At The Bar with Merry People Founder Dani Holloway

Founder of Merry People, Danielle Holloway looked to the four seasons in one day that is Melbourne for inspiration when it came to launching her rainy day boot brand 10 years ago.

Born and raised in South Gippsland, she calls Melbourne home.  She to The Write Drop for our At The Bar Series about her favourite Melbourne bar, a winery we need to visit in regional Victoria, and what her boot range reveals of our drinking taste – well, we had a bit of fun working out what your shoes say about your drink choice. Go on, entertain yourself and read on.

MY CITY 

Melbourne. I love how it constantly evolves, its creativity, its sense of fashion and choices for food and wine.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY 

A winter evening dinner Tonka in the city. Having cocktails and experiencing the modern Indian dishes with my boyfriend (now husband.) I am half-Indian – so it was exciting to experience a new take on some Indian classics I grew up with.  It is very Melbourne, located in ACDC Lane and you can look out and see the lights at night. I’m not sure if it’s still on the menu, but I remember a cauliflower salad being standout.

FAVOURITE BAR

I am nine months pregnant at the moment, so the bar scene isn’t where I am at right now.  But I do love a cocktail bar called Above Board on Smith Street, Collingwood. It’s a great place for an intimate drink to catch up with a friend or your partner.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

I’ve been told by friends I am a Tequila Sunrise. – a morning person who loves colour and fun.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

My husband not being hungover to look after our son, so I can sleep all day. Frosty fruits, Coke-Cola and hot chips are my hangover diet.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

I always enjoy sitting at the Opera Bar and having a wine in Sydney. Sitting in the fresh air in my face watching the sunset, the bridge, the lights and everything that is happening in the harbour makes me feel happy.

FAVOURITE WINE

Gippsland – Dirty Three Pinot Noir -any of them.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Dijinta Dijinta winery – Leongatha, South Gippsland. Leongatha is my home town and I love having a wine there with family and friends and looking out over the South Gippsland Hills – it is nostalgic for me.

NEXT DESTINATION

A family holiday with some of our friends who have kids to Bali next year (before I go back to work). We did a pretty big trip to the USA in 2021 and travelling around to five cities for my work when our son was 10 months old.  I think the logistics of that trip and all the flights rattled my husband a little. When we got home he said he wanted our next family trip to be more relaxing and to not travel as far – and maybe some better drinking buddies.

TELL US ABOUT STARTING MERRY PEOPLE AND WHY THEY’RE THE BEST OPTION FOR FESTIVAL SEASON?

The early days of Merry People were pretty rustic, I didn’t, and still don’t, have a financial backer. It was quite simple, I funded the business from my savings, it was just me selling my boots directly to customers at weekend farmer markets.

I started Merry People because I was looking for a quality pair of waterproof boots and thought their was a big gap in the market between – quality expensive agricultural gumboots and cheap PVC gumboots.

Growing up on a farm, I grew up knowing the function of gumboots and when I moved to the city and couldn’t find a quality city appropriate waterproof pair of boots. I was at a stage of my life where I felt I could take on the risk, and wanted to see if I could do it – So I had a go at creating my own – that idea was nearly 10 years ago now.

HOW DOES MELBOURNE INSPIRE YOUR BUSINESS?

Melbourne can have four seasons in one day – so having a transeasonal waterproof boot feels like a necessity.

WHAT DOES A MERRY BOOT SAY ABOUT YOUR DRINKING TASTES?

A dark coloured boot: You’re a cool and trendy person who wears a lot of black. You gravitate to the darker spirits. You’re like to gravitate to a quiet cocktail bar sipping on a whisky on the rocks or an espresso martini.

A bright coloured boot:  Your go-to is an Aperol, Cosmopolitan or Margarita. You love the dance floor, colour, sparkle and not afraid of getting up on a podium.

 

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