Sally White has just celebrated her first full decade in bridal and has loved every minute of watching her business, White Bride, flourish. Happy birthday Sally, from all of us at Wedding Trader. Here’s to the next ten years
White Bride was opened by myself in Narberth, Pembrokeshire on 22 April 2008, after owning a fashion boutique since 2001. White Bride occupied the pretty listed cottage next door to White Boutique and had previously been a vintage shop, a fashion boutique and a greengrocers.
I had worked in fashion since graduating with a Jewellery degree in 1992 – as a buyer for Liberty London, River Island and Oasis, until I had my daughter Matilda in 2000. This prompted the move back to western Wales where we bought the building and opened White Boutique.
When I opened White Bride, I did lots of research into what was currently available in West Wales. The type of experience brides were having was pretty awful. I had a really lovely shopfit and some fantastic labels, but what was most important to me was quality service and the experience I could provide, so I saw brides by appointment-only from their first meeting through to fittings and collecting the gown. This still happens today.
White Bride grew and grew and I found most of my time was spent in bridal, which I loved. Then, last year, with the end of our lease on the building, my husband and I decided that it was time to close the fashion boutique and move White Bride into the slightly larger space. This was a massive decision – I had worked in fashion my whole adult life and had owned the shop for 17 years. That said, I felt that I needed to give bridal more, and so we did it!
It was a big move, even though it was just next door. We had a lot of stock to get rid of and a complete shopfit to do, but in March 2018 we closed the boutique doors and got in a fantastic team to create what I had designed, and we opened the new-look White Bride on our tenth anniversary, which was lovely timing.
Having lived and worked with the old shopfit, I had a lot of things I wanted to change, so the rails were higher and there was that all-important dedicated sale rail area. The lighting was really important – I wanted it to be flattering – as much natural light as possible and lots of space for brides to swoosh dresses.
I went for brass fittings – something different to copper and chrome – and my electrician was bemused by it (West Wales can be slower on trends).
And then there’s my fabulous team: Helen, my seamstress; Jess who is currently on maternity leave (but pops in all the time and is completely obsessed with bridal gowns!); and Mary, who was my first-ever bride through the door, back in 2008.
I couldn’t be happier, with brands like Charlie Brear, Jesús Peiró, La Sposa, Willowby by Watters and WToo.
We have lots of little details that we know brides love, such as swatch cards and folders for their paperwork, and all the alterations are done in the dedicated sewing room. I hope Welsh brides love the new shop as much as we do. The reaction by those who have visited so far has been wonderful, so here’s to the next ten years!
To see more about Sally’s White Bride boutique, click here. Got a story to share with your fellow retailers? Drop us an email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.