Meet Donielle Brooke from Designer Wardrobe

If you frequented Facebook right when buy and sell pages were making it big, you would have no doubt have seen masses of girls trying to sell their designer items on a page called Designer Wardrobe.


Thinking back we may have even brought our first pair of One Teaspoon shorts from that very page, $30 ono good condition, size 10… Sounds familiar?

Well, meet Donielle Brooke, one half of the online site Designer Wardrobe, a brain wave turned successful business, with her partner Aidan. We recently caught up with the entrepreneur and babe town herself and here’s what she had to say….

designer wardrobe nzWhat other women in your life inspire you?

I am inspired by my Mum, Grandma, Friends for there own special ways. In work life I am very inspired by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of online fashion retailer Nasty Gal.

What does a typical day in the life of Donielle look like?

No two days are ever the same for me! The first thing I do when I wake up is address any urgent matters with DW while working from home. After that, I head off on a bush walk local to my house, grab a latte with chocolate on top, and then head into DW HQ where I catch up with the team and tackle the day’s challenges.

Do you have a quote, you live by? 

“You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”

What is your favourite snack? (We are obsessed with food)

Is it weird that my fav snack is olives and dry seaweed? I actually don’t snack often!

What was the defining moment when you first started your business?

When I created the DW Facebook Group was the defining moment for my business. I started it almost four years ago when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and needed to sell my designer items to support myself and pay my bills.

girlboss donielle from Designer Wardrobe New Zealand EntrepreneurThe transition to making your passion into a full time profitable business can be hard, what is your tip? And when did you know : Ok time to quit my job and do this full time?

Aidan and I had the opportunity to take part in a business accelerator programme called “Lightning Lab”. I was working as a hairdresser at Hamilton Brooks at the time and knew I had to take the risk to turn DW into what I knew it could be.

What was your first roadblock/failure and how did you get out of it:

Our first roadblock was running out of money! At the end of Lighting Lab while organising investment. Our families and our overdrafts (Aidan had also maxed out multiple Credit Cards) had done all they could do! In fact on one of the last week’s at Lightning Lab I cut another girl’s hair there so we couldget through the week haha!

What is something we don’t know about you?

I have dyslexia and it’s often very entertaining for my friends. I really look at dyslexia as a gift!

How do you keep current within the fashion industry?

Through DW, I am constantly staying up to date with the latest trends because it’s a community for all women who love fashion – from students looking for amazing bargains to high-end designer big spenders. I also get lots of inspiration by NZ woman like Chloe Zara and of course @serendipityave!!

Where to from here?

DW has grown from 8,000 members before Lightning Lab to now having over 80,000 members! We are excited for DW to keep growing and have amazing plans in-store to make DW the best place to shop online for fashion.

Serendipity Ave sells on Designer Wardrobe NZOne thing you would have told your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that strength is something you will learn and gain from experience, and in the end you will overcome all the challenges life throws at you! And there will always be a lot of challenges.

We have also teamed up with Designer Wardrobe for their new concept STORES where you can shop all of your favourite boutiques in one place. You can check out our store here…

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