As you may have realised by now, I love a wedding. So when I was put in touch with Lucy to talk about her bridal wear boutique in Leighton Buzzard I was very excited. I think it is so important that ladies, regardless of their budgets, are able to find dresses that are beautiful, luxury and make them feel like one in a million on their wedding day, this is exactly what Lucy provides.
So take a read below to see why and where Lucy started and why she is just as obsessed with weddings as I am.
Tell me a little bit about Lucy Hart Bridal and where it all began?
We specialise in luxury designer wedding dresses available to buy at amazing prices. Our beautiful designer gowns are sourced from sample stock, dis-continued styles and cancellation orders; saving our brides hundreds of pounds on their dream wedding dress. Our collection features many top designer brands such as Justin Alexander, Mori Lee, Maggie Sottero, Essense of Australia and many more, all available to try by appointment in our Leighton Buzzard boutique.
The idea for the business was formed just over five years ago. At that time, there was nothing else quite like it in the area. You could either buy a cheap wedding dress online or you bought your dress brand new at a premium price from a high street boutique. I wanted to bridge that gap and was convinced there was a place in the market for a new type of bridal shop. Somewhere that a bride on a budget could still have a wonderful boutique experience, but at the same time find a luxury designer wedding dress at an affordable price.
What is it about Bridal wear that you love so much?
For me the enjoyment of Bridal wear comes from all the amazing brides I meet. It’s such a happy time, the experience of shopping for your wedding dress is so emotional and exciting. To be a part of a brides’ journey in helping them find ‘the’ dress they want to wear on their wedding day is amazing. You can’t beat the feeling when you pick out a dress for a bride and they tell you it’s ‘the one’.
What do you love about being a #WONDERWOMAN?
I’d always dreamt of having my own business. Even as a child I was always having garage sales or cake sales to earn extra pocket money. I once even turned my Mum’s house into a restaurant and invited all the neighbours round to buy a cup of tea!
That entrepreneurial spirit has always been there so when I did start my own business it was the best feeling. I’d actually done it! To see your idea come to life is amazing. You learn so much along the way, and embrace everything that is thrown at you. Like a lot of female entrepreneurs, all of whom are amazing #wonderwomen, I run my business around my family. My daughter was just a year old when I first started the business. I hope that in the years that follow I can inspire her to follow her dreams, and maybe some of that entrepreneurial spirit will rub off on her too!
What has been the biggest challenge of running your own business?
For me the challenge is always time. I wanted a business which was flexible and could work around my family. It’s a constant juggling act and the compromise is that I work evenings and weekends to make up the time. Even when I’m not ‘officially’ working, it’s very difficult to switch off, particularly now everything can be managed via your phone. Getting the balance right between work and home life is a constant challenge.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?
I think for many people starting a business is a daunting time. In many cases you go from working in a big organisation with lots of help and support on hand, to suddenly being on your own and having to master every aspect of running a business. This does however get easier with time, and actually achieving something which isn’t your area of expertise, whether it be your annual accounts, managing a website or running a marketing campaign, is very empowering. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Online forums are a great way to connect with other like-minded businesses, and if you tap into the right people, you’ll be able to find the support you need.
Who has been your #WONDERWOMAN inspiration?
I think all of my closest friends are my #wonderwomen inspiration. Many of whom run their own businesses too. My friends provide great support, we are a network within ourselves and I look up to them all for different reasons.
What is your best piece of advice for Brides looking for their perfect dress?
Be open-minded when you first start looking for your wedding dress and try on lots of different styles. What you see online might look amazing on the six foot model but when you try it on maybe it isn’t the right shape for you. Don’t get fixated on one idea as you don’t want to be disappointed. Do try on a big princess dress if you think you want fitted, or try satin if you think you really want lace. So often you’ll end up loving the very style you thought you’d hate!
Do you have a favourite wedding dress designer?
I love so many, that’s a hard question! I think my absolute favourite though is Naomi Neoh. Soft, floaty and romantic, just stunning!
What trends are you seeing for the 2018 Brides?
Bows are making a comeback, whether it’s tied at the waist or features elsewhere on the dress. I’m seeing more brides asking to try satin dresses or opting for a less detailed gown. Brides still want incredible back detail and lace continues to be popular.
Tell us which wedding season is your favourite
I’m probably a little bit bias as I had my wedding in October but I do love an Autumn wedding. The changing colours of Autumn make such a stunning backdrop for any wedding photograph.
Random question time:
Favourite fictional character?
This would have to be Anne of Green Gables. I thought she was an amazing character. A little feisty red-head who no matter what life threw at her always saw the positive in everything. Plus I loved her mischievous side!
If you want to look up Lucy Hart and her beautiful boutique you can do so here.