Florence’s first ever shoes were these adorable daisy shoes (see my review here) and William made his Dotty Fish debut in perhaps my favourite design they’ve ever made – the rainbows!
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to not only showcase some of the beautiful designs right here on my blog in the past but to also to be able to share with you the Dotty Fish story through my interview with Helen today.
Tell me a little bit about the yourself & the Dotty Fish team.
We’re a family run business with an amazing team. We design and make soft leather baby shoes and now lightweight rubber soled shoes for young children. We are passionate about babies and toddlers wearing shoes that are not only beneficial for their foot health but are also affordable! Our shoes are developed with growing little feet in mind and are the next best thing to bare feet. Made with soft suede soles, they help feet develop naturally.
Where did the inspiration for Dotty Fish come from?
When my son Joshua was under a year old, he was given a pair of leather baby shoes as a gift, I wanted to buy him some more as I loved them, but they were very expensive. I couldn’t find anything like them at a reasonable price. I decided to do some research to see if I could come up with a more affordable shoe! It all started in January of 2006 when “ShimmyShoes”, my first ever range of baby shoes was born! I got a piece of paper out and started drawing some simple flowers and stars. These became our first shoes. Perfect Pansy is still very much based on one of my original designs. Cheeky monkey is one that has been around from the start as has King of the Jungle – I have photos of Josh wearing them all those years ago! This then developed into “My Twinkle Toe” shoes, then finally settled on rebranding as Dotty Fish.
I’d love to know more about the journey Dotty Fish has been on to get from those first initial ideas to where you’re at now
I started off as a one-woman team running my small business from my home whilst being a mum, I turned my dining room into a stock room and started selling my shoes on eBay. The business then boomed, and my dining room was getting too small, there was stock everywhere!
I then turned my garage into a little warehouse, but even that wasn’t quite cutting it as we were growing so quickly… I purchased my first office space and started hiring staff, there’s now 11 of us working at Dotty Fish and we’re a little family. A slightly dotty office who drinks too much coffee and eats too much cake!
What does being nominated for this award mean to you?
As a small business, this award means so much to not only myself but all 11 of my colleagues as a company. We work hard and being shortlisted as a finalist for this award is a real big pat on the back, saying well done for all your hard work! It’s an honour to be a finalist, to know that a huge company like Amazon are recognizing our customer focus is such a compliment. We couldn’t have done it without the support of all our customers, this has been such a journey and we are so excited about what the future holds for Dotty Fish
If like me, you’re left swooning over their beautiful children’s shoes and have been inspired by Helen’s Dotty Fish story, you can vote for Dotty Fish in the Amazon Exporting Small Business Awards here.
JUST SO YOU KNOW…
I have previously worked with Dotty Fish to review some of their products on my blog & social media channels, however I am also a lover of the brand and own many purchased pairs of Dotty Fish shoes too. All opinions in this blog post are my own and I have received no payment (monetary or product) in return for this post. I really am just backing a brand I love.