Kia ora, my name is Kevin Barratt and I’m a Grey Lynn local. My partner (Gavin) and I have lived together in the area for approximately 20 years.
What was your inspiration behind the Ashley Bloomfield Bathrobe?
During lockdown, I watched the daily 1pm COVID-19 updates almost religiously. The more I watched, the more I started referring to these updates as my ‘Daily snuggles with Ashley’. One morning, I woke up cold, hungry and a little bit grumpy to be honest and my old bathrobe just wasn't giving me the comfort I needed. I thought dude, you seriously need a new bathrobe! How about one with Ashley Bloomfield's face on it? That would be magnificent! I wanted to get my daily snuggles whenever I wanted. And here we are today.
Why an Ashley Bloomfield Bathrobe?
Basically, I adore Dr Bloomfield and I wanted to make a tribute to him in some way shape or form. I wanted to make something unique which would last for a long time. I wanted to make something so that others could get their daily snuggles too. I also wanted to make something I could be proud of. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this wee little project and I’m so so proud of all that’s been achieved so far.
When did you start this?
4 May 2020 is when I kicked this all off. It was a complete and utter whirlwind to get the online site launched on 30 May. I spent every waking moment outside of my day job trying to turn my inspiration into a reality.
What did this involve?
May was spent getting the business underway. This included getting Dr Bloomfield’s permission to pursue my idea; setting up the website from scratch myself; sampling robes from multiple Kiwi companies until I found the right one; commissioning the gorgeous likeness of Dr Bloomfield; having the robes embroidered locally; roping family and friends to become unwitting bathrobe models and having a dear friend re-enact Scarlett O’Hara’s famous “Oh Ashley” scene from Gone with the Wind. This was three short weeks of incredibly hard work, frenetic energy and a hell of a lot of fun. I finally launched the Famine of Beauty website on30 May and unleashed my bathrobes unto the world - Fly my pretties, fly. On the first night live, a lovely lady from Waiheke bought the very first robe - I was completely over the moon.
How did you manage to achieve this?
There’s the old saying “it takes a village", I could not have done this alone. It was very much a team effort which included my incredible partner (Gavin), sister-in-law (Sharon), my Mum (Mavis), my beautiful sisters (Pam & Chilayne [models]), my magnificent friends from Cibo Restaurant (Jeremy & Brad [models]) and the alluring actress (Yvette Parsons). I am incredibly grateful to all for their help, love and support.
What is your proudest moment?
The proudest moment of my story so far is the ‘paying it forward’ of one of my bathrobes to a proud local Maori woman Whaea Rose Greaves who was subject to a vitriolic and heartbreaking racist attack recently in Ponsonby. My heart simply broke when I heard of her story. Right back at the beginning, I offered bathrobes to both Ashley and Libby Bloomfield. However, Dr Bloomfield asked me to pay theirs forward “to someone who deserved a break or something nice to happen to them”. I could not think of a more deserving person and the robe was gifted with kind-heartedness and aroha. I was honoured to have met Whaea Rose and have made a new friend because of it. Dr Bloomfield is aware of this.
How has the robe been doing since launch date?
The robe has been doing great, and has been extremely well received. I managed to get the bathrobes on to a huge NZ made facebook page. Since then, my pretties have just flown out the door to wonderful new customers who are now enjoying their daily snuggles with Dr B too. I’ve received such fantastic customer feedback and some may have even bought a little tear to the eye (sshhhhhhhhh).
I intend to feature further products of my own creation through the Famine of Beauty website. I’m currently working on some new products which I’ll be able to share with you all very soon. I’m super excited with everything that’s unfolding and it’s only the very beginning, so please watch this space.
How to order an Ashley Bloomfield Bathrobe?
If you’re after an Ashley Bloomfield Bathrobe for yourself or as a gift, head on over to www.famineofbeauty.co.nz. We offer free shipping to most NZ locations and I’ve personally hand-delivered a number of robes to local residents already.
A final word of thanks...
Goes out to Dr. Bloomfield for his ongoing exemplary leadership, stoic calm as well as his poise and grace during one of our country’s most challenging times; also for allowing me to pursue this crazy idea. What’s unfolded so rapidly and unexpectedly from this has given me the ability to set up Famine of Beauty, help support other NZ businesses and meet fabulous new friends and customers. I’m also incredibly grateful for all the love and support that has got me here, and again, it’s only the beginning, so please watch this space.
FAMINE OF BEAUTY, www.famineofbeauty.co.nz, FB: @famineofbeauty, IG: #famineofbeautynz