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#16 waskatiemark

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:11 PM

Again, girls thanks so much for all this feedback.

I have been looking on the net today at empty shop spaces and have decided I am going to get a big space, I want to be able to do a dedicated kids corner. I know that when I took my daughters dress shopping there was nothing to keep them entertained. And being out here some brides can't get anyone to mind there kids.

I know I can hear you all saying "oh no" the dresses. No textas, just TV DVD chairs books and toys. Maybe, pencils, not sure yet.

What do you all think of my latest brainstorm.

Yay or Nay.

katie
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#17 Emma-Jane

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:50 PM

Personally, and this is not just cause I am not a mother (yet), Wedding dress shopping should be joy that a bride can have 'child free'.

It is a luxurious experience, that should be as stress free as possible. I'm not saying that children are stressful, but this should be a time when it is "all about the bride".

Plus from a shop owners POV - I would be weary of stock being damaged and marked, not just with pens, texta's etc, but sticky hands, pulling on fabrics, removing sequins, beads and other such ornimentation etc.

If you are too have a children's area - strictly dvd's only

Obviously, if you are suppling FG & Jnr BM dresses, you would of course be catering for small people. However the ooooo's and ahhhh's of wearing a pretty dress would usually distract them from being misbehaved



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#18 MrsStobe

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 02:14 PM

QUOTE(Emma-Jane @ Apr 24 2009, 12:50 PM) View Post

Personally, and this is not just cause I am not a mother (yet), Wedding dress shopping should be joy that a bride can have 'child free'.

It is a luxurious experience, that should be as stress free as possible. I'm not saying that children are stressful, but this should be a time when it is "all about the bride".

Plus from a shop owners POV - I would be weary of stock being damaged and marked, not just with pens, texta's etc, but sticky hands, pulling on fabrics, removing sequins, beads and other such ornimentation etc.

If you are too have a children's area - strictly dvd's only

Obviously, if you are suppling FG & Jnr BM dresses, you would of course be catering for small people. However the ooooo's and ahhhh's of wearing a pretty dress would usually distract them from being misbehaved



Yep I agree...to be fair..if I was about to try on wedding dresses and saw there were little kids in there playing..i would probably walk out! Don't mean to be offensive to anyone and I know it can be difficult with kids, but as mentioned, its a luxurious experience and for me that means kiddie free! Or sitting well behaved on a chair...Unless they were there trying on clothes of course smile.gif

#19 waskatiemark

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:31 PM

Girls,

Good point. See this is why I am asking for your feedback.

Please no holes bared.

Thanks

Katie
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#20 Mrs Darcy

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 02:05 PM

I'm hoping I can shed some light on the other side of this debate.... I cant drive, and as such my sister (also MOH) accompnaied me to all of the bridal stores. She's a SAHM, with a 18 month old who is really an angle. The first store we went into was a very fancy bridal store but the girl who worked there was ~20 and obviously had better things to do... She was one of those "I'm not sure we have anything in your size (16!)" and was extremely rude to us, despite there being no-one else in the store. She was so nasty to my sister and niece that my niece could actually pick up on her awefull mood and started crying... and we left very shortly after.

The next store we entered was a lot smaller store, but there were 5-6 people in the store and two little boys sitting quietly and playing ith their cars. It felt SO much more welcoming and the older lady ~40's was lovely.

I dont want to say you have to have a kids corner, but the store being child friendly was such a nice experience for us, so maybe a area further back in the store or in a corner or something could be beneficial - I guess you would now your area's demographics better than us....

The final place was the place I got "the dress". The lady was amazingly friendly and offered me dresses in all sizes, just to see if I like the shapes etc. She took the time to properly lace up the dresses so you could see the detail and most importantly she let me try on as many as I wanted.
I get the feeling more and more places dont want you to try on dresses or make you feel awkward and rushed when you do, but the freedom to try on and walk around (and the big mirrors) was def a highlight for me. Oh, and I was allowed to take photos of all of them to show my mother etc for second opions if needed.

On a different note, if you cant stock all the big designer brands (and I know this might be controversial) but have you considered getting a few of the E-bay dresses made in stock sizes (18, 20 etc) for your more budget concious brides? There are a few that have some lovely stuff, and that way you get the business, and they get the piece of mind that they dont have to scout Ebay as you've already found the reliable sellers and are offering them a budget alternative?

