Frock N Fabulous – A Micro Enterprise Story, So Far!
Kara Maher is the owner of an occasion-wear boutique Frock N Fabulous, which operates from
35 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.
Having started her business 4 years ago she now tells her own story and the effect of selected and appropriate training and supports she experienced along the way:
“I started from my Kitchen table!! I bought a beautiful range of designer hats from top Irish Milliners and set up an online Hat rental business which I grew with the dresses and accessories at a later stage.
I come from a business and finance background, my previous job before I set up Frock N Fabulous was Finance manager for a car dealership. I needed more training with regard to setting up a business, managing budgets, taxation, human resources etc. I enrolled in a business development programme with my local enterprise office and from there I was given coaching and mentoring specific to growing my business.
Frock N Fabulous has been very much a "stepping stone" project. After 6 months of doing online hat rental from my home, I moved the business into a lovey premises in Dundrum where I grew the stock levels, staff levels and the business in general.
At each stage I checked in with my mentor for advice and guidance, helping with business plans and projections.
After a year in Dundrum I knew I had to take the business a step further and moved into Drury street. Without taking a huge risk with rent and rates, I rented the basement from an alterations business on Drury street. This proved to be a huge success with footfall being the main advantage and having such a great location in the city centre.
Two years in Drury street proved a huge success. At this stage, we added in an exclusive bridesmaid collection which proved to be a big hit and now brings in over 50% of the overall business. Drury Street got really busy and we quickly ran out of space. Even worse; we found that on the busier days we were actually loosing business because we couldn't cater for the numbers coming in. In relative terms this was a great problem to have!!
Throughout the growth years, I would touch base with my mentor, who helped guide me through the elements of, what is now, our third growth plan: costings, projections, new business plans and much more.
Last December we moved Frock N Fabulous into our fabulous new (permanent) home at 35 Exchequer Street. We have recently secured some financial support for this latest growth-phase from LEO-DC and this has also greatly assisted with the expansion of the project.
This was the dream four years ago, I just had to do it step by step and I'm so glad I did as I've learned so much along with the way and it's been lovely to watch it grow organically.”
The Local Enterprise Office Dublin City (LEO DC) has a complete range of training programmes specifically designed to cater for the micro business. If you have a start-up business idea or have an existing small business looking to expand, LEO DC could be a great partner for your business into the future.
Check out our website for our full range of Training and financial supports