Laura Street from the fashion hub Shop Style caught up with Donnna Ida recently, here is what she had to say...
A few weeks ago, I went along to Donna Ida's denim boutique in Belgravia to catch up with the woman herself and find out what makes her so successful. She also fitted me for a pair of skinny jeans and I was amazed at both her energy and her knowledge of denim. What Donna doesn't know about denim, isn't worth knowing. Read below to find out about her denim icons, her love of Twitter and why her boutiques are so successful.
What makes you so successful?
I think it’s just trying really hard and not giving up. You do have to try really, really hard and work really hard for a long time. I can’t remember who it was, but an entrepeneur said something, you have to work your arse off for a minimum of 5,000 days before you’ll even begin to see some return and if you’re not prepared to do that, then don’t even start in the first place.
Is there something different about the way you do things?
Maybe because I relate, because I wasn’t in retail before. So I deliver a level of service that I would expect as a consumer. I didn’t have any bad habits as in, doing things because that’s just what you do. I didn’t know what you were supposed to do, I didn’t have a clue it’s just that I knew what it was like to be the customer.
How has the internet helped you grow as a business?
I think it’s better because if someone is interested in you, they can find out more about you online – they don’t have to come across a store. We reach so many more people now, otherwise we’re just a London based store. You need to inject as much personality as you can so people get it, which is why I use social media and blogging is so good for us. It’s not just about buying jeans, it’s about what the customer is like, it’s about what we’re like, or what I’m like. It gives the brand a personality.
Why do you think that Twitter is so important?
It’s just good for talking to your customers. It’s not just people from the industry, people talk to me all the time! Like ‘Raj’ who would never, ever buy jeans from us but he talks to me all the time, but maybe he has a girlfriend, or would mention us to the girls at work. It’s just another way of advertising basically and getting the name out there. It’s just another platform. I mean, I’ve never been on Facebook, but we reach a massive audience. But then our customers and the journalists I speak to are on Twitter.
Would you consider working with a blogger?
Yeah definitely. Bloggers are really interesting, they’re like self publishers. I mean anybody could write a blog really, but whether you write anything good on it is another story. I read 5 inches and up, Fashion Foie Gras, Liberty London Girl, A Model Recommends, Denim Blog and Denimology.
Who are your denim style icons?
Kate Moss for sure, she always looks amazing, Nicole Richie looks really good in jeans and so do the Olsen twins and Jennifer Aniston – she has a great figure for jeans and she always wear belts well.