MEET OUR AMAZING TEAM
This is our team – it has grown over the years from Helen working alone in her house, then moving into the garage and finally getting our offices in Farnborough. We are a crazy bunch but we work well as a team and have had many laughs along the way. It is never dull in the Dotty Fish office and we like to think that enthusiasm is built into our brand and every pair of shoes that gets sent out.
The Dotty Fish Team
I started Dotty Fish when I had two small children. I didn’t want to head back to the office and wanted to start my own business. I tried a few things and found that I was quite good at selling on eBay but I was looking for a good idea. Then one day I was sent a pair of soft leather baby shoes for Josh. I fell in love with them and wanted to buy him another pair but realized how expensive they were. I suddenly thought I could turn that into a business and so I excitedly drew some designs, did some research and my first samples arrived.
Things have come a long way since those early days! For starters I have a fantastic team now! We have lots more designs and have done lots of work with podiatrist and leather testing so our quality has improved. We also now sell all over the world which is VERY exciting. Lots has changed but the heart of the business has stayed the same – quality baby shoes that parents can afford! I am as crazy as I was then and get just as excited about opportunities and what the future holds for Dotty Fish. It has been a rollercoaster but the future looks bright at Dotty Fish. And like I always say, “you can never have too many shoes!”
Helen has driven this business forward over the years with my support while I largely stayed in the background. I was working in IT management while the company grew and made sure the bills were paid and we had a steady income coming in. As the years went by and the business grew it was more and more stressful to support Helen and the growth of the business, hold down a full time job and help out with childcare while she visited our factories around the world. In 2017 things changed with the role I was doing and I decided that it was time to walk away from the long hours and focus on our family and our business.
It is tricky when children get older, you think you will be needed less at home but suddenly they need you slightly more and I was able to fill this role while taking a more active role in the business and helping to make those important decisions that are needed when a company grows. When the pandemic hit we had to shut our warehouse to protect our staff and I rolled up my sleeves and packed all the shoes from our garage at home! A steep learning curve but one that has taught me so much about Dotty Fish and how it works from the bottom up!
I was two when mum started Dotty Fish. She has photos of me in the double buggy while she was taking parcels to the post office in those early days. Dotty Fish has always been a part of my life, I have grown up around the business and I have always been so proud of Mum and what she has achieved.
When the office was moved from our garage to Farnborough I was less involved but then when the pandemic hit I was doing my GCSE’s. Suddenly school stopped and I was helping mum and dad pack shoes everyday. I realized just how stressful running a business can be! I still help out with packing and when we get big orders come in.
Mum has embarrassing photos of me wearing some of the first Dotty Fish shoes! Luckily they don’t fit me anymore so I don’t have to have my photo taken nowadays. I do help out with packing during the holidays. I helped out a little bit in the pandemic but Sophie didn’t have schoolwork while I was doing online learning so I got to miss most of that. The business is part of our family and so I know lots of the things going on, I study business at school and it is nice to be able to relate some of that back to what I hear being discussed.
Life in a small company is always evolving and my job role has certainly developed many times in the 6 years I’ve been working for Dotty Fish!
I deal with anything operational, from being part of the design process for new shoes, right through to making sure your order arrives on your doorstep on time. My job is to make sure your experience with Dotty fish is a happy one and runs as smoothly as possible!
When Helen asked me to come work with her at Dotty Fish I was skeptical. I told her I would work for a month and see how it goes… 4 years later I am still here! I love that there is such a great product offering to showcase – I mean who doesn’t love baby shoes? Patience is not one of my virtues so it is great being able to come up with an idea and then implementing it the same day. Having such a collaborative office means we get things done quickly. It also means things change ALL THE TIME, but hey ho.
As Helen’s friend I need to be a little crazy and love distracting everyone in the office. I am also responsible for branding and spray painted all our radiators bright pink and stuck colourful dots all over the walls. I am in charge of all our social gatherings and general silliness. Ours is not a serious office!
I was one of the first of Dotty Fish’s employees back when we were a really small team. I remember getting the shoes packed up and ready for The Baby Show which was so much work. Nowadays we have a whole warehouse that I can organize and sort out. I love making sure we are efficient as possible.
Sending our lovely little shoes out to customers knowing that they are getting a lovely pair of baby shoes makes me happy. I definitely don’t need to go to the gym after a day of packing shoes!
I have worked at Dotty Fish for years and have watched it grow and expand. So many new shoes have come along over the years it is hard to know which is my favourite. I am Cara’s other half at work, we have worked together for so long that we just know what the other one needs. Our office is a busy hive of activity and it is not often you see me sitting down.
Oh and I actually fit into the slippers – everyone always asks for our Dotty Fish slippers in adult sizes and when we got them in 5-6 years I gave it a go and hey presto they fit. They do say dynamite comes in small packages! (I hate talking about myself so Ruth has added that part in.)
I joined Dotty Fish as part of the marketing team with the view to help take on board some specific projects and take over the customer communications. I work with Tanya and Ruth coming up with a plan for the newsletters and what we need to tell our customers. Then I rework it all as things invariably change!
Nothing is static at Dotty Fish. It has been a learning curve finding out about the shoes, how they are developed and what all the wonderful benefits of soft sole shoes are. It has also been great to start collaborating with journalists and bloggers who work in the baby space and finding out just how well regarded our Dotty Fish shoes are.
I am responsible for all things numbers at Dotty Fish. It is a complicated task given that these little baby shoes get sent all around the world and are paid for in so many different currencies. Tax, VAT and duties can be a mind boggling maze. I am also the guy who is responsible for payroll so everyone is lovely to me and keeps my coffee coming!