OUR DESIGN PROCESS
All our Dotty Fish shoes are designed by our talented team in-house. This is a look behind the scenes at how we come up with our designs and what it takes to get the shoes from an idea into an actual live product on our website.
IDEAS AND INSPIRATION
With anything new it all starts with an idea. When Helen started this business 13 years ago, she had a simple idea - create quality baby shoes that parents could afford. She started with a few drawings on a piece of paper and went from there. Years later Dotty Fish has grown and ships shoes worldwide, but the idea hasn't changed much and the way we design shoes is still pretty much the same. We start with a piece of paper and sketch a picture. All shoes are designed in the UK by our team.
A scarf we see while out shopping could start us thinking about colours we would like to see in a pair of shoes. It might be that we have been to the park and seen all the flowers and decided that we need a yellow daisy shoe. Colour pallets and trends are closely watched so that Dotty Fish shoes stay relevant and the shoes we design match the clothes that babies and toddlers are wearing. We love hearing from our customers who regularly tell us what designs they would like to see.
GIRLS VS BOYS
13 years may not seem like that long ago, but lots has changed in that time. When my little girl was a baby, I was constantly accused of dressing her in 'boys' clothing. Fast forward 15 years and clothes for children are far more gender neutral than ever before.
At Dotty Fish our website is set out with a Girls and Boys section for ease of use but our shoes are suitable for either. A colourful rainbow is neither a girl’s shoe nor a boy’s shoe so you will find it in both categories. Our new designs are much more gender neutral than ever before and we listen to our customers feedback when designing our shoes. Our sweet Nya the Elephant has been a top seller since it launched.
Once our fuzzy felt flowers, doodles and sketches have been transformed into an electronic design that can be sent over to our manufacturing partners we anxiously wait for samples to come back. What works on paper and on the computer does not always translate into a lovely leather shoe. We have shoes in sizes ranging from Newborn all the way up to 4-5 years.
This means the design needs to be able to fit onto a tiny shoe as well as a rather larger indoor slipper for a young child. When the samples arrive, we have lots of adjustments that we make until we are happy for them to be produced. Along the way we wait for the leather to be sample tested so that we know they are safe for children.
Once we are happy with the sample testing and the design, they need to be slotted into the order schedule. It can take months from the original idea day until they finally arrive in the office ready for us to share with you all on social media. No matter how many shoes we make, or how many designs we have, it is always very exciting when that first box arrives in our offices. At Dotty Fish we have a totally open plan office and warehouse. Everyone is involved along the way in the design and creation of our shoes. This means that everyone is waiting to see what they look like and we all have an opinion on them. We had a little rainbow themed party when they arrived...any excuse to eat cake!
Everyone has their firm favourites, the ones that we buy ourselves when friends and family are having a baby! All shoes are quality tested by us to make sure that they meet our standards and then we wait to see if you love them as much as we do. The first order is always a reason to celebrate. No matter how many shoes we sell it is still exciting sending the first few pairs of a new design out. Helen still gets involved in the order processing.
All our designs and new shoes are launched on our social media pages first. Often, we have a little sneak peek and run competitions for these new designs. As much as we love sharing photos of them, we love seeing photos of your little ones wearing them and getting your feedback.
Use the #dottyfish to tag us in any photo's you do share. We are on Instagram @dottyfish and on Facebook @Dottyfishltd. You can also find us on Twitter @dottyfishltd and Pinterest @dottyfishltd. Our newsletter is also a great place to hear about all our upcoming designs and get notified of any free postage offers or discount codes.