The Bridal Finery is celebrating our one year anniversary! Owners, Tali and Roberta, opened the boutique one year ago. Any first year always has it’s ‘firsts’. Some firsts may feel uncomfortable, exciting, or emotional. Being the first employee of TBF, I had the opportunity to interview Tali & Roberta on their first favorite moments and memories.
Tali’s First Moments and Memories: Tali shares her favorite first moments and memories over this past year!
Tali’s first bride to say ‘yes’ to her dress. Tali has been styling brides for over 15 years, so she has extensive experience with helping brides find their wedding gowns. However, she said having a bride say ‘yes’ in her own boutique was a different feeling. Tali said this bride is a huge supporter of the store and was ‘the perfect first bride’.
Seeing her son, Jude, in the store: Tali and Roberta developed The Bridal Finery while Tali was 8 months pregnant. She said he was the driving factor behind a successful business. When Jude was only a few months old, Tali brought him into the store. He was so young that he didn’t know exactly what was going on, but she loved seeing him look around at all the beautiful dresses. When he got a little older and was able to walk on his own, he returned to the store. Tali described both of these experiences as emotional. She loved seeing him in her very own boutique because she looks forward to the day where she can tell him about the story about hard work and perseverance.
Taking an Uber home from work: This is a story that I loved hearing because I think people often overlook the little moments. Tali took an Uber home from work one evening. She shared the story of the brand and boutique with her driver. The driver assumed she was an employee and not the owner, Tali said she didn’t tell the driver she was the owner but continued to chat with him. She said this was a unique moment because it gave her a sense of quiet pride. That no matter who knows, she was proud of the company and brand she built.
Hiring the first employee: I teared up a bit (at my desk of course) while Tali name dropped me. She said hiring the first employee was a huge step and milestone for their company. She said that once her and Roberta realized they needed additional help, they wanted to hire the right person, someone they could trust (aka me! *hair flip*) I am truly honored to be the first employee. It has been such a fantastic few months working for these two women.
Jason, Tali’s husband, being involved in building store: What people may not know is The Bridal Finery is a labor of love. Tali & Roberta’s husbands helped build the store, from ground up (literately). Tali loved having her husband by her side helping her get everything ready. She said Jason built the fitting room walls, paint the dress racks, and hang lighting. Aside from Jason being her husband, she said it was so nice working with someone you can trust when it came to the construction of the store.
Roberta’s First Moments and Memories: Roberta shares her favorite first moments and memories over this past year!
The Bridal Finery’s first year promoted a lifestyle change: Roberta shared with me that switching jobs and opening The Bridal Finery has changed her overall lifestyle for the better. Roberta lives ten minutes away from the boutique so this small change has given Roberta more time to spend with her daughters. She shared with me that the shorter commute to and from work allows her to eat dinner with her girls every night and put them to bed, which she wasn’t able to do before. In addition to gaining time, Roberta has lost weight over this past year. She has lost 32 pounds (and counting)! Because of our appointment only concept, this has given Roberta time to meal prep and hire a personal trainer who she meets with before or after bridal appointments.
Finding out who the target clients is: When developing The Bridal Finery concept with Tali, they wondered what TBF client looks like or what her shopping habits are. Roberta and Tali were used to one type of client with their past experiences in bridal, so because of the stores concept and being located in Winter Park, they weren’t sure what type of client they would attract. Over this past year, they have become pleasantly surprised by the brides they have met with “Our clients are all so different but they all have one thing in common. They love experiences and they appreciate good customer service. Each bride has their own one of kind love story. We are truly thankful for our brides allowing us to help them find their wedding gowns as well as sharing their love stories.”
Taking on new responsibilities: Roberta shared with me that the biggest change and transition from from a manager to an owner is the responsibilities. She described this new change as motivating. She says she is now responsible for the finances of Tali and the employees. In addition to this, Roberta shared with me that owning a business has changed her personal spending habits. She said she is more selective of the things she is spending money on.
Meeting new vendors: Because The Bridal Finery is a different business model than other bridal boutiques in Orlando and Winter Park, this allows us to meet and collaborate with different vendors. Our boutique is intimate and warm, so we welcome all wedding vendors to come in and meet us. We are open to meeting and working with vendors who have been in the industry for only a year (like us) or those who have been in the industry for over a decade. Meeting and collaborating with vendors is a great way to help other businesses grow, we love to refer brides to the right vendor as a mutual benefit for the bride and additional business to the vendor. If you’re a vendor and you are wanting to meet us, email Roberta, Jamie, or Tali! We’d love to meet you!
Roberta’s daughters influence: In addition to spending more time with her daughters, Roberta shared with me that the girls were always an inspiration and helped give her that extra push when Roberta was thinking about leaving her old job and decided to open a bridal boutique. She says she has taught her girls to work hard and take big risks, even if it’s terrifying. Her two daughters are so proud of their mom, I can see it in their face every-time they come to the store!
Wedding DJ, Kristin Wilson, seeing the store for the first time: Roberta said what made the store feel real was when Kristin Wilson from Our DJ Rocks, walked in and immediately started crying. Roberta said seeing her so emotional made her feel proud. Roberta has been styling brides and has managed a bridal boutique for over 7 years, so she felt that she hadn’t given herself enough credit. She shared with me that family and friends (in and outside of the wedding industry) would ask if she was nervous about opening a bridal boutique, but she would always say “no, it feels normal.” This is second nature to her, so she was more excited and ready to get to work.