Bridal shop.(11 Posts)
I have forever been dreaming about opening my own bridal shop and am finally in a financial position to start looking at the idea. I want to mainly focus on the boho look. The bridal shop would be in a converted stable block in the countryside. I was hoping to offer afternoon tea while you search for your dress etc! And make it all very personal! I'm planning on getting the costs of converting the stables which will mostly be done by family I won't have any rent to pay once it's converted. I'm hoping to stock 4 or 5 dresses to start so have around 40 dresses! I also would love to stock all accessories too!!
Has anyone got any tips/ advise where to start with this process??
I love this idea. I'd begin with defining the customer and style visually on boards ... it's good to always have that to go back to when you lose your direction. Make a physical board of theee ideas if you don't like technology! Also, look at the complimentary brands that your customer will buy into, as well as the competitors. You may find when looking st the latter that there are some gaps in product you could offer, that your competitors don't. I love the afternoon tea idea. Shame I got married last summer, or I'd have come along!
Personally if you only focus on one style of bridal, you're limiting your business potential. You will only appeal to one kind of bride and will lose out on potential revenue from selling other styles.
Love the afternoon tea and countryside boutique idea, but you will need a wide range of designs and designers to encourage brides to make the journey out to you, so it's worthwhile for them.
Don't forget to factor in costs like business rates they are a huge expense and one of the reasons a lot of start ups especially retail fail in the first 2 years. Don't assume that because you're not paying rent you won't have to pay rates it doesn't always work that way.
It sounds lovely but I'm not sure how many brides would bother with a shop that only stocked five dresses. Would they be bought in or made by you?
A cafe in a stable block serving afternoon tea sounds amazing though.
I also think you may be limiting your customer base if you only stock boho styles. I know of my friends and I many picked different dresses after trying them on that we likes in wedding magazines/Pinterest etc. So if I had found out a shop only stocked one style I wouldn't have visited it unless I had been to other stores and narrowed it down to liking that style on me.
I think your premises and idea sounds lovely so my tip would me to makes brides feel special and offer them an amazing experience!
Another tip from me would be to look at your competitors geographically and maybe do a "mystery shop" to get a feel for what your competitors offer.
Final tip would be to get an amazing alterations person, either working directly for you or working in conjunction with you so your customers are confident their dresses will be altered perfectly. Some stores offer this as part of a package so maybe something else to consider
I also agree about not limiting your styles, I would definitely have visited a shop where I could have an afternoon tea, but I had no idea what style dress I wanted. The thing I loved about the shop I used was that they had me try on 6 completely diffferent dresses, I knew the 4th was my dress but I went back a week later to try it again and they had me try on two others first so I was absolutely certain of what I wanted. They really made me feel they wanted what was best for me not just to make a sale and I would never have picked out my dress myself.
Totally agree with the comments about choice, after trying on what I though I wanted in a wedding dress I actually tried in a few different styles (thank you bff) and ended up loving and buying something I would never have thought I'd want. So going to a shop that only had 5 or even 40 dresses in one boho style would be limiting.
One thing to consider is serving afternoon tea means you'll likely need to be inspected by environmental health, go on good safety courses and potentially hire extra staff to deal with it. It might limit how many fittings you can have in a day if it's just you running the shop-it's selling the dresses that will make you the big money. I'd think seriously whether you want to be a bridal shop or a cafe, because I think it's a very big endeavour to do both well, at least until you've got an established customer base.
I love this idea and thought about doing something similar as when I got married I found the dress buying process horrible. The shops I visited were so impersonal and bland and it didn't feel 'special' at all. I felt that now I've had a bad experience, I could make it a lovely experience for other brides! So I agree that the experience is very important.
Would you be buying in dresses or making them? Would you have an on-site person to alter them or send them to a seamstress? Would you be focusing on unknown brands or would you want well known brands too? These are the things that came up when I was debating it.
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