Many of you know me as the primary face of RedBliss Design. However, there are actually two of us at the helm. And if there is one thing I know for sure, anything worth doing is even better when you do it with someone you trust and admire. Today, you will get to know a bit more about my sister, my business partner and my sanity check, Dori McDonald. -CT
Q: Tell us about yourself.
This is tough for me! I’m typically a quiet person who doesn’t like to be the center of attention, which is why I prefer to stay behind the scenes. However, I am a Gemini and sometimes the spotlight begs me to come in!
As with most quiet people, it only stands to reason that I’m a thinker. My brain is constantly devising and deconstructing, both design and business strategies. I love developing a game plan, whether it’s how to produce an elaborate invitation, or as an entrepreneur, where to invest our time and marketing resources. Prior to RedBliss, I spent eight years in marketing and advertising and learned to appreciate the importance of creative and strategic roles working together to develop a successful business.
As for my personal life, I married my biggest champion who immediately won me over with his charming ways and quick wit. And by immediately, I mean he informally proposed (and I said yes) after two weeks and we bought a house after two months! 16 years later, we have an 8-year-old son, Ronan, who has a passion for hockey, a love of books and gives the biggest bear hugs ever. Yes, I’m a lucky girl. And five months ago, we brought home not one, but TWO puppies. When your son falls in love with one and your husband another, how do you choose?
Q: Why do you love being in business with your sister?
I love that every day feels like I’m hanging out with my best friend. We completely understand each other, from each brainstorming discussion to every raised eyebrow. We can be open and honest in a way that allows us to candidly share new ideas, accept criticism and make decisions quickly. We have a healthy respect for each other’s core strengths and weaknesses, which has permitted us to divide the business responsibilities effectively.
Q: What is your role at RedBliss?
I’m the one who figures out how to turn a sketch into reality, decides if a new product is client-worthy and ensures each invitation is of the best quality. I’m the one with not only a game plan, but also a back-up plan and sometimes even an emergency plan! And I’m also the one who ensures every deadline is met.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As a boutique business, I’m also involved in design critique, website direction, and marketing tactics. Maybe that’s why it took so long to finally author this blog post!
Q: How do you find balance as a working mom?
I think it’s hard for everyone, but you have to do what works for you. Sure I’m guilty of checking and responding to email at home, just as I’m guilty of taking phone calls and texting with my husband and son at work. What works for me/us is that my husband is home after school to do homework and after-school activities, while I’m there in the mornings to get the day started, pack a healthy lunch and ensure everyone is on board with the plan for the day. Sure, I wish I could attend all of those hockey practices (not really), but as long as we can support and provide Ronan with a solid foundation, I’m happy. It also helps that I’m only 10 minutes away if something comes up.
Q: What is the biggest surprise of being in business for 14 years?
The biggest surprise is how unpredictable each day can be. Even after 14 years we haven’t seen or heard it all yet! There’s still fresh excitement every time the phone rings, a deep breath when every package is opened, and a sense of pride with every invitation that goes out the door.
Q: What is your desire for the future of RedBliss?
My desire is that we continue to be avant-garde, take risks, fail, succeed, teach and appreciate the journey every day. We have an incredible team and that is essential. I want to look back and be proud of our work and our team while sipping cocktails and sharing the many funny, hair-raising stories of what it took to build this business.
Q: And finally, tell us about your own wedding invitation?
Um, I didn’t have one…we eloped!