Store: The White Collection, Clevedon, North Somerset
Owner: Lea Watson
How did you get into the bridal business ?
A few years ago, after several unfulfilling years studying and pursuing a career in litigation, I decided to develop my hobby of designing jewellery. This soon moved towards designing bridal accessories, but things didn't stop there, my love of all things bridal got the better of me and when the opportunity arose for me to open my own bridal boutique I couldn't resist. It's a wonderful business to be in and I love all the different aspects associated with running the shop. Meeting people at such a happy and important time of their lives is a privilege to be part of.
How did you feel the day your boutique opened ?
Over the moon! Getting the shop ready and open was a gradual process and took time but when the first few customers came in and commented on how beautiful the shop is and what a wonderful experience they’d had, it was really lovely to hear and reassured any nerves I had!
What makes your boutique different ?
Any business is a reflection of it’s owner, I’d like to think that my boutique has a strong identity that represents my values and style. It can be daunting making an appointment to try beautiful designer gowns in an exclusive boutique. I want Brides to genuinely have a fabulous time when they visit, in a relaxed and welcoming environment without feeling uncomfortable or pressured to purchase. The aim is for them to have fun and enjoy the process of finding their dream dress and accessories in a luxurious environment. With a background in accessories I love helping to style the bride from top to toe and offer consultation appointments purely to try different accessories. The collection of dresses we stock are carefully chosen and all fabulous but equally, accessories are so important in finishing the look and often appear in every photograph on the wedding day so, I feel that it’s important that the bride loves them as much as her dress. I take pride in ensuring that visiting brides have the best choice of accessories available and time to indulge in trying different options.
What's the best/worst things about running your own business ?
The best thing - the sense of personal satisfaction from knowing that you’ve helped create happy memories for the bride and their party when they’ve visited the boutique. I love hearing the squeal of delight from the Bride and seeing the hugs from her loved ones on the pavement outside when she’s just left the shop after an appointment.
The worst thing-life’s a balancing act, running your own business can be very time consuming and especially if you love what you do as it can be hard to turn off in the evening and leave the business behind for a few hours. I have a family so have to make sure that I’m not just giving the best of myself to the business.
If you were stuck on a desert island what 3 things would you take with you ?
Assuming the basics are covered like food and drink…I would take my family, I have a husband and four children (can I include our dog here too?!), some way of playing music and a camera to capture the memories.
Many thanks to Lea for being our first features boutique, if you are not tempted to visit already then please see below for images of her beautiful shop!