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What I’ve learned about … being an entrepreneur

Northern Beaches Mum Dea Manassen talks to us about balancing business, babies and brilliant customer service…


From the age of 12 I was already working and helping my Mother in her boutiques in Brazil. I always had a passion for business, and I learnt about the power of having passion and work ethic at a young age. I guess that’s one of the reasons or characteristics as to why I decided to leave Brazil straight out of school and come to Australia. I worked as hard as possible as possible to save enough money to follow in the footsteps of my mother into fashion, and start my own boutique, which I did.

I thoroughly enjoyed that and had great success for a number of years until a felt a change was necessary. Retail was getting more and more difficult. 

I would constantly look for new ideas (none of which came to fruition), until my mother sent me a pair of loafers for my son Oscar at the time. They were just so nice. He loved wearing them and the attention was getting everywhere we went was too hard to ignore. So I set about creating my own version of beautiful, incredibly stylish yet comfortable and versatile loafers for little boys. It seemed that girls always had all the options of nice footwear but boys were missing out.. Or perhaps their Mums were!! So Oscars for Kids was created.

Since then (couple of years ago), I have received so many sales from word of mouth, and also from people who literally stop me to comment on how nice his shoes are, and where could they find them! Now, in a relatively short time period, Oscars for Kids is now represented in 4 other countries along with over 40 retailers in Australia. 

We’ve continued to grow the range with different colour combinations and continually worked to make sure the loafers are of the highest possible quality without the highest possible price tag! We’ve also just added some sandals.. I think the secret so far has been busting my butt to make sure both the quality and customer service is as high as it can possibly be. Customers who order online will have them sent express post the same day! I try to make sure the photographs are as professional as possible, and never hesitate to exchange or provide any phone assistance when needed. 

It’s not easy to juggle Motherhood and the high expectations and standards of customer service I have of myself, but having an amazingly supportive and loving family has made it much easier. Plus, the incredible comments, feedback and even photos of customers’ kids wearing the loafers, is just so heart warming and beautiful to hear every single time… and it keeps me inspired!


Dea Manassen is the owner of Oscar’s For Kids, a new brand for the young and stylish among us, providing cute and comfy little loafers for fashionable little feet.

Website: www.oscarsforkids.com

Author: Laurice Klaire

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