19 Oct Bridal Boutique in Maidstone turns one!
Bridal Boutique in Maidstone turns one! Read all about our first year as Victoria Elaine Bridal.
As I sit here at my desk pondering over the past year, it’s both astonishing that it’s our first birthday already and surprising as it feels like we have been open for longer.
The past year has been a whirlwind of excitement, learning and enjoyment for the team and I. Admittedly, there have been ups and downs, but I can honestly that the many good times have far outweighed the few bad, and I am so proud to say we are going from strength to strength!
Setting up shop
This time last year, I don’t mind telling you I was exhausted from setting up this bridal boutique in Maidstone. My father and I decided to do as much of it as our skill set allowed, so by opening day I was ready for a week on a sunny beach! These photos show before and after shots of the project. We began with an empty, dirty shell and in just 7 weeks transformed it to what it is now.
We held a launch night the evening before we opened our doors to the public with all our nearest and dearest, plus the tradesmen who did the jobs we just didn’t know how to and a few local businesses. It meant so much to have members of my mother’s (Elaine) family there, because I know she would have loved this project and been my wing woman in selecting the gowns and interior design choices if she could have been here. It was fun to end the evening dressing up a relative in a gown, the first time we got to use our changing suite and seeing everyone’s reactions was priceless.
I remember locking up that night realising this is it, Victoria Elaine Bridal exists, and it is now or never to make it a success!
It didn’t take us long to have sold to both brides and bridesmaids and, thankfully, the orders have come in steadily since. TeamVEB and I have found meeting the brides and their entourages the best part of our job. We have assisted some truly wonderful people find their wedding dresses and we feel really privileged to have been a part of that bridal journey. Some of them even feel like friends now and will continue to support us in the future. It was really wonderful when the bride’s actual gowns started to begin to arrive in store, fittings begun, and brides began taking their gowns for their weddings this Summer. The purpose of why we come to work everyday began to be the reality.
As well as the brides, we have developed lovely working relationships with our suppliers who come and visit us in the boutique, or we see when go to buying trips. The support and advice they have shown us in the past year has been invaluable. It has really made a difference to have people in the industry believe in you and the business as much as they do. Thank you to those people if you read this, you know who you are…xxx
Being part of the Royal Star Arcade in Maidstone is a decision I will never regret. Our location may not be on the High Street, but we are part of a little community right in the centre of Maidstone. We have made some great acquaintances with other businesses and look forward to working with them on some great offers in 2020.
We started the year stocking three bridal designers. This has now grown to 5 different collections and will soon be six (look out for announcements soon!). We have been proud to remain the only stockist of the Hayley Paige collection in Kent and have grown to be enormous fans of her and her work. Ellis Bridals has been a big hit with our brides, and we are so excited to have received our samples from the Duchess collection in the past month. We know you will continue to love this label. In the past year, Phil Collins Bridal has become Jennifer Wren Bridal and we are super excited for the direction this design house is taking! We know our brides will love this too!
We have just received our Eddy K samples and we are so thrilled with them. They are as sparkly and luxurious as we hoped for and we know that brides are going to be impressed! We now stock gowns from the Sky and Couture collections and look forward to seeing these collections grow on our rails in 2020.
When hiring TeamVEB, I didn’t think I would get as lucky as I have been. We have a group of women, who don’t just get along but have bonded and work so well together. We currently have two bridal stylists, Amy and Shanai, as well as me hosting the appointments, but in the New year, we will be looking to expand the team as we are getting busier by the week. The pride these ladies take in their work is heart-warming. They care about the brides and their weddings and about the business and enjoy watching it grow. I think they might even like their boss a little bit haha! I am so grateful to work with these ladies every day. They, in my eyes, have made everything so much easier and the business has grown as much as it has due to their hard work. As the original team, Amy, Shanai and Shi hold a special place in my heart and this boutiques history.
This past year
To summarise, this past year has been amazing. A 12-year-old dream became a reality and I will remain thankful the entire time this bridal boutique in Maidstone exists. Thank you to everyone involved who has been part of our first year. Here’s to many more successful ones as Victoria Elaine Bridal, Bridal Boutique in Maidstone.
For our birthday, we are running an offer of £100 off bridal accessories when you order your bridal gown before the 25th October. We still have availability for this week, so if this interests you please book via this link.
To see our bridal gown collection, why not visit our newly launched Pinterest site!