Have we found the perfect dress?
When Simone van Trojen quit her job in finance and started her company La Dress she was determined to invent the perfect dress for women everywhere. Eight years later, the company has gone from strength to strength and La Dress has over 250 styles sold online and all over the world. We sat down with the designer and entrepreneur in Dublin as she launches La Dress in Brown Thomas.
You quit your job to started La Dress – that was so risky!
It was, but I had a really strong gut feeling and I knew it was the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong – I have to work really hard but I still remember the first time someone I didn’t know ordered a dress from the site. It was the most amazing feeling in the world and worth every bit of hard work.
What gave you the idea?
At the time, I was working in finance and had just had two babies. My body had changed and my life was so hectic. It was impossible to look put together! So I thought, how amazing would it be to have one dress that suited every occasion? That was the initial idea and it grew from there.
How do you make a dress that suits every figure and shape?
I have very, very talented pattern cutters and we never stop working to make sure the dresses are the absolute best that they can be. We try them out on different women and get loads of feedback. What you wear is so important and has a big impact on your happiness. I hope our dresses help women feel confident, like they can take over the world.
OK – we’re sold. What dress should we buy?
Our most popular dress is the Carla – it’s light in summer, warm in winter, easy to wash and super elegant.
You have two children – how do you balance life and work?
I don’t try to balance everything -that’s impossible! Instead, I integrate work life and family life. If I have to travel (like to Ireland today) I try to bring the family with me so that we can share the experience together.
What advice would you give someone who has a great business idea and wants to get started?
Get the right people on board – I couldn’t cut patterns but I had the idea, so I employed great designers and pattern cutters. Be willing to work hard and trust your instinct. A business plan is essential. I think if you have an entrepreneurial streak in you you’ll succeed.
Check out the gallery of dress pics above!
La Dress is available now at Available at BT2 Dundrum, Blanchardstown and Grafton Street, Brown Thomas Cork, Limerick and Galway and online at www.ladress.com.