Who, Where and Why ? Am I, Bridal Bliss

On this first Blog, I think I should talk about who, where, and why I do what I do. An honest insight.

In 2003, I left my secure full time management post in a well known lingerie company situated in the Centre of Glasgow, I had worked there for nearly 8 years. I loved the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest stores the Company had in the UK, with a team of 22 under me.

I left to have a baby, I intended on going back to work but after working out the costs of childcare and actually working I decided I would do something closer to home. Around this time eBay had just really became popular, so with my last £150 I went and bought a computer and sold things hanging around, then I went to some wholesalers and bought things I thought would sell. This was a hobby more than anything and to have some money coming in. But then I managed to stumble on a product line which got me hooked. Even addicted to selling online. "WEDDING CAR RIBBONS " I would sit and cut lengths into 5mtrs strips wind them up and package them in front of my telly. I had the run of eBay with them. 

But one day , I decided there had to be something else I could do. After all I had seen my dad run his Haulage business and travel around with him, I would watch my gran sew and craft. I would sit beside my mum while she used her amazing vintage black and gold Signer sewing machine.  After all I done highers in the arts and technical subjects such as technical drawing and Woodwork etc. Went on to college and studied graphic design, and then went on again to study window dressing but then changed to Interior design Changing rooms was a favorite program on the telly for the time, but gosh to watch it now. You think why would you.. How fashion has changed in home decor over the years.

It came to me, when I worked in the lingerie shop a lot of ladies would pick up a garter and turn to there friend and would say. "that would never fit me." and to be fair it did look tiny. So I decided I would make plus size garters, but make them in wild and wacky colours to fit in with brides personalities and oh the fashion. I would sell them on eBay still but I was reaching all corners of the globe. In 2006 I started the website and started advertising in the glossy magazines we see in the newsstands, focusing on the garters. and fell pregnant with my second child.

But in 2010 I decided I had had enough of working from home and had always dreamed of owning my own shop since at college. I decided I would go for it, eldest at School and youngest was starting nursery it would be fine, what could go wrong. Well the UK had hit a recession and perhaps was not the best time to take on a shop, but I am head strong and I was going to do it !! Oh and did I mention I had just fell pregnant with my third child.

It was a joy going to the shop, getting fatter and blooming. Talking to adults and feel human again, making my garters . buying and selling fashion accessories.

My mum was a huge help she would come down from Perth which is an hours drive and either help me or watch / taxi the kids to school etc. But after a year and a half I decided it was not the best location for where I wanted the business to go. So we moved Location and opened our re branded Accessory Boutique shop.

So in 2011 - 2012 I had been asked to make a headdress for a friends sister, I said of course as I had been playing with the idea of headdress and was developing my style and techniques. It was a joy to do, and I haven't really looked back until today. Since the move to the second shop I have been exhibiting at wedding shows from small hotel one to mainly the larger shows now Such as the SECC, Hampden etc. advertising in magazines and having products featured on a regular basis, but also making the front covers a from time to times. That's what makes me squeak with delight when my item, that I made is on the front cover.

 

A typical wedding show set up for bridal bliss.

First Ever front cover , with one of my headdresses, after only a year of doing them.

Two years on from my first front cover, 2014 I was up for two awards. One was hosted by the Scottish wedding awards, where your brides and grooms vote for you. I "WON" the South west region of Scotland for my bridal accessories. What a feeling it was like the Baftas sitting there waiting to see if your name is called or not trying to hold a smile that's not to excited in case you loose etc. The Second award hosted by the Vows, this is also where your brides and grooms vote and have write testimonials for you, and I had to register and fill in a huge form on customer service and things, which takes several cups of tea. It is hard to say what you do when you do it naturally, then everything goes to a panel of judges who read through everything. Sadly I didn't win, but the fact that my brides voted for me and made me a finalist was just an honor.

 

My Mum and I , after working the country living Christmas fayer we rushed home glad rags on and out we went.

 

A shameless Selfie at the vows awards 2014

It was back to work at the shop head down and creating the most amazing things for my brides and there mums as the fascinators had taken a firm place in the shop. People getting custom designs to match there outfits last minute brides needing something to finish off hair dos and bridesmaids etc. In a blink of an eye it was 2016 and I was up for an other two awards, with the Scottish wedding awards again, but also a new awards host called The Confetti awards, exact same principle you depend on your brides and grooms to vote for you. New party dresses again, too exciting.

Sadly we didn't win but we left with a fab picture of mum and I , oh and free coffee, cause that's how we Rock and Roll !!

Sadly no pictures from the confetti awards, as I had made a decision that brings us bang up to date. I decided I would close the doors of the shop and move to my home studio. As I would be in the shop more and more, meeting clients at night or on Sundays etc to fit in with brides busy lives. Sometimes I would need to take the kids with me and that's no fun for any of us. Or I would work all day in the shop serving my beautiful customers talking about the scarves and likes that I was selling. In between having consolations for fasciantors and headdresses. 

I would then go home, have a cuppa get dinner on get three lots of homework done and then get the kids to bed. start work again at 10:30 at night and sometimes been known to work through to 3 am. Go to my bed to get up at 7 to do the school run. I was just too busy. I know if I was to go on dragons den they would shoot me down, but I was just missing the point and being to focused on making everything work... 

So I decided the shop must go it was perhaps the most difficult and honest decision I had have ever had to make. The shop was a dream I had always dreamed, but I lost focus my dreams are in fact bigger now. I work and do my work for my kids, so I can spend time with them and provide for them. I left work to care for my baby.

So ten years on from my website launch, I bring to you a new website and a studio atelier solely for what I love. Making things, designing things and focusing on the things that matter. Just as I done at the very very beginning, be it when I was a small child admiring the things my peers done, when I was at school and college and thinking I could achieve anything. Or now teaching my kids from my actions.

Anything is possible and live life with no regrets.

xx

Karen


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