Starting a business at any time is a daunting prospect, but add a national crisis, retail closures, and a few lockdowns to the mix and you'd be forgiven for passing up on a new venture.
Thankfully, Sarah Jane Bridal has shown there are always opportunities to make an impact, and this beautiful customer-focused boutique just outside Poole in Parkstone delivers this and more.
1. So first up! What inspired you to start Sarah Jane Bridal?
After 20 years of being a hairdresser and having worked with many brides on their big day, the opportunity to buy a bridal business arose. With my extensive styling and personal service experience and being able to understand “the look” that my brides wanted, I decided that my blend of skills were well-suited and took the plunge just after the first Covid lockdown!
2. If people were unfamiliar with SJB, how would you explain it in one paragraph?
At Sarah Jane Bridal we always offer a top-class service and do everything that we can to make the shopping experience friendly, welcoming, and enjoyable. We have worked hard on refurbishing the shop to create a beautiful and contemporary space that helps to make our brides feel special and two bridal rooms for complete privacy. All our gowns are handpicked by me personally with a range to suit all body shapes and most budgets.
3. What have you found most challenging about running SJB?
Picking up the keys in the middle of a pandemic has certainly been a challenge and since we opened in October the shop has been shut as much as it has been open!! However, the early signs and reviews have been really encouraging and I’m delighted that we have already found perfect dresses for a number of brides!
Also, social media has never been one of my strengths but one positive to being closed is that I have had plenty of time to brush up on my skills!
4. What is the most important thing to you about your business?
Easy! Making sure that our brides have the best service possible. We make sure that our brides have the most memorable experience possible. We want them to feel special in every way. Of course, we have to have a fantastic range of beautiful dresses and I personally deal with all of our suppliers to ensure that we have a superb selection.
5. If you had one piece of advice for someone looking to start a similar business, what would it be?
You will need enthusiasm, determination, and of course, a real passion for what you are doing helps!
I have needed a lot of this over the last 6 months! I was lucky to have somebody in the industry who mentored me at the beginning so try and seek out one who you can bounce ideas off. Remember no question is a silly question!
6. Which one of your products or services gets you most excited?
I love all our dresses as I have handpicked them myself! The real excitement for me is bringing them to life and helping a bride to find her perfect dress.
To book an appointment at Sarah Jane Bridal please contact below:
Tel: 01202 735070
Address: 104 – 106 Ashley Road, Parkstone, BH14 9BN
Facebook: Sarah Jane Bridal
Website coming soon www.sarahjanebridal.com