Successful designer and entrepreneur, Karen Dornellie is our Wonder Woman this Wednesday
The Karen Dornellie brand was launched in 2009 at the National Wedding Show. Initially specialising in veils, Karen extended her interest to include headpieces and separates. More recently, Karen has set up Rainaway Brides, an innovative concept that’s perfect for our unpredictable British weather. Karen’s hard work and determination has earned her our Wonder Woman title this Wednesday. We met up with the business woman to discuss her history and success within our beloved industry.
I was a costume maker at the time that my best friend was planning her wedding. She asked me to make her dress but due to work commitments and logistics I declined. She did, however, convince me to make her veil for her because when we looked at what was available they weren’t very inspiring and extremely expensive for just a basic design.
When I made her veil, it was my first ever, and it motivated me to try to innovate the design of veils by making good quality and unique items.
I had always dreamed of being my own boss as a designer and I felt the timing was right to do so within the bridal industry.
I am afraid I am still searching for the secret to success but I am doggedly determined and hard work does pay off.
I have the passion to not give up which goes a long way and I hope will get me to where I hope to be one day.
Each day is a joy to be doing what I love and enjoy.
My greatest achievement is to have created a business I am proud of and is growing each year on my own. I have created not just my design business but Rainaway Bride which is getting more popular as time goes on.
I have also received an SBS award from Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday on Twitter which was fantastic to be recognised by such an influential place. Another achievement was when I did won first prize whilst at Fashion College for a design project set by Courtaulds, and it was on show at a major fabric fair in Olympia.
I don’t currently have an employees but any freelance colleagues must have drive, skills and precision to detail… And a very good sense of humour.
Every day is different as some days are with clients, others are spent researching and designing, and many more at a sewing machine working on orders or creating new designs. The great thing about my job is no day is the same. Paperwork days are not my favourite, however, but have to be done.
Karen’s achievements within our industry have inspired us here at Bridal Buyer, and we hope they’ve done the same to you. If you know an inspiring woman within the bridal business that you’d like us to feature, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.