We have also had to be creative in marketing our business and in finding opportunities to showcase our products and services through a number of outlets including wedding fayres, craft fayres, networking, charity fundraising and by expanding our online presence to include Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Pinterest and latterly Instagram, all of which support and enhance one another in order to appeal to our broad customer base of all ages.
We have listened to our customers and their wants and needs. This has allowed us to offer new ideas and a wide range of products and services, which evolves and adapts to the current market. Continually looking for new and innovative products to offer our customers something different and new, which is all so important in the bridal and fashion world where each customer wants to be unique and individual.
One of our brides commented: “thank you for doing such an amazing job of adapting Mum’s hat and for making the gorgeous bridesmaid fascinators for our wedding on the 20th April. Many people commented on Mum’s hat and the girls fascinators and so I wanted to let you know that your creativity was so appreciated” Nichola from Kendal, Cumbria.
Our initial business location had its limitations and the move from warehouse to retail premises has given the business room to grow, the larger retail space has allowed for an extended range from what was our main focus of headwear to wedding accessories, to new product ideas which now include;
• Creating vintage inspired crystal and pearl brooch wedding bouquets, a trend which has continued to now include elements of this with our foam and silk flower bouquets.
• Selling girlie gift ideas which improves sales flow during non-wedding season – including quality shearer candles, vintage inspired glass Christmas decorations, large casual handbags, fashion jewellery and young teen accessories;
• We identified a gap in the market for prom accessories and on trend affordable bags;
• Hand-made hats and fascinators with a difference. A fashion design range which is our own ‘Bee in your Bonnet’ ™ bespoke, individual and created by Norah;
• To cater to our younger customer we have also created an handcrafted range of little girl headbands and accessories which we have entitled ‘Cherry Too’™ because little ones want to be stylish too;
• For the sentimental ‘Charmed Memories’™ are handcrafted by us offering a bride the option to have a framed picture charm of a loved one included in their wedding bouquet on their special day.
In fact nothing is too much trouble and many customers come to us with an idea or picture and ask us to create something for them in their chosen colour and style.
To develop our business we continually build relationships and develop links with other local retailers, organisations and charities:
• Greenwoods menswear in Workington hold our buttonholes in their wedding and dress suits which are on display. They recommend us for wedding flowers and allow us to exhibit our products in their store;
• I Do Brides of Cockermouth – we provide them with bouquets at their wedding shows and in their boutique when brides try their gowns;
• The Collection Ladies dress wear – recommend our services and product ranges which has a reciprocal benefit as they hire and we sell some of the same type of products;
• Hair Gallery at Brigham, Cockermouth – displays and sells our fascinators and headpieces which allows them to offer their customers a wider range of services;
• We have helped coordinate charity fundraising events with the Great North Air Ambulance by holding town centre wedding events to raise funds for their good cause while being able to promote our business at the same time; We have also recently helped the Soroptimists of Cockermouth help raise over £3000 for Victim Support Cumbria at a Glamour and Style evening at the Hundith Hill hotel.
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