Born from humble beginnings in an Auckland garage in 1991, Bobux co-founder, Chris Bennet invented the world’s first pair of soft sole shoes for his baby daughter Chloe. Fast forward three decades and the iconic brand is celebrating 30 years in business.

To coincide with the 30-year anniversary, Retailbiz spoke to Bennet about the brand, the journey so far and what the future holds.

“I am extremely proud of what the company has achieved over the last 30 years, largely due to the highly talented people we have attracted to our business, our suppliers, our distributors, our retailers, and of course our very loyal mums and dads who have supported the brand over the last three decades,” he told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

When asked what makes Bobux different from other children’s footwear available in the market, Bennet believes it’s a strong focus on being ‘user centric’ and understanding child’s needs, with uncompromising attention on safety, quality, comfort and fit.

“As a brand we have sought to celebrate the Kiwi way of life and the freedom to explore and discover great outdoor adventures,” he said.

“Importantly, we have also focused on the way a child’s foot develops and reshapes itself from newborn and through the early years of life. Many other footwear brands that do adult footwear have tried to do children’s footwear by scaling down the shape of an adult’s foot, but that doesn’t work. For example, a child’s foot at three years old is not the same shape as that of an adult.”

With 30 years of innovation behind the brand, it was interesting to hear that Bobux has polarising customer groups – those that love the brand and those that don’t know the brand at all.

“I regard the Bobux brand as a ‘love mark’ that delights our customers – the mums and dads, but it is difficult to explain why,” Bennet said.

“We are a small brand that punches above its weight in many global markets, and I believe our values and organisation’s culture radiate in an outward direction into the brand and the products that our customers have come to love, and so they want to share their experience and tell all their friends.”

On a final note, Bennet said he is excited about the opportunity to expand the brand’s presence in some existing European markets, as well as grow in China and Asia. “It’s important for small niche New Zealand companies to establish their credentials in European and US markets before tapping into China and Asia.”