Michaela and the Start of Clifton Brides
Posted on 27th November 2017 at 19:37
My bridal dream started out back in 1988 , in a tiny shop under the name of Through the Looking Glass in Weston-Super-Mare. I had left Next after a short stint there and decided I wanted to work for myself. So at the tender age of 17, with my mum as a dressmaker and my to be business partner , we started with just 5 dresses and some bridesmaids dresses mum had made.
It soon became clear that this wasn't the right location and I wanted to grow the business so we ventured to Clifton , where Clifton Brides was founded !
Working with brides over the last 28 years has been a wonderful honour and I love looking back through our photo albums of brides wedding days many, many years ago and still remember them all fondly. Its lovely when brides walk by the shop with babies in prams , and I can still remember what dress they had and we can reminisce over their experience here when they stop by to say Hi.
We have occupied the same lovely location opposite the Downs for over 2 decades and love the feel of Whiteladies Road. We have made many changes to the boutique over the years, (when we first occupied the property we didn't even have a toilet inside, it was up the back alley...Thank goodness things have moved on!) and now have two lovely private changing and viewing areas so brides can enjoy a totally private experience when choosing their dress. We have tried to create a warm , cosy, feel to the boutique where brides and their failies can feel relaxed and looked after.
Over the years ,we have seen many changes ( thankfully the peach bo-peep style dresses are yet to make a comeback!) and I always look forward to the fabulous (and sometimes challenging) part of my job which is spending days away at the buying events held in various destinations around the UK and Europe sourcing new current styles to add to our collections.
I always believe in being true to myself when choosing dresses for Clifton Brides as we have become known for having something a little different , without being too way out!! I definitely go for the more timeless classic dresses rather than the "fashion now" styles .
Its a real privilege to work on such a personal level with hundreds of brides each year , and nothing is better than finding a bride "The dress" especially when its nothing like she thought she'd wear!
Having two young daughters now myself who love coming in to see the shop and give their opinion on current dresses, they will hopefully carry on the Clifton Brides name for many years to come , but for now its here's to the next 10/20/30 years for me at the helm ....Oh blimey I'll be so old by then..
Mum "retired" three years ago , but often likes to come back and work the odd day as she , like me has "bridal in the blood". Ask anyone who works in the industry , and they all say you're either in it for a couple of years or you're in it for life!
If you have any memories to share with me of your time at Clifton Brides , please do send them over , as I want to have as many pictures of all my brides over the years to make into the biggest memory book ever!!
Thank you for reading my little intro blog and I'm looking forward to sharing all yours soon.
Please send your blog submissions to me at Michaela@cliftonbrides.co.uk
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