In the second episode of 'People of Timely' we meet Dawn from Madam Frou Frou, and talk about the importance of the client experience.

Thanks for having us Dawn, where’s your accent from?

I come from the South West of England, a little place called Dorset. It’s quite sweet and very beautiful. I’ve been in Australia for about 18 years so I’m quite established now in Melbourne.

How did you come to start Madam Frou Frou?

Ok so, probably about 7 years ago I kinda came up with the idea. I basically woke up one morning and said “I got a question here for myself: Do I want to actually carry on and work for other people, or do I want to create something?”

I had a vision, and I asked myself “Do I want to do it, yes or no”. The answer was yes. So then I had to start putting the plans in process. It took a couple of years to pull it together. I actually tried a few other things as well. I was going to do bag making, like leather bag making. I always want to try new things, so I guess having my own business was a way of exploring that.

It took a couple of days to work it out, what the name was going to be. I wanted it to be a whole feeling, something that was really tangible. Something that would stick in people’s minds, but also make people smile when they said it. I think we kind of nailed that.

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Can you tell me about the client experience here?

Everything in this space is about integrity, honesty and making someone feel empowered.

It’s very much a symbiotic relationship that I have with my staff and that everyone else has together. That’s what I really love about it, that’s what I love about this space.

People really let their guard down and they are just as they want to be. I’m not saying they’re running around naked and all that craziness! But what I want to do is find that inner feeling and that inner image, and create something different for our clients that maybe they haven’t found somewhere else.

“It’s like a sanctuary when people come in.”

It’s a very informal environment where everybody likes to voice their opinion and everybody likes to talk to each other, which is amazing. So they come in and they spend some time here and they don’t want to leave, which is really nice.

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Why is the client experience so important?

I think one of the most important things is vision. The most essential point is that I ask them. I want to find out what it is that they’re looking for. What kind of image are they trying to portray? Do they want to change that? I’m going to give them my honest opinion, and lots of different choices, and communicate that so that someone understands where they want to be or what they like.

We want them to feel renewed and understood. So that means that our clients are listened to and that there’s no false pretences in here. We have honest conversations and all of my clients talk to each other.

What are the three values that you live by?

The three values that I instil in myself, my clients, and everybody are, that they feel:

  1. Empowered
  2. Renewed
  3. Understood

“It’s a journey that we go on together.”

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