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#21 waskatiemark

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:17 PM

Lovely Ladies,

Sorry been on a hiatus for a while, have jumped in but pretty flat out.

Well I am officaly in the local Bridal Fair, OMG OMG OMG.

I have my first two dresses both size 20, a friend make a joke the other day that in my first two dresses I have more plus size than any other shop in town. Hahaha, they are both HJ's.

I have two more coming and they are a 20 & 24, different label. Will get about 4 more before the fair, and also some veils and tiaras to have on the day.

Wow, is starting to getting real now. No going back.

Oh and got a really good deal on my fav shop, 3 months free rent. Told the agent that I will be ready to sign around the end of July, he told me that it will still be there then.

So fingers crossed as I love the space, big light and heaps of room for the whole bridal party, and massive change rooms.

Katie
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#22 danni_ms

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 07:49 AM

Good luck, Katie! It's great that you're catering to a market, and great that you're actually listening to advice around you, rather than plunging right on in. smile.gif
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#23 surprisewedding09

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 02:24 PM

Congratuations Katie! What an exciting new venture biggrin.gif

I just wanted to add Peter Trends also stocks up to size 30, and I bought a PT trends dress that works with my shape. I also found caleche dresses beautiful and in larger sizes.

That's another thing, I would spend some time studying body shapes rather than sizes. If you can pinpoint your customers "shape" rather than getting focused on size you will have some very happy customers. For me, my normal clothes sizes range from anything from 14-20, I'm not even joking. I'm sitting here in a size 14 bonds hoodie and size 16 leggings, yet yesterday I was wearing size 18 trackies..my wedding dress size ended up being a 24! huh.gif

So the size really tells you nothing. One thing I have learned over the years with my weight and all my clothes is that my shape stays the same. Large or small I have an hourglass shape. Big boobs, smaller waist, big curvy hips and bum. My friend on the other hand is a clear apple, tiny little arms and legs but a round middle. She is about 2 sizes smaller than me but there are some clothes that I wear that make my figure look great and on her they look silly. and vice versa!

also, don't presume to know what parts a bride likes or dislikes about her body. Don't allow yourself to listen to stereotyped ideas of what a larger bride likes doesn't like. I had a bridal shop owner on the phone tell me "oh gosh what a range of problems you have, didn't you luck out!" blink.gif when I told her I have a large bust and large bottom! I didn't say I hated them I was just trying to give her a better idea of my shape so that she could assist me properly.

Similarly with arms etc, ask the bride what they like, infact ask them first! and then ask them if there is anything they wish to minimise. Don't just assume because they are larger that they hate their body.

As for the kids, I didn't bring her bridal shopping..but I did have to take her to the alts lady the other day and I was soooooo relieved to find a little table and chairs and a few things for her to play with while the lady worked with me. It's just a nice touch to know that a supplier has thought of all different types of brides, not just younger ones without children. As much as I try not to take her to places like that wherever I can help it, she's not like a purse I can just leave at home if she doesn't suit the occasion laugh.gif
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#24 Helga

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:48 PM

I think it is very important to have something for the girls to try on in every size.
If you are going to specialise in big sizes you should try and stock big sizes to try on, there is nothing worse then going into a shop and holding a dress and the size 8 sale girl telling you it will look fine when they costume make your size.

It's not true, most girls need to see the dress on. I am happy to spend lots on dresses, but I wont waste my money on something that I can't try on.

I think it helps a lot when the staff aren't little tiny people, shopping can be very depressing if nothing fits and they have tiny sales people all around you.

Also I love to see photo's of bigger girls in the dresses - most people who are bigger are realistic about it and the size 8 model in the dress I want isn't going to look the same as a size 18 model.
City Chic and Dream Diva are two company's who specialise in big sizes (for ever day wear) but have got their public image right.

