delores designs | business spotlight

business spotlight - delores designs Support woman owned businesses REDRETICULE.COMbusiness spotlight - delores designs Support woman owned businesses REDRETICULE.COM

About a month ago, I introduced you to Lisa, the owner of The Bonbonnier who chose to make her dream a reality after serving in the navy and then teaching for 10 years.

In today’s business spotlight I want to introduce you to Delores from Delores Designs! A woman who is strong as steel, persistent and kind all at the same time. Delores’ collection instantly caught my eye. She specializes on unique, hand made knitwear that truly is one of a kind. Something that you cannot relate to because you have never seen anything like it before.

Here’s Delores’ inspiring story and how she made the move from corporate banking into a successful, self-made business owner.

 

 

How would you describe your brand in one sentence?

Unique designs for unique people.

What inspired you to start your business?

After having spent many years in the global banking industry mainly in Corporate Investments, Private Wealth Management, and Securities Technology divisions, I resigned in 2010 as I had suffered two years of sustained bullying and harassment at the hands of one of the global heads of the last bank I was employed at. Following on from that bad experience, I made the decision to change career direction and work for myself. The knitwear started when I was invited to attend an open-air, rooftop evening event that took place in the chilly temperature of October 2011. In need of an elegant knitted top, I scoured shops on the streets of London and searched the internet for a unique knitted top. Although I had spotted a few gorgeous tops, I did not find a top that was unusual and unique. I love knitting and decided to design and create a top unique to me and my individual taste and I wore it to the event where a few positive comments were made that resulted in me sealing two orders for the top that evening. Moving fast forward, I knitted bespoke items for family members, friends and friends of friends and from the pleasure I derived from seeing the completion of each finished piece and the sheer satisfaction expressed by the new owners, I formed my on-line knitwear and apparel company in 2012.

Your pieces are very unique. Where do you find inspiration for new designs?

I love quirky styles, designs and vibrant colors. I conjure up designs from my imagination and create items that I believe cater for people who love to own, wear and express their uniqueness and individualism.

Are all the items hand made?

Yes. All knitwear items are handmade in the United Kingdom.
business spotlight - delores designs Support woman owned businesses REDRETICULE.COMbusiness spotlight - delores designs Support woman owned businesses REDRETICULE.COM

In your experience what are the most important attributes to be a successful business owner?

There are several. From my personal experience, the important attributes to be a successful business owner are to be focused, goals achievement orientated, determined, disciplined. Determine why you are in business and follow through on the reasons behind those determinations. Be people focused, an effective communicator and decision maker, consistently and continuously engage in research, educate yourself in the various areas of your business, listen and learn from the best in the business. Be willing to learn new skills, manage your time to maintain business and personal life balance, network relevantly and finally and most importantly take care of you and your health. The business owner is the key component and avoids burnout.

What has been your biggest challenge in being a business owner so far?

If everything went according to the “Business Plan,” life would be perfect. To be honest, successfully sustaining a level of organic and substantial cash flow without financial injection from the bank and various borrowers to enable growth and investment has been my biggest challenge and continues to be. The business currently continues to run smoothly despite all of the varied challenges and that makes things great and optimistic for the future.

What has been your greatest reward since you started Delores Designs?

I attend various fashion events and fairs and this summer, at a London event I participated in an independent fashion designers of handmade products, where a celebrity stylist spotted my booth. After a brief conversation about my business, he purchased one of my items for his wife. A couple of days later he returned and enquired about knitwear designs for men. He made an offer and I accepted it. The first bespoke item commissioned was for him personally. Since then, I have been making items for his company. My company is on his books as a client and he is on my books as a regular customer. Our encounter has developed into a beneficial win/win, b2b relationship. Being spotted by a celebrity stylist, which I was not aware of initially and learnt weeks later, and becoming one of his clients commissioned to make items for his male celebrity customers has been my greatest reward to date.

What’s the best advice you wish you’d have gotten before starting a business?

The best advice I wished I had gotten is, it won’t be plain sailing without hard work, thick skin and discipline.

business spotlight - delores designs Support woman owned businesses REDRETICULE.COM

Photos: Courtesy of Delores Designs

 

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