Doone Roisin

Doone Roisin

Founder / Female Startup Club

Business OwnerFounder

If you’re not part of the podcasting community, it’s tempting to think of those who are as other-worldly. The same can be said for the insanely talented leaders of movements that inspire and propel female-led businesses to world domination. These people are forever chasing that elusive perfect interview, or that perfect snippet of advice that will change the game – it’s as if nothing else matters other than their community and the impact they have. Can you imagine how profound it would be to call that a job?

Hype-girl Doone Roisin is my ultimate #careercrush. An Aussie girl with a global heart, and a personal army of the biggest names in biz. What she has achieved over the past 5 years will make you rethink all those limiting beliefs and give that thing a go (regardless of the cost).

In this interview Doone speaks openly about her time at school, her thought process during the entire Uni thing, how she navigated her early 20’s, and the tactics she used to land her dream job at some of the most profound brands in the world. (hello The Iconic!).

This interview is a beast. Grab that notebook and take stock. Then head here to buy her book. You WILL NOT REGRET IT!

Let’s begin.

Doone, thank you so much for joining me. Let’s start of the bottom. Can you tell us where you grew up, and how your experience shaped the person you are and the career you are in today?

When I was younger I struggled to tell my story because I was often embarrassed that my childhood looked different to my friends. In more recent times I’ve started to cherish my upbringing and what my mum did for me, and the sacrifices that she made for me as a woman and as a person.

To paint the picture, when I was little, we lived in this tiny town on the side of a mountain. I guess you couldn’t even call it a town. There were 90 people around with a dirt road. It came with a shed. She improved it over time, but we didn’t have electricity in the early days. We very much lived off the land. We ate our own veggies. We killed our own chickens. There are a lot of hustles that she had to go through to survive. When it became time to go to high school, I was offered an opportunity from my paternal grandparents that I’m forever grateful for, and changed the course of my life.

Boarding school!

That shifted my life. That’s when I started to see what’s possible in the world. I was surrounded by a lot of wealthy families that were very different to me and my upbringing. I was able to see what education and money can do for people and what one could dream about and aspire for. I was able to travel and do certain things because of this network that I found myself part of. Going from not having a lot when I was little to being given this incredible opportunity was such a game-changer in my life and something that has shaped the rest of my life. We’ll get into all the in-betweens later, but this little out-the-ordinary upbringing and watching my single mum hustle to support the two of us, has ignited an entrepreneurial fire in me.

This brings me to today.

I’m the host and founder of a modern media company called Female Startup Club. This business gives me so much drive and passion, and I’m super proud of it. We’re on a mission to help women build impactful eCommerce and direct-to-consumer businesses through inspirational and practical content.

This is massive, what a start-up story! Thank you for all of that detail. So after boarding school did  you go on to further education? Where and what did you study?

I did, but it didn’t last long. I was a uni dropout and went on to do a course in visual communications; which funnily enough has helped me endlessly since then (circa 2007/2008) but social media certainly wasn’t anything of note when it came to a career path. After I graduated I wanted to work in fashion – that was THE dream.

Do you think it’s important for people to have a degree in your line of work?

Absolutely not. If traditional education is not for you, there are so many ways to gain knowledge and experience nowadays. That’s not to say I’m not a big advocate for education, I just don’t think it’s something you necessarily need to go to school for. You can do it in many ways. Thank you, Internet! In my opinion, you don’t need a piece of paper to be recognised as good enough.

The school of Google and Youtube is real and we hear this countless times on the podcast. In today’s world, you can learn anything online.

Did you complete any internships or volunteer placements? Tell us about your experience.

At the start of my career I wanted to work for glossy mags, where it’s notoriously difficult to get internships, so let’s just say I took it upon myself. At the time there was a free glossy in Brisbane that got sent out with the Courier Mail, and it was my only chance of getting experience in the industry. So one day I went to my local nursery and bought a thyme herb, potted it up in a cute pot and attached a card that said “Could I have a moment of your time?”.

I dressed up in my finest delivery-looking outfit (hi-vis oversized shirt and my Nike kicks) and off I went in search of the editorial director (and also to have a snoop in the offices). It’s important to note that there weren’t any open internships advertised at the time but the next day I had a 12-week internship and got started right away.

After a handful of these experiences – I also may or may not have defaced a building in order to get the attention of a certain CEO… another success. But I don’t recommend that, pretty sure it’s illegal!

Around that time, I heard along the grapevine about a new business opening in Sydney. It was a website selling fashion online. At the time, in 2011, this was not the norm and online shopping was only just getting started in Australia. I promptly packed my bags and headed to Sydney in search of my fashion dream and joined what we now know as The Iconic as an intern.

