Attire Bridal - Apr/Mar 2020 (Issue 76)

68 TALKING SHOP We caught up with four bridal retailers to find out what they’re looking forward to this year CAROLINE CHAMBERLAIN, DESIGNER AND OWNER CAROLINE CHAMBERLAIN COUTURE BRIDAL STUDIO  carolinechamberlain.co.uk How did you find the last 12 months? It was very exciting, as after almost three years of looking to relocate I found the perfect location in Vale House at The Engine Yard, Belvoir Castle. Having found Vale House back in January 2019, I had quite a few months to plan my move, as the rooms needed renovation, so I was able to add new accessory collections from The Handmade Tiara, hand painted leather and denim bridal jackets by Bird & Bone, and a range of bridesmaid dresses by Maids to Measure. Along with these I also designed and made my own new bridalwear collection in preparation for my move. What was your greatest challenge in 2019? I only relocated in November 2019, so that challenge is still ongoing! I also spent a lot of last year building up my social media presence, keeping people in the loop with my move. I advertised in regional bridal magazines located around the three counties as well, to try and get the word out. Shortly before my move I had a very close family bereavement which was incredibly difficult. It meant having to step back for a few weeks, but eventually the business and move gave me focus.  What are your plans for 2020? To go stratospheric – I want to take my business to the next level. My first love is working with brides, designing and making beautiful bridalwear, but I also plan to expand into designing evening and occasion wear. I would love to design and make red carpet gowns! I will be looking to take staff on this next year, too, so I can expand the business even more over the next 36 months. What’s the one piece of advice you can offer to aspiring bridal boutiques? Never lose sight of your dream and your goals. It’s incredibly hard work, but if you hold on to the passion you’ll get there. DANNI HESKETH, OWNER Y.A.P BRIDAL yapbridal.co.uk How did you find the last 12 months? It was an incredible year for us. We had a studio restyle in the spring, adding lots more chic and stylish touches throughout, as well as expanding our fitting areas. We also introduced two incredible labels to our studio rails, Aire Barcelona and Australian label Madi Lane Bridal. What was your greatest challenge in 2019? Being a part of Y.A.P from the very beginning, and working alongside our inspirational founder Jo for the past 10 years, has developed my passion for bridal teamed with impeccable service even further. The opportunity to take over the reigns as the new owner in May 2019 was the next natural step in my career. I would say that changing roles from manager to owner was both exciting and challenging! It’s amazing to continue such a legacy and grow our business further with our mini rebrand. What are your plans for 2020? We’ll be seeking to bring even more iconic styles and labels to our studio rails from across the globe. Our team will also be looking to grow and develop our skills even further, to ensure we relate to our brides’ needs and wants. What’s the one piece of advice you can offer to aspiring bridal boutiques? Be passionate, driven and dedicated. The industry we work in is vast in terms of designer and sample choice. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build your reputation. Focus on your goals and put your all into your business. leescullion.com

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