Last weekend we celebrated our tenth birthday with our amazing Father Rabbit community. This included our wonderful team, our lovely suppliers and the friends and family of Father Rabbit. It was so nice to be able to thank all the people behind the scenes that have helped us get to this huge milestone!
We are so proud to be ten years old and able to look back on how Father Rabbit has grown over the years. We started with a 2.5 x 1.5 metre storage unit for stock and worked from our living room with only one other staff member. We now have four stores and a thriving ecommerce store with over forty team members! Ten years ago our first child Tony was a baby and would be perched on the trolley at our Grey Lynn storage unit. We would wheel stock back and forth between there and home, we wrapped each parcel in our back shed lovingly with rosemary and lavender and often hand delivered products locally. Our earliest customers loved the notion of Father Rabbit and the character he portrays. They would send cakes to him, handwritten notes and one customer even left a CD of music that they thought Father Rabbit might enjoy!
Father Rabbit's growth has been organic, improving and expanding year on year. We are not professional retailers so we have had to learn on the go. However 10 years on we are thriving and have fairly good experience under our belt. We like to think even with our growth that our original attention to detail and passion for going above and beyond still exists for our customers today!
One of the main reasons we wanted to celebrate our tenth birthday was to thank our Rabbit team. Without clever, highly functioning, hard working, engaging and empathetic staff we would be nowhere. There is no way that we can attribute our successes to anyone but them. Our staff is a family. You can watch a business in tough times, like this year and when we’ve made mistakes in the past. It’s been the team that have supported us and held our hands through difficulties. They also take you out of your comfort zone and make you accountable to actually improve things! The business is only as good as them and they are who carry it and it has been their drive and skill set that have been taking the business forward. We have met so many wonderful people over the years and we are so grateful.
We want to high five all the brands we stock… There are so many clever people allowing us to select such a beautiful edit for our Father Rabbit stores. Suppliers also do so much more than sell you things. Our suppliers are supportive, encouraging, generous and we love working with all of you!
We'd also love to acknowledge Nick’s late father Nigel and his mother Sue who really were the catalyst for this business. They financially set us up to begin and to this day Nigel was the strongest believer that we could do it and he really understood Father Rabbit the character. I know that he would be beyond proud of us today and how far we've come.
We of course haven't forgotten about our incredible and supportive customers who have carried us to this ten year mark! We hosted mini birthday parties in each of our stores on Saturday to thank you all! We had cupcakes to hand out, and our Kawakawa and Lime Syrup for shoppers to sip on. It was a super fun and celebratory atmosphere in all four stores with giveaways and prizes on the day. Our generous friends at Kokako supplied us with their delicious drinking chocolate that went out in eighty gift bags to lucky customers on the day! Our drawings that feature on our birthday tea towel and candle were made into decals on our store windows which looked stunning and tied everything together.
We were lucky to have the help of our incredible partners to pull our birthday event together and make it as enjoyable as it was! Man O' War kindly gifted us bottles of their amazing wine which went down a treat!
Our friends at Hallertau covered the beer side of things with two of their great brews, the No. 8 Mr. Yakimoto Rice Lager and the No. 9 Beer of Auckland.
It's not a party without a cocktail or two! Seedlip was there on the night to make us brilliant concoctions with their alcohol free spirits. These were just as beautiful as they were delicious with flower garnishes, dried fruit and more!
We were excited to christen Blush flower's stunning new space on Ethel Street in Morningside. Such a beautiful white, light filled space that was a delight to be at and so fun to decorate. Blush also brought their expertise to us when it came to the florals and greenery. They made us a lovely flower wall/photo back drop and helped us put together our breathtaking garden bar that was the focal point of the room.
This lovely botanical theme perfectly showcased our three special edition birthday products. We had the FR x Six Barrel Soda Co. Kawakawa and Lime Soda Syrup out on the table for our guests to try. Our English Garden candles were burning all night and our pretty birthday tea towels were scattered across the event adding an extra bit of colour and fun! We love that customers can buy these special edition birthday products to be a part of our history and celebrate with us!
Overall we are absolutely thrilled with how our birthday went and so very thankful to all that helped us get to ten fabulous years! We can't wait to continue growing in front of you and reach further milestones!
Love Claudia, Nick and Father Rabbit xx