This role quickly turned into a creator of our social communities and my business card read ‘Professional Facebooker’. Ha! It’s also here that I learned of words like startup and entrepreneurship; it was a well-funded biz that was scrappy and super exciting. This is where I decided that one day I’d do my own thing.

Love it, so how did your experience get you set up to start your own thing? 

Before starting with Female Startup Club, I was working on an eCommerce brand. It was a sparkly jewelry brand called Kincs. It was super fun. We grew it organically. It took me to China and Indonesia. We moved to Bali for six months. We shifted our production there. We went to Thailand. It took us to Paris Fashion Week. It was worn by influencers and spoken about online in places like Vogue and Who What Wear.

Coming from the Ecommerce world courtesy of The Iconic. I love products and packaging. I love the idea of receiving stuff in the mail and I’m a classic marketer’s dream – I love nice things on a shelf. I always wanted to start an eCommerce brand and use that skillset. And jewelry is where it started. By about year two, I was like, “I think I picked the wrong product.”

I love the idea of the business model of building an eCommerce brand. I have a lot of ideas about how to do that. I know a lot about how to do that, but I picked something that requires constant newness, trends and collections. It’s more a want, not a need type product. I wanted to do something that solved a problem that I could truly lean into and stack all those marketing things on there.

I have this realization and this is when I started talking to my girlfriends. I’m like, “What are you doing? What industry are you in? Can I ask you some questions?” I realized that I was having these interesting gold-filled conversations around what was working for them, how they were building out teams or how they were raising money. I was like, “This is so cool that I get to be privy to these conversations. I should start sharing these online.”

At the same time, I’m reading Tools of Titans. The book is big. It’s huge. I’m like, “This is super cool. All these guys are badass. I love that they take this direct, no bullshit approach to business.” I learn a lot from men, truthfully. I feel I have a lot of masculine energy and I want to understand how they’re building businesses, but I also want to hear that same energy from women. E

ven though the book is amazing, there weren’t a lot of women included. The whole ‘believe in yourself’ thing and the ‘live, laugh and love’ stuff are great but I want the tactical, no-fluff advice from successful entrepreneurs.

I wanted to understand the strategies of how to get there and hear that same energy from women. I was thinking, “Maybe I should start doing that and start asking these questions myself.” That’s when we started doing these videos, posting them on Instagram, which quickly led to the podcast. It was not meant to be anything special. It was something that I was doing on the side. I whipped up a quick website on Wix. I did some casual branding myself. It was not planned if that makes sense. The classic bedroom floor side hustle.

Ahhhh, love this Doone. So let’s jump over to today. What does a typical work day look like for you?

One of the favourite parts of my job, and also a big part of the reason I started this journey, is that there is no true ‘typical’ work day.

This is freedom to me.

I do have some rules to keep me sane, such as starting the day slowly with a general catchup whilst sticking to a strict no-meeting-before-10AM rule. That’s been a real game-changer. Besides that, we air three to five episodes a week, so that’s a really a bit commitment to keep up with.

We spend a lot of time creating content (like a lot!!) for our various social media accounts (TikTok, Twitter, Instagram both personal and business, YouTube etc). Also, cuddles with my puppy, Sweetie, are absolutely vital. In the evening my husband and I  love to wind down by cooking something yummy and cosying up on the sofa.

What piece of career advice do you wish that someone told you in your early 20s?

I feel like for a lot of my 20s I struggled with feeling content. I was always chasing this thing. It’s so easy to always be in a race with yourself. Going faster, doing everything, doing more, achieving more. I’d tell my 20-something-year-old self to focus on enjoying the journey and the day-to-day.

Everything good takes time. Therein lies the magic.

What is the worst piece of career advice you received in your 20s?

To quit your job in order to become an entrepreneur. If you’re working a nine to five and have that security of a monthly paycheck, don’t underestimate what you can do by having something that continues to pay your bills and allows you to invest into your business on the side slowly.

If your goal is to make more money or you need more money in general, going all in and quitting your job is not a vibe. Being able to invest in your own side hustle gives you the freedom to make the choices that are right for you and your business rather than from a place of necessity.

If you could start your career all over again what would you do differently?

I’d start a side hustle much earlier! And focus on building my personal brand presence on social media. I spent a lot of time dreaming about different ideas and not taking action.

My advice to everyone that aspires to have a business one day is to pick something you’re interested in enough to talk about every day and begin crafting content on Tiktok and Youtube; having an audience will help you SO much on the day you want to launch something.

What are the most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your career!

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