MEET DONNI RAE: fashion entrepreneur and mother to three beautiful babies. Donni founded and opened Privilege Clothing in 2007 and has expanded to three locations since then. She also has co-designed and launched three brands - Piperwest Watches, Priv, and State of Grace Clothing. Donni believes every woman can be whatever they want to be, does not believe in budgeting, and always orders the 9oz glass over the 6oz!
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What does babes supporting babes mean to you?
This is when women decide to work with each other, opposed to against each other. If it’s business, I am surrounded by incredibly motivated and supportive women in all directions. If it’s personal life, I am inspired by my friends, that choose to live positively inspiring lives. Collaboration over competition, we can all succeed if we support one another. If it’s family, I look to my mom and sister as GOALS for balancing lives with children. All of these people help form ideals of all of the people I strive to be, depending on what I’m wearing at any given time.
If you could choose your nickname, what would it be?
Hollywood. A nickname my Grandpa gave me a long time ago when I was a 5-year-old designing clothing out of a paper bags. He bought me a sewing machine and signed me up for lessons.
What is your spirit animal?
I’m going to say Kangaroo. I like that they seem fun and energetic, but I LOVE that they keep their babies close to them, because that about sums me up… always toting a baby around.
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement?
I feel very proud of this seasons launch of our own exclusive PRIV Collections that we are both retailing and wholesaling to other retail outlets across Canada. These styles in the collection are very organic to Privilege, and to know that other businesses feel the same way about the collection – is very reassuring.
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet?
Dental flossers - I obsessively floss my teeth. But also, diapers and breast pads. That’s embarrassing, but also pretty honest for a mom to a newborn.
Click HERE to visit the BABE SHOP!
Tell us about a time where you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead?
I have found a newfound appreciate for the term “grace” and am trying to practice that towards people that have intentionally tried to copy me or hurt me in business or personally. I won’t name the situations because I feel highlighting these things manifests more negative energy. I’m trying to understand that peoples bad behaviour has much more to do with them than it does with me, but I still take things personally. I can and will stand up for myself, but I also try my hardest to always be kind.
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t selling anymore?
THIS JUST HAPPENED TO ME! Glo Minerals Facial Oil. I use it obsessively to clear up my hormonal skin, and when I achieved my goal, BOOM – DISCONTINUED! Devastating. I now add pure argon oil to my face regime for added moisture, but its not quite the same.
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it? HERE COMES THE HOTSTEPPER
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career?
My dad always told me to not get emotional about business. It took me years to be able to do that, but it is hands down the best piece of advice I have received.
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career?
Miriam Alden “Be nice to people.” I have been challenged, but I don’t think there are many things in life that can’t be dealt with in a kind manner. It doesn’t have to mean enabling poor behaviour, but it can be portrayed in a kind way.
Red, white or rose?
ALL OF THE ABOVE.
When I dance I look like…
Probably a drunk idiot.
Who do you channel when you’re about to do something that scares you?
I might say my fiancé (worst word...) Ev. I see him as somebody who takes on everything in his life fearlessly. I wish I was more like that, to care less about what people might think – but just tackle business more directly.
What is your favourite destination to visit?
Greece. It’s just pristine, so chill, nothing compares to the European vibe.
What is your favourite meal to eat?
Wine. (side of pasta)
What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
My team. To be able to employ such a strong dedicated team of women, fuels me. It’s empowering to have built a corporate structure that functions all together like a machine. Everybody has a job, and there are a lot of moving parts. The systematic elements that function, when I’m removed from the equation – make me proud.
Where is your favourite place to draw inspiration from?
Travelling, and my friends. I find it hard sometimes to get creative inspiration when day to day life is so busy. Sometimes, I have to find that fun, carefree part of myself – in order to get the creative juices flowing. It can’t be forced.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Wine, which my team and I have decided we shouldn’t feel guilty about.
What quality are you working on yourself right now?
I’m trying to work on my focus. I need to learn how to focus my attention span onto something, ONE THING, to stay productive. This life has way too many different things going on, it’s hard to stay focused and productive. I should also stay off of Instagram, it feels like a big waste of time, and it doesn’t help me stay focused, I think it does the opposite and shortens our attention spans.
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business?
Finding a work/life balance. Juggling being a mom, now of three, and having built this business over the last 10 years – I constantly have to asses my priorities and be smart with my time. Easily the biggest hurdle I have struggled with.
Coffee meeting or drinks meeting?
I think I’ve probably already given the answer to that…
If you’re going out for a cocktail you’d order…
Dirty vodka martini
If you had unlimited budget for 2 hours shopping where would you go?
Bergdorf Goodman, I could do some serious damage there, and I believe Miriam and I did do damage there last May when we were in NYC.
What is your favourite movie?
Interstellar – I’m a real space nerd at heart, don’t even get me started.