In Conversation with Moreporks Custodians Dane Watson and Winston Brinsley
Tell us a bit about how you guys ended up at the helm of Moreporks?
Dane: I had been in touch with Nat Allen, who was one of the Moreporks founders, to express my interest in bringing the brand back. After a bit of back and forth, I ended up acquiring the brand in February 2022, and I brought my good mate Winston into the business late last year.
Winnie: I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with Dane for the last few years as a content creator with a real interest in brands. Throughout those years I think Moreporks was always a topic of conversation being our favourite brand back in the day. The timing of it all just worked out really well, I was finishing my degree in Wellington and was considering what that next step looked like. When the opportunity came to my door step I was quick to take that on and have loved being a part of bringing this brand back to life.
What were you guys doing before you started working on Moreporks?
Dane: I’m the founder of the New Zealand headwear brand, Goodlids. My role at Goodlids gave me a bit of an understanding of the apparel landscape, so I felt comfortable taking on the Moreporks project. I still run the Goodlids operation, but I divide my time now between the two brands: mainly working on product and marketing strategy.
Winnie: I’m originally from Queenstown but I studied Graphic Design in Wellington for the last 4 years, loved it. On the side of Uni, I was a content creator working with multiple brands around New Zealand and I still am. I think that’s where my interest in brands comes from, and it's cool to be able to put both those skillsets to use on Moreporks. Funnily enough, during high school myself and a mate started a small clothing brand where everything we designed was heavily influenced by Moreporks, in some cases maybe too similar haha. Funny how things go around.
What’s Your Favourite Moreporks Product?
Dane: Hmm. From Moreporks 1.0 it has to be this old duck shooting rugby jersey I had when I was like 18. It was this two-tone masterpiece, my holy grail and I wore it to death. Here’s a picture of it - I’d love to remake it. But I can’t go past our latest collection. You’ll rarely catch me without my grey Heritage Tee and black Allweather Shorts. So good. Just wait until you see some of the hats we have coming out…
Winnie: Probably the hat I’m wearing right now which is unreleased. You’ll see.
Otherwise it’d be the tweed and leather hat with woollen earmuffs which has replaced my ski helmet. Keeps the ears warm and the sun off the face.
What’s Your Favourite Sport?
Dane: I cut my teeth playing cricket growing up, so I enjoy playing and watching cricket. These days you’re probably going to find me on the mountain or on the golf course. One day I’ll get a little yacht though. Winnie and I tried to see if we could buy a Moreporks boat as a business expense, probably not the best use of our resources. We have some cool plans to run fun events with our community, so stay tuned for our upcoming MOS Ski Trips and Golf Days. Should be epic.
Winnie: Rugby. Backbone.
Can you guys give us an insight into what you have planned for 2023?
Both: We’re really excited for our upcoming winter collection. We’re constrained by the lack of cashflow that comes with being a new business, but we’re really looking forward to doing as much as we can for the winter coming up. We think winter is the season that a brand like Moreporks really comes into its own. We’d love our own retail space, so expect to see a Moreporks pop-up at some stage later this year.
What is your dream for the Moreporks brand?
Dane: Oh man, I think Moreporks is a brand with a very high ceiling. The past owners did an amazing job, building one of my favourite brands. We have an opportunity to give it a crack and put our little spin on it, and I’d say that my dream for Moreporks would be to have a global brand that is based in NZ, with an epic NZ flagship which is the first store that foreigners want to visit when they come over here. That would be amazing.
Winnie: I think from a really basic point of view it would be to successfully bring the Moreporks brand back to New Zealand first and foremost. I think it really resembles to a lot of us kiwis. The next step would be looking overseas, I’d love to see Moreporks products roaming the streets around the world.