Women who can Daisy - the proposers

The first in an empowering series of interviews, we’re speaking to inspirational and ambitious women to uncover the secrets of their success.

Daisy Amodio, 35, created The Proposers in 2012, when her “utterly uncreative” brother asked for help with his proposal. Noticing a gap in the market, Daisy decided to launch a business helping hapless grooms impress their brides-to-be with unique and often elaborate proposals. Five years later, she has ensured over 1000 women say ‘yes’ and has an office in London and an expansion into wedding planning on the horizon.

At the very beginning, I googled ‘proposal planners’ and nothing came up. So I spotted a gap in the market. I asked 500 men if they would use the service, and about half said they might.

People said to me I shouldn’t quit my job in a recession. I didn’t care - I had a gut feeling and believed in my idea. I think people want a great story - no-one wants an ‘ok’ proposal, they want a great proposal.

In the beginning, I would work from eight to eight in my agency job, then I would get home and work until three in the morning. That went on for a year. And that was pretty tough. My husband wasn’t happy I was tucked away typing all night, every night. It does put a strain on your relationship.

You’ve got to put in all the hours to make it work - you have to live and breathe business. I did that for a year, and then I quit my job. Even then, it was scary because I had a mortgage. I wasn’t a 20-year old with no responsibilities, so that was a big worry for me.

You need that passion - you need to really believe. If you’re willing to work hard, you will succeed. I’d also advise anyone to get a mentor. People invest lots of money into a business when they haven’t done the research and got some good advice. So having a mentor has been a big thing for me.

I would tell my younger self to not stress about things. But I am constantly stressed - thinking about where the next pay cheque is coming from. I have offices and employees now, so it’s a constant stress in my mind.

I stupidly trusted someone I shouldn’t have. In business, you’re always going to have people who are in it for themselves and can stab you in the back. You have to be careful who you trust. A lot of people want in on your success, but they’re not in it for the right reasons.

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Our most elaborate proposal cost £150,000. We’re also planning his wedding, which has a million pound budget. It was in Monaco, and we hired a luxury hotel in the mountains. There were fireworks and a huge ‘marry me’ sign, with the Mediterranean behind. There was a tree with their memories on it, a famous actor talking about their relationship, an orchestra and smoking love potions...it was pretty epic!

I hate cats; in fact I’m 100% allergic, but I had to help with a cat proposal recently. We found a cat cafe in Shoreditch with 50 cats. 25 of the cats were happy to wear these waiter outfits we made, and one of them had the ring around his neck. The couple came in, had afternoon tea, then a jazz singer came out and sang a cat song about them. The girl had to find the cat with the ring, and then he proposed. For me, that would be my worst proposal, but it shows that everyone is totally different.

The couple came in, had afternoon tea, then a jazz singer came out and sang a cat song about them.

I need to look the part. I need people to see me as a friendly, approachable person that’s an expert in their field. As you can imagine, I need lots of different types of outfits. If I’m in the office, I might just wear trainers, but if I’m with a client at The Ritz, I need to be dressed up to the nines. Quite often I’ll play a part in the proposal too - I could be a librarian or a tour bus conductor or a pirate!

I need to look like a person in charge, so I’ll quite often wear black. I do like to add a bit of colour too though, so sometimes I’ll add a big statement necklace. We are not corporate by any means, so I dress it up because I want to be fun.

I was surprised I fitted into a smaller size than I am usually. I’m an 11 really, but everything I wore was a 10 and cut really well. What I loved most about all the Karen Millen workwear was everything fitted me like a glove.

I loved the high-waisted trousers. I felt so comfortable and glamorous in that outfit. It’s got the black in it and it’s fun - I could wear it to any of my events. I would never usually wear anything high-waisted because I didn’t think it suited me, so that was a real surprise. And I loved the cream coat because if I’m working outside, I can still look smart.

Sleep when you’re dead. There’s so much going on in this life - sleep is overrated. As long as you get enough you can function, why would you sleep when there’s so much to do?

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