Behind the Brand

Behind the Brand: Molly Barker

A look behind the scenes with Australian pet brand, Molly Barker - the Melbourne label bringing the chic to canine accessories.

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Molly Barker

Beautiful. Minimal. Ethical. These are three words that you don’t often correlate with dog products. But premium lifestyle pet brand, Molly Barker, ticks all three boxes.

When founder, Angela Infantino, saw a gap in the market for curated, elegant dog accessories in Australia, Molly Barker was born.

With innovative toys, luxurious beds, and tonal accessories that compliment the most chicest of home decor, this is one pet brand that exudes luxury and quality — while at the same time remaining committed to supporting local artisans (who make their products) and the environment (their packaging is not only stunning but also biodegradable.)

If you’re looking for style, substance and some serious luxe vibes, you’re going to love all things Molly Barker.

Behind the Brand: Molly Barker

Who: Angela Infantino
Title & Company: Founder and Director – Molly Barker
Age: 39
Location: Melbourne, Australia

What is the philosophy behind the Molly Barker brand?

To create thoughtfully designed pieces that enhance the style and comfort of every dog and their surroundings.

We also cultivate a community of kindness and giving back wherever possible. We achieve this through our donations to Assistance Dogs Australia, our eco friendly packaging, and manufacture our products in Australia through other small businesses.

“Molly is our brand mascot and product testing officer so she is by my side every day. She is also my main inspiration.

When I’m thinking of a new product idea I take notice of things she likes and doesn’t like, and how we like to live. I draw aesthetics from architecture, fashion and textures. I like beautiful things that make me feel something, and I try to bring that emotion into the products I design.”

Tell us about your career prior to launching Molly Barker.

Prior to launching Molly Barker I had a successful career in the construction industry selling beautiful homes. My days were spend in stylish display homes so I developed an eye for design aesthetics and attention to detail. It was also a very competitive industry which taught me resilience and problem solving. These skills have been invaluable through my journey as an entrepreneur and have helped me navigate the challenges of this pandemic.

Molly Barker is all about luxury modern pet accessories. How are you different to other brands?

Our aim is not just about producing nice things for dogs. We want our customers to love our pieces as if they were purchasing it for themselves. I follow 3 main principles when designing each collection.
1. It has to be functional for both the dog and the owner. Beautiful pieces are pointless unless they make life easier, are comfortable and user friendly.
2. It has to be beautiful. We want our pieces to have a sense of sophistication and classic chic so they integrate seamlessly into a luxurious lifestyle while ageing gracefully.
3. It has to be high quality. We only use premium materials so our products last. This represents value for money and ensures the safety of our customers beloved pets.

“The Molly Barker customer see their dog as a member of their family so they want them to have the best. They appreciate quality and don’t want to compromise style for functionality. They want it all and they know they can have that with Molly Barker.”

You’re from the chic city of Melbourne. Where are your go-to Melbourne dog friendly places?

I live in the Bayside area so dog friendly places are everywhere which is why I love it so much. We often frequent the dog beaches in Sandringham and Mentone then stop by one of the cafes nearby such as Stevie in Sandringham, Busy Boy in Mentone or Good Times Milk Bar in Bentleigh.

Greenfields is another great place to visit especially in summer. It has a stunning deck where you can enjoy a smoothie or cocktail and take in the view of Albert Park Lake while your dog plays on the grass.

How does your Melbourne location influence your brand aesthetic?

It’s full of beauty both old and new. Everywhere you go you’ll see a mix of elegant beach homes and modern architecturally designed residents. Both men and women immerse themselves in the latest fashion and indulge in luxurious lifestyles. It has a sense of elegance without feeling pretentious.

How had COVID impacted your business in 2020?

The first wave of COVID was definitely a shock. In March the whole country was hit with uncertainty so no one was spending money. But by May people got bored at home and started shopping online. It was one of our best months to date and the rest of the year was looking pretty exciting.

But two months later a second wave hit Victoria hard and stage 4 restrictions were put in place which forced businesses to close, so many people were also out of work. Although we are an online business, the majority of our stockists and customers are from Victoria so everything came to a screeching holt.

Seeing orders cancel and dry up overnight was scary. I’ve never felt so uncertain and helpless. But you can’t throw the towel in. And there’s too many people who want us to succeed despite this adversity so I draw strength from that. There’s no point focussing on what I can’t control. Instead I focus on what I can do. Covid has forced me to be innovative in the way we reach people, connect with our market, and do business. I’m currently working on some exciting new collaborations and a new collection so we can hit the ground running when this whole thing is over.

Where do you go for inspiration?

It’s probably more where I don’t go that gives me the most inspiration. I don’t look at what my competitors are doing. I really focus on staying in my own lane. If you look at our products you’ll see they focus heavily on the dog owner and leading a luxurious lifestyle. So my inspiration comes from an array of places such as fashion, architecture, furniture and homewares, and travel destinations.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in running a business and developing a brand?

Not to be scared of failing…embrace it and learn from it, and if you’re not failing you’re not trying hard enough. Knowing what doesn’t work is often more beneficial than knowing what does work.

“Seeing our presence expand globally has definitely been exciting. Every time I get an email from an international blogger or business wanting to stock our products, I think “how on earth did you find out about us?” “

Who are Molly Barker’s celebrity muses or other non-pet brands you admire?

Chanel would have to be one that comes to mind. It represents a brand who’s elegance stands the test of time and doesn’t concern itself with what others are doing.

If Molly Barker could choose anyone to be the celebrity face of their brand, who would you choose?

Jennifer Hawkins. She’s elegant, smart and sophisticated, but not stuffy or pretentious.

What are your top picks from the latest Molly Barker collection?

Our Sasha Collection Gift Set will always be one of my favourites. I use every product in this set every day and it still looks as good and works just as well as the day I got it.

I also love the Dog Shampoo. The natural ingredients have healed Molly’s flaky skin and leaves her smelling so divine. I love cuddling her after she’s had a bath because she smells so good and her coat is so soft.

Follow Molly Barker

Website  |  Facebook | YouTubePinterestInstagram

Copy: Serena Faber Nelson

Photography: Molly Barker

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Pick of the Week

  • cuddle clones plush toy of your pet

    Original Plush Cuddle Clone

    It’s the one-of-a-kind plush toy that pet parents have fallen in love with! Create a cuddly replica of your pet that captures all their adorable features.