Dóro was born from the purest of circumstances; a simple gesture of kindness from one stranger to another inspired co-founder CarrieAnne to begin her own journey of spreading kindness to strangers. The result was Dóro – Malaysia’s first artisan succulent specialist. Their hand-crafted succulent arrangements make the perfect gift, and the perfect desk companion. We spoke to CarrieAnne about starting your own brand, finding inspiration, and the wonderful world of succulents.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your co-founders, and how Dóro began.
A few years ago, my husband Benny and I were living abroad as he had accepted a fantastic job opportunity. When we moved into our new home, we were delighted to find that our new landlady had gifted us with a small succulent pot and a lovely welcome message!
It was such a wonderful warm gesture to receive especially when you’re in a brand new and foreign environment. Unfortunately for me though, the succulent didn’t survive under my care but I refused to give up and continued to replant it multiple times until I had learnt the tricks to help it thrive. And so, in this repeated process, I fell in love with succulents.
I had always wanted to start my own gifting business, but it never occurred to me to turn my newfound hobby into a full-time business. What sparked the idea was when we returned home to Malaysia, we reconnected with friends of ours, Mint (a travel blogger) and Calvin (a successful culinary and wedding photographer), and over a casual dinner, we started chatting about this passion of mine and we all decided to bring it to life and turn it into a business!
We kind of jumped straight into the deep-end with this idea and agreed to go all-in and launch the business one month later. Then over the 4 day long weekend in conjunction with National Day, we had a hackathon, where we churned out our logo, finalized the product and packaging and brought the website online, I still can’t believe we did all this in four days. We then took the remainder of the month to draft and refine the business plan, and the rest as they say, is history.
What are the roles that you each take on?
As we are still a small team of 4, we have to be flexible with our individual scopes to be able to effectively support the business. In a general sense, Mint and I are full-time and handle the day-to-day operations of Dóro. From picking the best looking plants, to potting and packaging and finally ensuring the best delivery of our little packages of happiness to our customers.
Benny and Calvin on the other hand, are our support system. They step in whenever required to support us in terms of website and business development and even marketing strategies, thus leveraging their previous expertise and experiences.
How did you think of the name of your shop? Is there meaning behind it?
Before our 4-day hackathon, we knew we needed to have already decided on a name, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to churn everything we needed to out. Whilst brainstorming, we decided that the one thing we definitely needed the name to mean, was something that tied in to “gifting”, which was fundamentally the core of our entire business.
We came up with sooo many names but couldn’t decide on our favourite, until the name Dóro was suggested. The minute it was, we fell in love with the name and unanimously agreed that this was what we wanted.
The name Dóro is inspired by the Greek translation of δωρο, meaning “Gift”.
What are your dreams for the brand?
We aspire to be a brand associated with gifting of unique and natural creations, where every time someone thinks of sending a gift, they will think about Dóro!
Where do you find inspiration? Other entrepreneurs, nature, art?
We’ve found so much inspiration from each other. All of us comes from a very diverse backgrounds and have very different experiences and perspectives. We have learnt so much from each other and I am hopeful that we will always be able to draw on each other for inspiration.
What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs? What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
We may not be in the best position to give advice as yet as we are have only really been a team for 6 months. The best advice we can give, would be to face each challenge head on and not be afraid to push yourself just a little bit more each day as you’ll surprise yourself by your capacity for growth and inner talent.
Since we began, we’ve had many challenges arise, which include things like strange customer requests, continuity of supply issues (due to the higher than expected growth), allocation of time and optimization of delivery, just to mention a few. Instead of taking the each way out, we decided each time to face the challenge head on, and there is so much gratification at the end of the day when we are able to look back, and see how far we’ve come and the progress that we’ve made. And we did all this by learning and growing together as a team.
How do you celebrate the things you do have in your life?
For us it’s quite simple. Having a good time together over good food and great company, recounting the blessings and opportunities we’ve had in our lives.
For more articles on local female entrepreneurs, or just kick-ass ladies in general, check out our Spotlight category.
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