Baby MORI has a wonderfully strong brand, I can always spot a Baby MORI product on Instagram or elsewhere. What inspired you to set it up and why?
Cam: Akin and I are both doting uncles and we first noticed the opportunity for MORI whilst shopping for gifts for our nieces and nephews. We found that baby retail was very overpriced and that the gifts on offer were items that the baby would only wear once or twice. Speaking with our families and parent friends we learned that the essentials which babies wear most of the time are not often gifted because they are typically low quality and don’t come nicely packaged. We therefore set out to create a brand that would focus on making softer and higher quality essentials that when beautifully packaged, would also make the perfect gift - one parents would both need and love.
How did you come up with the name and concept of MORI, as a mascot?
Akin: In creating MORI we knew parents were becoming increasingly conscious not only about the quality of the products they were bringing into their and their babies lives, but also about how safe and eco-friendly they were. Conscious consumption is something Cam and I are very passionate about so we created our mascot MORI to champion these values. In fact, the inspiration for MORI’s name came from the Japanese word MORI meaning forrest which is also a nod to the purity of nature.
What do you think have been the advantages, and disadvantages, of being men in a largely female dominated baby and childrenswear industry?
Akin: Although MORI is founded by Cam and I, our #MORImakers or team members are mostly women and mothers. That being said on one or two occasions I have attended networking events where I was the only man in attendance. It can be daunting but I guess it helps us stand out. The industry though has been very welcoming and we think this is a testament to the fact that gender roles are playing less and less of an influence in our society. This is one of the reasons we make only unisex essentials (it also makes them easier to pass onto siblings).
We are lucky enough to have lots of fathers/uncles who buy Dotty Dungarees for their own children or as gifts. Is there any advice you would give to men looking to start companies in this sector?
Cam: Go for it! As well as the industry being very welcoming, the blending of gender roles means men are playing an increasingly active role in babies lives - both father’s and especially in our case uncles too! We think brands like Dotty Dungarees and MORI that cater for this fast growing marketing could do really well.
Looking back on it, is there anything you would do differently?
Cam: MORI is growing really quickly mostly through organic or word-of-mouth growth so we are progressing well towards our mission to make parent’s lives easier by delivering the best baby essentials right to their doorstep. One lesson we have learned though is that with all the choices out their for new parents, you have to be really clear about what you stand for, what makes you different and be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to spread the word!
OK, let’s finish with a quick fire Q&A… Be warned, some are a little random!
City break or beach break?
Cam: Beach, I’m an avid surfer
Kindle or hardback?
Akin: Kindle, so I can read on the go
Fry up or Fruesli?
Cam: I’m a cereal guy for sure
Winter or summer olympics?
Akin: Summer, what I wouldn’t give to get to Rio in August!
Paris or Rome?
Cam: Paris, I actually lived their for two years and speak French
Bar or pub?
Akin: Haha neither these days really, but you’d more likely find me at a bar
Early riser or night owl?
Cam: early bird gets the worm
Cheese or pudding?
Akin: I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so pudding please
Shop online or on the high street?
Cam: Online of course - avoid the crowds and markups!
Instagram or Facebook?
Akin: I like both but prefer Instagram because it is simple and beautiful