Canberra

The tale of: RENEE DOUROS

You’ve probably heard of The Floral Society and The Sugar Deli. What about PLANTED and The Social Club? These are the four kick-ass businesses founded and run by powerhouse businesswoman, Renee Douros.

The Floral Society is a digital florist with a shop presence in the form of flower bars located in both Green Square Kingston, and a pop-up (for a limited time) inside the Canberra Centre’s Monaro Mall.

Desserts delivered to your doorstep…. SAY WHAT? The Sugar Deli gives any other food delivery service in CBR a run for its money with a digital dessert parlour featuring a weekly changing menu and an encouraging attitude towards calories. Treat yo’ self.

Greenery is all the rage, and so PLANTED was born. A digital nursery is the perfect place to peruse and purchase indoor plants, or even send someone a gift of a potted surprise they can keep forever. With same day delivery and a complimentary plant whisperer service, you’ll be addicted.

Lastly, The Social Club located in Green Square Kingston, is a boutique blank space venue available for hire and unlike anything of its kind in Canberra. Launching mid-November this latest business venture for Renee provides the perfect space for all kinds of events and functions.

Thanks for chatting with us Renee. Let’s start with you – where did it all begin?

After graduating from university when I was 22, I did the standard thing and got myself a corporate job. The only problem was I hated it. The role was highly stressful and gave me no joy. After sticking it out for 12 months, I experienced in hindsight what I think was a nervous breakdown. I called my Dad really late one night in hysterics and he told me to quit and do what makes me happy. So, following his advice, I left the 9-5pm world and immediately threw myself into my first business venture, HOORAY! Magazine using the savings I had accumulated for a house deposit.

When did you first start dreaming about being your own boss?

Business is in my blood. My father, grandfather and great-grandfather are/were all successful business owners. My grandfather built the building in which The Floral Society, The Sugar Deli, PLANTED and The Social Club all operate from in Kingston; so seeing and hearing about their successes in business really affirmed for me that being my own boss was achievable with a bit of hard work and hustle.

What kind of boss are you?

That’s a tough one! I guess you’d have to ask my staff. I’d say I’m pretty easy-going, I’m often the one distracting the team with my chit chat and erratic thinking. I think it’s really important as a boss to allow your employees to have ownership over their roles and to also feel valued as an integral part of the businesses, so I avoid micro-managing and always try to make sure they’re happy and well looked after.

Tell us a little about each business and how you possibly have any kind of break.

Gosh, I don’t know where to start! Here’s a snapshot of each to keep things real simple:

The Floral Society: A not-so-traditional florist with a shopfront in Kingston, a pop-up Kiosk in the Canberra Centre (open until 22 December) and an easy-to-use online store.

The Sugar Deli: A digital dessert parlour delivering freshly made goodies on-demand.

PLANTED: A digital nursery where customers can shop online and have an indoor potted delight delivered to their doorstep.

The Social Club: Launching in Mid-November, this is a 350sqm blank canvas venue; perfect for weddings, parties, meetings, product launches…anything really!

As for a break, there are no breaks…but I like it that way.

How to you best balance motherhood and business?

I’m a firm believer in the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child! And in my case, this couldn’t be more relevant. My family and Rose’s dedicated, private Nanny Georgia all help with the balancing act that is being a mother and running businesses. Also, routine, routine, routine. Without a strict routine, my life would be a circus.

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Who has been your business mentor or someone you’ve called upon for guidance?

My Dad has been my biggest mentor. He’s encouraged and supported every single one of my business ventures from day one. When I was 8 months pregnant and had just launched The Floral Society he was chauffeuring me around Canberra every day of the week so we could deliver flowers together! I go to him with all of my questions about boring stuff like tax and managing cash flow…he makes sure I’m always on track. My partner Glen, my Mum, my brother and sister-in-law all pitch in to help whenever I need them also…it’s a real family operation!

What’s the best part about owning several businesses?

It certainly keeps me on my toes and no day is ever a boring one!

And what are the not so great parts?

When shit goes wrong. That’s bad for my blood pressure. But that’s business. I look at every f*ck up as an opportunity to learn and refine our processes.

Describe your typical life in a day:

6am: My toddler Rose is my alarm clock. We get up, Rose has her bottle and I get her and I ready for the day ahead.

7.30-8am: Depending on what day of the week it is, either my Mum or Roses’s Nanny, Georgia arrive to look after Rose while I’m at work.

8.30am: By this time I’m at my desk with a delicious Campos brew from my local in-hand, checking all of our email and social media accounts and actioning anything that needs to be taken care of first up.

9am: It’s a madhouse around this time as we work to fulfil our morning orders for The Floral Society, PLANTED and The Sugar Deli.

10am: Once our morning deliveries have been sent out with our couriers my day begins properly. Every day is vastly different depending on what we have going on. At the moment, as we renovate and prepare The Social Club for launch in November I’m spending a lot of my time meeting with trades and our event partners for the space.

12pm: I try my very hardest to pop over to EVO in Barton for a 1 hour workout.

3.30pm: I leave work and head to my local butcher and/or grocery store to grab ingredients for dinner…I love cooking and always try to cook dinner for my family every night.

5.30pm: We’re one of those weird families who eats dinner early.

6pm: My partner Glen cleans the kitchen and I spend time with my daughter, reading, bathing and getting her ready for bed.

7pm: Rose goes down with a bottle (if all goes well!) and I get to have some down time on the lounge with my partner, albeit usually with the laptop open while I work!

9pm: In bed my 9pm usually, like the geriatric I am.

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Renee (@reneedouros) in a flash:

Coffee or tea?: Coffee. The last time I had a cup of tea it was 1999.

On your bedside table we’ll find: A stack of books I got for Christmas last year and have never gotten around to reading (sorry Mum!), Aesop hand cream and my phones.

Favourite flowers: Dahlias.

Book your currently reading: Sadly, I don’t have time to read books. The only thing I read these days is emails!

Signature scent: NARCISO by Narciso Rodriguez

5 can’t-live-without handbag contents: Aesop Rosehip Lip Cream, my two mobile phones, a dummy (for Rose), a phone charger and my diary…I can’t live without my diary!

Featured image by Peta Rudd

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