Meet the GirlCrewer #1: Katie McDonnell, Owner of Dublin Legwear Store ‘Tights Department’

Meet Katie McDonnell

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Katie McDonnell has a BA in Fashion Design from LSAD and a MA in Visual Communications (DIT). She has a real passion for Italian hosiery as she reckon’s they’re the best and has worked in the hosiery industry for about eight years so she just might know what she’s talking about.

Feeling that there was a need for a specialist legwear shop in Dublin City Centre, she opened Tights Department – firstly as a pop-up shop in the basement of The Design House and and later as a permanent shop in the Royal Hibernian Way (South Anne St. entrance).

“I mainly specialise in Italian hosiery from top brands: Omsa, Trasparenze, Silvia Grandi, Osé and Emilio Cavallini (coming soon!) and have recently introduced UK and US brands Pamela Mann and Leg Avenue to cater for the younger market and for the novelty seasonal requests. I stock all types of hosiery: tights, leggings/jeggings, socks, hold-ups, stockings, legwarmers, footless tights, tops and vests and I also stock children’s hosiery from Omsa Serenella.”

Tights Dept. also has an online shop too so it’s not restricted to GirlCrew gals just based in Dublin and there’s free delivery within Ireland for orders over €15.

1. What’s the best thing about starting your own business?

Building something of my own, something I believe in and seeing it being recognised and appreciated by others.

2. What’s the most difficult thing about starting your own business?

There are just not enough hours in the day! Tights Dept. is relatively new; therefore I can’t afford to take on any staff. I’m running the shop, doing the marketing and running the online shop too! I’m lucky I’ve got my family to support me, without their help I don’t think I would manage. It looks like my hard work is paying off though, as the business is growing, I hope to be hiring someone soon!

3. What is your proudest business achievement to date?

The reaction I get from customers every day! They love my shop and I have lots of regulars now which is fantastic!

4. What would be your one tip to others who want to set up their own business?

Research! I was lucky, there was an opportunity to set up a pop-up shop to test the market which gave me the confidence to open a more permanent shop and invest more in the business. I also have about 8 years’ experience in the hosiery business so I know the products well which is extremely important when looking after customers and finding the right product for their needs.

5. What would be your motto in life, and in business?

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

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