Our Story

Bambini was born in August 2017, a real family affair. Tessa (Buyer and General Manager) had worked five years with former Wellington store, Kid republic, and on returning from her OE, was able to take up an offer from former owner Lisa, to buy the store. Tessa lives and breathes customer service, coming from 5 generations of retailers. She had always imagined having her own children's clothing store, so Bambini really is a dream come true.

Robyn and Julian (Tessa's parents) are co-directors. Jules is a dab hand with plywood and power-tools, and you can see the results in store. He is a web project manager by day, having started out building websites and advising on site navigation in the earliest days of the internet. Robyn is a writer and researcher and began her retail career at Camera House, before heading off overseas, where she met Julian. 

Sam is also part of the Bambini team. We're lucky he's inherited his dad's building and computer talents. We are really grateful to have him around when tech problems need solving.

What’s in a name? Bambini (‘babies and children’ in Italian), came about through Robyn’s love of Italy and all things Italian. She was studying the language at Vic uni when the idea came to live in Italy. So the family packed up and went first to the UK to spend time with Julian’s family. Then, a rambling old house on an olive farm in Umbria became home for the summer. Our bambini were the only children in the whole village - the nonni (grandparents) told us that their children had to live where the work was, taking the precious grandchildren with them. The bambini would visit the village during weekends, but in the week, our kids were it! They soaked up the attention and kind words - always in Italian - none of the elder folk spoke any but the most basic English in our village.

This pic is of Tessa and Sam heading off on the daily walk to buy bread and cheeses. Shopping was a whole social experience - every shopkeeper would take time for a warm greeting and a chat (chiacchiare). Then the folks in the town square would invite us to have a sit down with them and they would shower our kids with questions and affection. It was a beautiful thing that remains part of us to this day. That experience shaped us as a family, and perhaps it also gave us a sense of what shopping could be. 

Thus, for our store, the name Bambini seemed perfect.