RETAILER ROUNDUP 69 KASIA AUSTIN, OWNER KASIA AUSTIN BRIDAL COUTURE kasiaaustin.com How did you find the last 12 months? Last year was very busy and extremely exciting for me, as I designed my new Enchanted Collection, which is a continuation of my fairy- tale style. The collection is based on six sample dresses that you can see on my new updated website – please do head on over and take a look! What was your greatest challenge in 2019? As I launched a new collection the biggest challenge for me was definitely to come up with something different. I needed to create something that would promote myself, while also explaining why my dresses are so unique. A video was therefore created about me and the traditional skills and techniques that I use. You can view the video on both my website and on YouTube. What are your plans for 2020? The year ahead is definitely looking very promising, thanks to my client list which is steadily growing. I also hope to invest in some new machines and take part in bridal shows across the country. What’s the one piece of advice you can offer to aspiring bridal boutiques? I’ve never been one who gives up easily – and I promise you there will be difficult days. Just remember to stay focused on your dreams and don’t ever forget that hard work and determination always pays off. VICTORIA WALTON, DIRECTOR VICTORIA ELAINE BRIDAL victoriaelainebridal.co.uk How did you find the last 12 months? Last year was our first full calendar year in business, as we opened in October 2018. Overall, the year was a huge learning curve, but we finished it with all five-star reviews, with brides saying we gave them the best bridal experience compared to other boutiques they tried. That makes me very proud! What was your greatest challenge in 2019? Definitely spreading the word to brides to inform them of who we are and what we do. We tackled this by being present at wedding fairs and utilising every marketing opportunity that arose. The wedding fairs worked really well as you instantly build a rapport with your brides. What are your plans for 2020? We hope to become a much more profitable business, with higher footfall and conversion of sales. Two of our designers offer gowns with an RRP of £2,000 or above which, if marketed correctly, should become our top two performing ranges. We feel this would then mirror our boutique’s branding and image. What’s the one piece of advice you can offer to aspiring bridal boutiques? Location is key. You need to consider the postcodes available with your selected designers – most give you exclusivity for a 10+ mile radius – and think where the brides will physically visit. I gave up on my dream designer for the perfect property, which took my business in a different but better direction than originally planned, with a higher end brand and more footfall.