Lou Donovan is the founder of Rio Fiesta, a company that she first started researching in 2017 and launched in 2019. Being eco friendly is at the forefront of the everything they do and producing high quality, luxury Turkish towels is their game. Given that we love traveling here at House of Coco, we fell in love with the Rio Fiesta and their large range of towels that we can already see ourselves using on beaches all over the world.
Not just a pretty face, Lou Donovan is a woman on a mission and has big plans for the brand. We couldn’t wait to find out more so we spent some time with her to talk about her plans for the future and more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching Rio Fiesta…The Rio Fiesta journey began in 2017 when I noticed that although there were many companies within Australia selling Turkish Towels no company that I purchased from seemed to deliver a seamless and luxurious experience from start to end.Fast forward to 2019 after lots of research, trial, error and back and forth, Rio Fiesta was officially launched to the Australian market.
What sets you apart from other similar brands on the market?Our overall experience and premium quality of our product, we aim for luxury from beginning to end whilst maintaining an affordable price point. We also have a really clear vision of who our customers are and believe this helps us immensely. As a company we place emphasis on being eco-friendly, our packaging will bio-degrade within 6 months. Our custom tissue paper uses ink that is soy-based and completely acid free and FSC Certified. This is a packaging solution that is completely harmless to the environment. We continue to look for ways to support the environment.Being eco friendly is one of your missions, why is this important to you?Its so important for businesses to look at ways to be eco-friendly. We want the world to be enjoyed by the generations ahead and therefore we have an obligation to do what we can now. In addition to this as Rio Fiesta grows we are looking to partner with an organisation where not only can we donate a percentage of profits but where we can be actively involved. Being based in Brisbane, Australia an organisation that is dedicated to preservation of the Great Barrier Reef and its wildlife stands out most.Do you plan on expanding the range in future?Absolutely. Currently we stock a range of 24 towels. I hope to increase this to 40 towels by the end of the year. We are also looking at introducing other product lines that compliment our beautiful beach towels.
Since launching the brand, what has been your highlight?There have been so many highlights already. One that stands out for me is when I did my first pop up store last November and a lady came up to me and told me that she had bought one of my towels right around the time my business launched and how much she loved it. This was the first time I had actually met one of my customers in person and it was a great feeling to know that she had a great experience buying through my company and loved the product that I have worked so hard to create.Looking back, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t necessarily do anything differently. Im very proud of my journey so far this isn’t to say I haven’t made countless mistakes along the way and still continue to. These mistakes enable me to learn and grow. One thing I have realised is that its impossible to be able to know and do everything on your own, so perhaps what I would do differently is look for a business mentor sooner than I did. Having someone to bounce ideas off and guide you is so important.Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list? Central America, Ive been planning a trip there for a little while. I would start in Belize and finish in Panama.What quote do you like to read when you are lacking motivation?I actually have an album in my iPhone photos named ‘quotes’ that I look through when I do need that extra bit of motivation. One of my favourites is “When you know you’re supposed to take a step of faith, don’t stay where its comfortable. You can’t play it safe all your life and be who you were created to be” this reminds me to continually push outside of my comfort zone to enable growth in myself and my business. Another favourite quote is ‘It takes years to make an overnight success” this is especially important to me at this stage in my business journey.For anyone wanting to start their own business, what advice would you offer? Just start. I hear people say all the time how they would love to do this and they would love to do that, well what is stopping them. The reality is often themselves. The other key thing would be to ensure they have properly researched the product they are selling and the market that they are entering. There is no point starting a business selling a product where there is no demand for that product or offering a service that no one is looking for.What are your plans for the business in 2020?2020 looks to be a great year. We have our dedicated UK distribution centre opening in May 2020 this will enable us to ship at far better rates to our UK and European customers. Further to this we will be looking to do our first trade show with the view of being stocked in stores to enable customers to feel our towels prior to purchasing. We will also continue to focus on our social media and work with influencers to create great campaigns and brand awareness.Where can people find out more?Keep an eye on our social media for updates @rio.fiesta or visit riofiesta.com.au