Winter is well and truly here, so what better time to have a chat to Danielle Holloway of rainwear label Merry People? We asked her to share the story behind her label, which isn’t just for muddy fields and cold weather, by the way! Whether you need to dress for “farm” or “festival”, scroll down to the end of the post for Dani’s tips on how to work Merry People designs into your wardrobe.
How did you start Merry People?
I grew up wearing gumboots on a dairy farm in Gippsland, but went to uni in Melbourne and then worked in a corporate position. I was commuting to the office in Docklands and my shoes were getting ruined so I started to look for some gumboots that didn’t look like farm boots to wear, but couldn’t find any. I’d been saving to buy a house but decided to use the money to start a gumboot business because I wasn’t happy at work anyway, even though everyone thought I was crazy!
I found manufacturers in China and had prototypes made, and got lots of feedback from friends who have retail stores – they’ve been very supportive and some of them stocked my boots right from the start. I’ve now had the business for three years and I’m introducing new products such as raincoats and jumpers.
What makes Merry People gumboots different from others?
They’re fashionable and understated in neutral colours, light to wear, good quality and comfy because they have neoprene on the inside.
Who buys your products?
All kinds of people! Gardeners, dog walkers, grandparents, mums going to Saturday sport with their kids, festival goers.
Speaking of which… how would you style Merry People gumboots for a festival?
I am a little crazy when it comes to festivals! I think it is a space you can be overly expressive and creative with your fashion – and really break free from your daily reality. My favourite festival outfit would be the following:
- OneTeaspoon light denim shorts
- Plain black racer singlet from Lost in Seasons
- Long kimono from Koenji Vintage
- Merry People rain hat
- A little bit of face glitter
- AND of course – mustard yellow Merry People gumboots
And what about for when you’re back on the farm?
My parents’ farm is in South Gippsland. It is often wet and cold, so I am more of a practical girl on the farm.
- Levis 501 jeans light blue – rolled up
- Bottle Green Merry People crew neck
- Thick bamboo socks from The Hemp Shop
- Merry People waterproof rain jacket
- Merry People beanie
- Black Merry People gumboots