Roberta and I will be celebrating The Bridal Finery's 1/2 Birthday tomorrow! We opened the bridal boutique November 20, 2017. I've never been one to celebrate anniversaries, but times have changed and now I believe in celebrating every moment small and big. So let's celebrate!
I grew up in Gainesville, FL and ironically enough so did Roberta. We actually went to the same high school. I knew her sister; however, I didn't meet Roberta until she was a client of mine. A few years out of high school I was recruited from management at Victoria's Secret to manage a luxury bridal boutique in Gainesville and Orlando. Roberta kept on coming into the boutique with engaged friends. She was the go to stylist for her girlfriends and I felt like other brides could use her transparent fashion advice as well. I hired her on and eight years later we left the luxury bridal boutique to open The Bridal Finery. Our plans were to never leave the boutique we managed; however, when it was sold we felt like it was our time to create a new concept the Florida bride desperately needed.
With no business plan in place, we followed our gut. We kept on asking ourselves what are all the problems in our industry and how do we fix them. How do we make our industry better for the bride, designer, and the boutiques? Our boutique being tucked away and not on a main street is symbolic of everything our company is about. Growing up in Gainesville, FL you fall in love with local businesses. The economy behind it, the flavors of the unique food combinations, and the people. Business is about people. This is what you grow up knowing. It is not a surprise I ended up in College Park, Roberta ended up in Baldwin Park, and the boutique is in Winter Park, FL. All locally driven communities we love. The bridal business is especially personal. When we think of small businesses we think about Gainesville stables like Mi Apa Latin Cafe, Gainesville Health and Fitness, and Satchel's. They are locally focused and make decisions based on their community and the guests that visit the area. Everyone keeps on telling us The Bridal Finery is going to be huge. A national name. This is not what we think of when we think of our business. When we talk about growth it's with a very local mindset. We are inspired by local businesses more than we are brands. When we mean small business we mean 1,200 square feet and a team of less than five people. We are not about volume because volume changes everything in our core. It changes who we are. We know you by name and you know us.
As we step into this next week we are interviewing to hire our very first employee. That feels like success to us. Having a team is important to us as we come from a team. Someone to share this story with. Hear their fresh ideas. Giving someone the opportunity to be successful within our boutique means everything. We cannot wait to introduce this personal to you. His/her role will be to help us with daily operations, blogging, and providing more service to our clients. Roberta and I will continue to be the stylists working directly with our customers. This person will complete our vision for our company.
We know as business owners we have to continue to plan for the future. What does The Bridal Finery look like in one year, three years, or five years. These days five years seems like an eternity. Things are just changing so quickly with businesses. I feel if we plan for five years we will miss this moment right now. The moment right now is so special to us. Brides are wearing our dresses down the aisle to marry their life partners. They will remember the moment they found the dress and their walk down the aisle will play over and over in their minds. While we are learning everyday and evolving, we know the core is helping brides find their wedding look in an intimate setting with seasoned professionals. If five years from now we only have one location, we are totally okay with that. It's true local business flare, just like we were raised.