Woman. 02 — Danielle Holloway Founder of Merry People Gumboots

Welcome to part 2 of our three part series, where we have interviewed three RAD women who have created some pretty cool things. 

Woman 02. Introducing Danielle Holloway founder of Merry People Gumboots.

If you have not heard of 'Merry People' let us gladly introduce you. Merry People create gumboots designed in Melbourne that are comfy, unique and cool in their style and as durable as ever. 

'Merry People represents finding what makes you feel happy and alive. Putting your gumboots on, finding your own unique adventure, embracing the unknown and enjoying the journey.'

Back in the early days, Dani and Nat the founder of PK were always placed next to one another at design markets, where they quickly became great pals. 

We know you are going to love what Dani has to say.

1. What does international women's day mean to you?

For me, it is a day for the world to celebrate all the wonderful things about women and our evolution over the years. 

2. How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean for you?

It is SO important! Often we as women don't realise how capable, strong and adaptable we are - so it is important for us to lift each other up! 
For me as a leader, I see it as my role to provide a safe space for my staff to know they can try, fail, make mistakes and feel supported to grow and be the most authentic version of themselves. That I will work with my team members individually to reach their personal and professional goals and that no one should ever feel limited in their career at Merry People because of their gender identity. 
Similarly outside of work, I am naturally a very positive person and will always look to support and encourage the women around me in their dreams and goals - and also be a kind face and voice to the women I don't know and meet for the first time. 

3. What inspired you to start your business?

So much! 
Firstly my upbringing on a farm taught me that gumboots were the MOST practical type of footwear for wet and muddy situations. When I moved to Melbourne I was working a corporate job and was looking for an on-trend, city-appropriate pair of ankle gumboots I could wear on my winter morning commutes. Unable to find any I loved and seeking more fulfilment in my career I took the crazy and slightly unusual step of attempting to design my own! You can read more about my Merry People journey on our website. 

4. What advice would you give to younger women wanting to pursue their passions in business/life?

I don't think it is ever too late for a woman to pursue a passion or business idea! So this is advice is for everyone. 
I would say it really helps to try to surround yourself with people who are positive, who make you feel good about yourself, who give you confidence and lift you up! Who tell you "YES GIRL, you can do this!". 
I also found surrounding myself with other female business owners (like the amazing NAT from Pinky & Kamal!) really helped. We would share our leanings, celebrate our successes and always find a way to laugh about our mistakes.

5. If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?

I remember in high school I really wished I knew who I wanted to be when I 'grew-up!'
So I would tell 17-year-old Dani not to worry too much about having all the answers on her career direction. That overtime you will grow and learn more about yourself and that the world is also continually evolving and with this, there will be new opportunities! 
Merry People have just fully restocked and released some more gumboots! Grab yourself a pair HERE.

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