Our Stories

Alex Dong

In 2011, my wife and I decided to move away from our busy and cluttered life in Silicon Valley and to settle in New Zealand. A couple of years later our lives and perspective changed forever when our daughter Mia was born. As a proud new dad I attempted to print some photos to send back to my grandparents, but the quality of the prints was disappointing and the process was complicated. With my experience in the software industry, I knew in my heart I could do better.

I wanted to build a company that would be built on values of honesty, integrity and loyalty, and above all I wanted to create products and technology founded on a principle of caring -about quality, about value, about the environment, and most of all, about my customers and their time and money.

I also wanted a catchy name with the word ‘happy’ in it. Happy in our work, happy making our customers happy. My wife suggested adding the word ‘moose’ so Happy Moose it became!

I decided the handling of the production myself was the only way the product would receive the attention to detail it needed to deliver the high-quality print product I had envisioned. So, in 2016 I purchased my first industrial sized printer and shortly after began operating it in the lounge of our home, a true family business with a desire to bring family moments from pixel to print in other people’s homes.

In 2018, we upscaled and purchased a new digital print press and our small team moved into a workshop where we operate today.

Happy Moose is a happy company committed to its customers and the quality of our service and products; our team of three are all contactable by phone.

Melanie Dick

HappyMoose encompasses my passion for photography and printing.

I have a background in technology and photography, including a Diploma in Digital Photography from SIT. I’m passionate about photography and photo printing. I say both, because these days so much photography is just about taking the photos and leaving them on your phone or computer as digital photos. Printing your photos is the final step in the photo creation process.

I do take photos on my phone but whenever I can I will be out with my camera I love photography and the emotive effect these moments in time have on all of us.

I first met Alex when I was working as a Project Manager at the University of Otago. He was this high flying software developer that had decided to relocate to Dunedin. I followed his progress and his start-up HappyMoose.

Then, a year after my daughter Rebecca was born, I crossed paths with him again and he asked me to join him at HappyMoose to help with customer service. His commitment to truly caring about the quality of his product, service and customers, and his emphasis on family felt like a perfect fit. He also allowed me to work flexibly from home, so I could spend time with Rebecca while taking care of our customers.

I love the work, but most of all being part of a team that makes people happy when they receive that special photo. The daily interaction with our customers and the happiness that our daily work delivers is what is truly rewarding.

Not long ago a lovely woman got in touch with us about printing treasured photos of her recently deceased partner. She was concerned that the quality of the photos wasn’t going to be good enough to make decent prints. I reviewed them for her and knew we could print them to a standard that would please her. When she received her prints she sent me a note: “The photos arrived today. Thank you so much. I am so happy with the outcome and I feel overwhelmed seeing them but so thankful to you for making them so super special, framed and just perfect. I was told it couldn’t be done … so many, many, thanks!”

To me this story sums up what HappyMoose brings its customers and why I love being a part of this special business.