Minimink is a brand that features a range of beautiful faux fur products including blankets, bags and cushions.
Ally is the woman behind Minimink and we spoke to her about the brand and how it all began:
How did the Minimink brand get started?
Minimink started in 2003 following the birth of my son, Emery. I created a faux fur rug for him as I wanted something different and, at that time, spent too much time shopping at Chadstone Shopping Centre. The response was amazing and the rest is history!
Did you have any previous experience or was this a new step for you?
My background was in the finance industry in marketing and project management. Although the product is obviously very different the marketing and project management experience definitely helped.
How did you go about researching and launching your first product?
The research was based on the incredible response and by then realising that there wasn’t anything like it around. From the time I decided to make it a business to the launch of the first product was around 6 months due to the sourcing of an agent and factory, and finalising all the issues that are necessary. I was very lucky that a close friend had a good contact who has been my agent since day one.
What makes your rugs so different?
The quality of the fur is just beautiful and, as we get it manufactured for each order, there is always a consistency in the quality. It doesn’t feel like faux fur and we do get asked many times if it is real! Our natural colour range has also stood the test of time.
Where did the name “Minimink” come from?
A middle of the night inspiration and I woke my husband to see what he thought. It just seemed right from the first moment!
You use faux fur, so what are they made of?
Faux fur is an acrylic however ours is a high weight per gram to ensure it has the softness and depth that it does, as well as not shedding. In Europe there is no such thing as faux fur so there we call it ecological fur!
What is your number one bestseller?
Still our original product – the rug/wrap/throw!
Tell us a little bit about the charities you support…
The consistent charity we support is the Forget Me Not Childrens Home where we sponsor a little 9 year old girl. This is an amazing charity set up by Lars Olsen from Hervey Bay. As well as the childrens home in Nepal they are also working with children in Uganda.
You have added handbags and pillows to the range, how do you choose what new products to create?
It may be a product where we have been getting a lot of enquiry, or where we see a gap in the market, or something that sits well with our range. We don’t add a product just because we feel we have to have something new.
What is the best way to wash your products?
All machine washable and low tumble dry! Absolutely! I love it when I get emails from people saying they have had it for years and its still like new. We tell people that although it looks precious don’t treat it as such and wash and wear it.
What’s next for Minimink?
Who knows! A holiday would be nice!
Where can we buy your range?
All our stockists are listed on our website and we sell all our products on the website all year round.
What does being a mother mean to you?
So many things and having 3 children of varying ages (Aria 14, Emery 10, Mietta 7) means that I need to spend different time with each.
Shopping for clothes is fun for Aria but not so great for Mietta. Talking about sport is what Emery wants to do but bores the two girls! I want them to look back on their childhood with wonderful memories, happiness and love.
Years ago I remember reading that our job as parents from day one is to prepare them for the day that they leave.
It sure is a hard job but definitely the most rewarding and you are constantly questioning yourself whether you are doing enough, doing whats right, etc…
To view the full range of products and purchase online visit www.minimink.com.au