Meet Mel Haque, the creative force behind Wild Dough, an Australian playdough company on a mission to spark creativity and fill playtime with joy. Crafted from 100% kid-friendly ingredients, Wild Dough has been thoughtfully made to offer hours of imaginative play for little ones. As Mel prepares to join our Melbourne/Narrm Market lineup, we asked her to share the story behind Wild Dough’s journey from her house to households across Victoria. Plus, she tells us the exciting new products she’s set to debut at the Royal Exhibition Building on October 13-15!
What inspired you to start your business?
I started Wild Dough while on maternity leave with my second child, Harvey. I was tired of the generic playdough tubs continually drying out and never being soft enough for my 2-year-old Ruby’s little fingers to roll out independently. As I was nursing and tending to my newborn, Ruby would constantly ask, “Mum, can you roll out my dough?” so she could keep playing, and I just thought there must be a better way. I searched high and low, and when I couldn’t find a better product, I created it myself. This new, super soft, long-lasting dough was game-changing for my household. It felt like it gave me an extra set of hands as Ruby would play for an hour happily engaged whilst I could tend to my needy newborn. From there, I knew I had to bring my product to the market to help other mums, so I started an online store and launched Wild Dough.
What’s your favourite playdough product?
Playdough Mix! It’s like cake mix but for playdough! This product is all about bringing back the nostalgia of making playdough with your own kids, just like our mums did with us. I’ve wanted to launch this for years, and we’ve finally perfected a recipe we’re proud of. The recipe is extremely easy and the resulting playdough is soft, long-lasting, and rehydratable if left out. It’s truly a new signature product for us that we are so proud to be able to share.
What can shoppers expect from your Finders Keepers stall?
The Wild Dough stand is always full of bright and fun things. We’ll have activities and gift ideas sorted for all kids up to 6 years old, including our entire collection of playdough. We’re also releasing our Christmas Collection, which includes five new doughs made in festive colours and scents like Red and White Swirl Candy Cane, Gingerbread and Red White and Green Twinkling with glitter and scents like cranberry. You’ll also be able to find our playdough tools and accessories, like stamper cutter sets and rolling pins.
Can you share your proudest small business moment?
The proudest moment was when we tendered for the Victorian Government 3-Year-Old Kinder
Kit contract and was chosen by a panel of early learning exerts as one of 8 businesses out of thousands who tendered. Our products were included in this kit of early learning resources that is given to every 3-year-old enrolled in kinder in Victoria for several years running which means Wild Dough has landed in over 170,000 households in Victoria.
Who are you looking forward to visiting at The Finders Keepers Market?
The Finders Keepers Market has always been a favourite with its eclectic mix of wonderful products. I love colour and unique things, which is exactly what you find at Finders Keepers. Most recently, at Finders, I found fun socks by Joode, a beautiful jumpsuit by Vow Studio, and gorgeous bright earrings from Pink Nade. The best part is you never know what you will find until you get there, as it always changes!