Pop Quiz, Monday with Rhoda McDonagh

I love when a customer shows me a picture of them at a wedding, christening, all types of events wearing one of our dresses that she loved and felt amazing in – there is no better feeling when you know your customers are happy.

Rhoda McDonagh

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Rhoda McDonagh
Photo credit: Rhoda McDonagh

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
Designer Room is a luxury designer dress hire, stocking brands that are exclusive to Designer Room. It is a new concept to the Irish market, hiring out high-end designer dresses for all occasion. We are making brands such as Victoria Beckham, Roksanda and many more now much more accessible at a fraction of the retail cost.

It will disrupt the way females currently buy and spend money on dresses. Why buy a dress you only wear once, take up closet space and never to be worn again. Hire a designer dress retailing at values from €300 to over €2k and hire them from a fraction of the price, anywhere from €50 to €160 for up to 4 days.

We cover off the need of wanting a designer dress without the price tag. It is hassle-free, superior customer service and they are getting a designer dress for minimal cost. All the customer needs to do is wear a dress and feel fabulous.

What do you love most about your job?
There are two things I love about my job:

  1. I love when a customer shows me a picture of them at a wedding, christening, all types of events wearing one of our dresses that she loved and felt amazing in – there is no better feeling when you know your customers are happy.
  2. Buying amazing dresses is my job, buying them with my customers in mind, what is not to love! Love love dresses, especially high end as the material, cut, structure how they can shape you and you instantly feel amazing in them. There is power when it comes to wearing the real thing.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My customers and also the flexibility around how my job both works for my customers and me. I work around my customers by appointment only so I open when they want me to.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work by myself currently. What inspires me is seeing people building something from scratch and making it work. There will always be curveballs, and this is what makes you learn and better yourself. Never give up, trust your instincts, and you won’t go far wrong.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Interacting with my customers is fun when you love what you do, the fun element comes very naturally.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Getting to know the industry – creating a brand from scratch – having patience and persistence – getting customers to shift a mindset from buying to hiring – getting Google to recognise who you – time mgmt, when you are working solely managing your time is crucial and very multitasking. It is important when you start a business that you have a passion for your business, and this is what really keeps driving me through some of the above challenges.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Invest in yourself – if you wouldn’t invest in yourself why would you consider someone else to do so.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be realistic, take your time – Do your research and really know who your target customer is.

Twitter: @designerroomIrl

Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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