Meet Paul Dunn of Dunn’s Leathergoods in Camberwell Junction
Article posted: January 12, 2023
For 62 years, Dunn’s Leathergoods has operated from the same spot in Camberwell Junction and is a proud local retailer.
When Gerald Dunn came to Australia, he brought his considerable knowledge of leather and experience in design.
He had worked in his parents’ business in Germany selling leather to manufacturers and studied how to design and create beauty and jewellery cases in pre-war Germany and England.
When Gerald moved to Melbourne, he took the next step and established his own manufacturing business and began selling leather goods.
Gerald and Mary Dunn built up a respected and trusted business which their daughter Fay, and grandsons Paul and Mark, continue and build upon today.
Ensuring happy customers
Paul Dunn said the expert advice and great customer service keep people coming back to shop at the store and that reputation encourages new customers.
“It’s a tradition that has remained at Dunn’s Leathergoods since 1960. Good old fashioned customer service and attention isn’t so readily available these days,” Mr Dunn said.
“We love to engage with our customers; chat about what they need, who it’s for, their budget. We have knowledge of all our goods and are more than happy to give advice if it’s wanted.
“We’re also happy to let people browse the store. We have a wonderful and varied selection of items, so it’s a nice store to look around and make your decision.”
Mr Dunn is a firm believer in seeing and touching, especially with leather items.
“Obviously many people like to shop online but others like to see the item in the flesh and feel it, even try it on,” he said.
“Lots of women like to feel the weight of a bag and like to try it on to see how it hangs on them.”
Over the years Dunn’s has added to its traditional leather bags and luggage with quirkier items and gifts.
The store stocks an extensive collection of funny socks, make-up bags in bold printed fabrics and, of all things, a Donald Trump toilet brush.
“As well as our traditional leather luggage, we also stock lightweight microfibre bags and we have, for example, wetpacks and all the latest travel accessories,” Mr Dunn said.
Generations of shoppers and service
Mr Dunn graduated university in computing and was an IT Project Manager before he decided to join the family business. He hasn’t looked back.
“I grew up with this business as part of the family and it was a logical step for me. I love it,” he said.
“I enjoy talking to people every day about how we can help, and I love carrying on a tradition of great service and great products that’s been here on the corner of Burke Road and Burke Avenue for decades.”
As generations of the Dunn family continue the business, generations of customers continue to shop there too.
“Often we get customers who bought luggage or a handbag many years ago and have come back to buy a new piece. Or someone who was given a present or a bag from here comes in when they need to buy luggage or want to buy a gift,” Mr Dunn said.
He said the loyal, ever-growing customer base is attributed to the quality and diversity of the store’s goods.
“Good retail goes back to basics: great service, quality and choice,” Mr Dunn said.