Milk & Mascara’s First Fridays Feature continues with a behind the scenes look at the mommy and son duo of the online fashion retailer Donuts + Dinosaurs. We caught up with Jonette Gogue and her son CJ to find out the meaning of the brand’s adorable name, what inspired her to add to her already full plate and how CJ pulls his weight as her little VP.
What inspired you to start Donuts + Dinosaurs? How would you describe D+D’s style?
To be honest, I got so tired of seeing the same clothes on kids when C.J and I would go to parties or family functions. The clothes that I would see at stores wouldn’t really match CJ’s personality. I also wanted items that celebrated the mommy and me relationship with clothes that make you laugh and exude your sense of style. So one day, I decided I was going to start a mommy and me online children store with clothes that did exactly that. Next thing you know, I became a business owner.
I like to describe the D+D style as fun and trendy. We incorporate love in every item, using quality materials and witty messages that celebrate our greatest gift in life – our children. As fellow mommies might agree, the best part of us will always be them.
How did you come up with the name Donuts + Dinosaurs?
I wanted a name that represented my son and I. Donuts and Dinosaurs is a nod to my son’s devotion to dinosaurs along with my love for the holed confection. Some people don’t know the reason why I love donuts so much. My dad would work crazy hours and he was hardly ever home. My sisters and I would wake up to a pink box of donuts with a note from my dad telling us to have a good day, make sure our room was clean, be sure to take care of each other and that he loved us. I always looked forward to seeing a pink box on the table in the morning. Everything about our store has something personal about me and my family.
My favorite aspect of running the business is that we serve a purpose in what we do and that we do everything together. D+D is truly a mommy and me business. C.J helps me pick out items, gives me ideas, helps me with packaging and signs his own thank you cards. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and very time consuming. I think what surprised me most was the amount of love and support we have received from everyone, including strangers. I didn’t expect our business to be so busy, especially when I didn’t pay for advertisements or utilize social media to its full potential. It is truly a blessing.
What advice do you have for a ‘mompreneur’ just starting out?
Don’t lose sight of what matters most to you. Running a business is a lot of hard work and it requires a lot of time. Being a mom is not an easy task especially if you have multiple children. It is important to have a balance. This is your business and you’re the boss, just remember that being a mommy comes first. I struggle with finding a balance and I’m still working on it. What I won’t do is sacrifice my time with C.J.. I cherish our moments together.
What are your favorite items for spring? What current trends are your favorite? What trends do you see that are up and coming?