Meet the Maker: Margaret O'Rourke

What inspired you to set up MoMuse? 
I've always been a very creative person but my path to making and creating beautiful pieces truly started in 2004. It's all been a dream come true since! 

I was very lucky to work part-time for both Hermes and Chanel whilst building my brand which really inspired me and fuelled my creative passion to do and make even more. Both were amazing brands through which I gained invaluable experience — from training, to focusing hugely on customer experience — which is why I try to go above and beyond for anybody shopping at MoMuse. 
    Where did you get your inspiration from?
    My inspiration now is very much travel and people but when I was initially setting up, it was all about simplicity and clean lines. I’m a firm believer of the notion that less is more. Dainty fallen stars, shimmering night skies and crescent moons are at the heart of my collections. 
      How did you start gaining traction? 
      I began by doing markets at weekends and it was the amazing stylist Aisling Farinealla who had the vision to set up the Loft Market where I was one of the first to join. It was there that I quickly came to realise that I loved the experience of creating and got a taste of the retail world, setting up what is now our shop location in the beautiful Powerscourt Townhouse. It was all meant to be and I'm so lucky to have such a beautiful space here on the the ground floor. 
        What tips would you give anyone wanting to start running a small business?
        I think as we are now facing a different time, particularly this year in 2020, which has and is going to be a difficult time for everyone, it's important to stay focused, believe in your product and create a relaxed customer experience, with a strong online presence. That last one is a biggie.
        What is your biggest achievement so far? 
        Getting featured in the New York Times in 2017 as one of the five places to shop in Dublin was huge for us. It brought so much business internationally and really put us on the map. That, alongside raising over 40k for Pieta House through sales of our Hope pendant. We always believe in giving back and can't believe the response we had to this partnership.
          What’s your vision for the future?
          I think retail is changing but my vision is to keep evolving with new designs and quality products focusing on my Irish roots here in Dublin.
            If you had to choose, what are your favourite pieces? 
            My favourite all time pieces have to be my stacking rings which I wear everyday myself, particularly my black & white diamond band.
              What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from starting your own business?
              Facing the potential closure of my business by honing in on our online presence really helped me to a) survive and b) stay connected with my customers. Customer service and our attention to detail has always been the key to our successes and smiles, both online and in store. The biggest lesson of all, I think, would be how important it is to have a team of great staff — I can honestly say that without them I could not have done it. Looking after them and their needs is very important to me.
              Where do you hope to be this time next year? 
              This time next year I would hope to have survived (and flourished) in the retail sphere amid this pandemic. Oh, and to be somewhere sunny.
              What type of person are you when it comes to colour and type of jewellery? 
              I am definitely a gold person and most definitely a ring person.

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