Good Luck, we need more company's out there who want to help us plus size girls!
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#25 Tallulah

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:43 PM

QUOTE(MrsStobe @ Apr 24 2009, 02:14 PM) View Post

Yep I agree...to be fair..if I was about to try on wedding dresses and saw there were little kids in there playing..i would probably walk out! Don't mean to be offensive to anyone and I know it can be difficult with kids, but as mentioned, its a luxurious experience and for me that means kiddie free! Or sitting well behaved on a chair...Unless they were there trying on clothes of course smile.gif


I have to say, as a bride to be who, on more than one occassion had no other option than to take her 2 yr old son to a bridal store when trying on gowns, I think your idea of a kids corner is fantastic. 2 of the shops i went to had them and it was a great relief for me. I had honestly had no one to look after him when I could go as I am estranged from my mother and there is no child care where I live.

With society changing, one of the biggest differences in this generation is that there are a larger number of women having babies before getting married. The kids corner could be "gated off" from the rest of the store with something similar to white pool fencing, if done with the right material it would look very smart, obviously it wouldn't be in the front or middle of the store, that way women can relax, keep an eye on the kids who are happy doing their own thing and your stock would all be safe from grubby little fingers.

Even if some brides would walk out at the site of children in your store sleep.gif , I am sure you would gain a reputation as a store where children are welcome. There are plenty of women with kids who have a lot of money to spend on looking gorgeous on their special day! laugh.gif Just install the fence!!! I think you would be onto a winner!!!
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#26 waskatiemark

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 11:50 AM

See that is what I get for not coming on for a few weeks.

Thanks so much for the constant feedback. Soooooooooo helpfull.

Surpise, yep I am not going to label them a "size". I am very aware of the different types of body shapes, I am so pair shaped it is a joke.

I will also ask what they love most, boobs, hips etc. and get dresses to compliment those parts of their bodies.

Keep the ideas coming.

Thanks
Katie
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#27 MrsMolly

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:08 PM

it might also be worth thinking of accessories.. I know I wanted a sleeveless dress but wanted to know what my options were..

I ended up getting a maribou wrap made to measure from the US to cover up in case I wanted it on the big day..

but a selection of shawls, wraps, silks, sleeve options etc might be good..


Also, if you are in the country but are around a 1 hour drive from the city, I would also advertise in the city as well.. as a larger bride I drove across town to visit bridal shops where they might have a few things in my size.. to drive an hour out of town where I knew they had things in my size wouldn't have been an issue. (I ended up having my dress made to measure and drove 45 minutes each way for each appointment, but it was perfect:)

#28 waskatiemark

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:08 PM

Mrs Molly,

I am in Dubbo, so not really close to a major city. We only have one other bridal store in Dubbo and it has quite a bad reputation. As one bride put it, a necessary evil. There is one in Narromine, about 1/2 drive away, but again, her teenage daughters aren't doing it wonders.

I am going to advertise in our "local" paper, and also something called "The Western Magazine". It goes in The Land. So a huge coverage area, and is weekly.

I am a size 22-24, so big girls can feel very comfortable with me.
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#29 e*liz

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:37 AM

Lingerie? There is always demand for larger sized bridal lingerie, and I know I would have loved being able to buy a torsolette at the same store as my dress so that I could try it on underneath... I don't know how pracitcal that is though. Things like stockings and garters are important too - a line of larger-sized garters would sell well I bet.

I think what you're planning is great - good luck with it!

#30 waskatiemark

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:23 PM

Well, I have just taken a store front.

Wasn't the one that I had orginally looked at but, it is in one of the main streets of Dubbo.

There is a lingerie, shoe shop and a florist just down the road, and I am next to a hairdressers. One stop shop really.

The space is smaller than the one that I had originally liked, but the first one was in West Dub and down the back, no passing traffic, this one will save me a small fortune on advertising. Who doesn't stop and rubber neck when you drive past a bridal shop.....

I should be opening on the 12 September, my stock won't be quiet were I want it, I will have about 12 dresses, but again, we are paying for this out of our own money, no business loans for this little black duck. My final stock numbers will be about 30 or so. Not to much more as then you are just doubling up on your styles.

My final desingers are HenriJosef, Christina Rossi, Oreaposa (Part of demetrios), Raylia designs and Mia Solano and maybe Essence...

They are well priced and beautiful dresses.

I will get into it the weekend after next and put a manequin in the window to start to get some coverage.

I am off to Sydney next weekend to see the new lines that the designers have done. Just for retail stores, sorry ladies.....

So fingers crossed and will keep you all posted.

I can not thank you all enough for the advice and tips that you have given me, they will all be used in some shape or form.

Thanks again

Katie
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