SHOP LOCAL: Doffie is back in store

Doffie is now part of a collective
Doffie is now part of a collective

Western suburbs designer Doffie started her business 37 years ago in Fremantle and is now part of a collective. The entrepreneur talks to the Western Suburbs Weekly about her small business journey.

1. How has Doffie evolved over 37 years?

I was a nurse and started making craft things when I was on night duty at Bethesda Hospital. I made linings for baskets.

Then I took up a shop in Subiaco and things just started flowing. I made basket linings, picnic rugs and baby blankets and then was running craft lessons. Now I do interior decorating and continue to design my own products. I’ve stayed with the children’s theme because I’ll always choose a child over an adult. I decided to specialise in children’s design way before it became a trend.

2. What made you decide to go purely online two years ago?

I’ve got post-polio and was finding it really tough on my body running the shop. With a lot of encouragement, I thought I would give it my best shot.

3. What worked and what didn’t work with the online store?

What worked was the power of imagery and I did all my own styling. But nobody recognised it, there was no interaction with the products and no feeling and touch. You need personality in a brand. Within three months I knew I had to go back to a shop.

4. What are you enjoying most about having a retail store again?

People have brought me flowers, lined their children up at the door and given me hugs. One lady was a bit teary and described every shop I’d ever had. I missed that warmth and interaction. The shop is my theatre stage, I perform in retail. This is my first collective. It offers a heart and personality and gives people choice. The benefit is my brand will support the new innovative designers people don’t know.

5. What’s your local coffee shop?

It’s All Good because it’s on trend, they have fantastic personality and great food.