We ask interior designer and industry expert, Terry Moore, for his follow-up thoughts on that tantalisingly elusive of questions: How do you create a stand-out bridal boutique?
Last month we had a blast ‘bespoking your boutique’ and we’re delighted to have set the creative juices a-flowing. We’ve loved hearing your top tips for breathing new life into your bridal boutique (keep them coming: how creative are you lot?!), and, as always, inspiration breeds inspiration and we’re hungry for more!
For a huge injection of industry know-how, and straight from the horse’s mouth (because we’ve got the bit between our teeth now), we’ve teamed up with award-winning interior designer, Terry Moore, with one burning question in mind: how do you create a sensational, stand-out bridal boutique, Terry?
Follow your guests’ journey…
Terry says… “Start at the very beginning and put yourself in every bride’s shoes. Revisit your storefront with fresh eyes. Look at your boutique and ask yourself: can I read the sign? Does the frontage reflect the right taste level that I am aiming for, here?
Your store window should connect instantly with your target audience so choose simple display statements to convey the product and price ranges. Keep mannequins very neutral or abstract, or even consider none at all.
One thing that’s essential is to keep the store layout as open and simple as possible. I can’t stress how important this is – don’t go overboard!”
Why we love this idea
Call in the females! We love this clarion call anyway, but as far as honest feedback goes, your female friends and family in particular can always be relied upon to give it to you straight (Great Aunt Agnes, anyone? There’s one in every family…).
The point here is that you want to be open to suggestions and would welcome constructive feedback. This boutique is your baby, but you want it to be at its best, and asking this group of women to walk around your shop giving you pointers is an easy way to collaborate with some of the great creative minds on the planet… and best of all, it’s genuine feedback that you are getting for free!
We’re visual creatures by nature…
Terry says: “Remember, the internet has no physical presence and the high-street retailer will be slow to react to changes in trends and will lack creativity. So this is where your real opportunity lies, and it comes through packing a visual punch and staying ahead of trends as well as mirroring them.
Think about how you display items. In particular, look at a vintage glass showcase or an armoire as a focal point for a theme. This could include hand-picked gowns that face forward instead of sideways on; this introduces a visual ‘breathing space’ by breaking up the dresses as well as giving a feature ‘hotspot’ for a special line of dresses you’re looking to promote or a new-in and ‘latest-look’ garment.”
Why we love this idea
The wedding industry and designers themselves are informed by myriad sources of inspiration, from high fashion and what’s hot on the catwalk, to the changing of the seasons.
Keep reviewing your boutique’s ‘look’ and don’t allow yourself to rest on your laurels.
Your shop, too, should be in a constant state of flux and never static. This is not a chore, but a continual source of delight for those with a creative flair.
You should not think of ‘bespoking your boutique’ as a one-off venture but rather as a continuing process, and this best capitalises on the advantage you have over the internet. So stay current.
Invest in monthly memberships of a range of magazines and keep making those mood boards…
This is the age of the independent. This is the age of creativity…
Terry says: “Think outside of the… wardrobe. Invest in old wardrobes and paint them in beautiful colours and you’d be surprised of the visual impact you can create. Use the back of doors and drawers to accessorise the featured garment and drape accompanying jewellery over the dresses.
Reclaimed vintage furniture is perfect for displaying accessories, and half-pulled out drawers make a great tiered shoe display. To show your breadth of range, display complete ‘stories’ of a wedding that capture the day in an ‘as seen together’ visual spectacular that includes bridesmaids’ dresses and mother-of-the-bride outfits to match the theme.”
Why we love this idea
Metallic shades with a hit of shimmer on a featured piece of furniture may not seem the obvious choice for a bridal boutique, but daring to be different (and steering away from pastel) gives you that certain je ne sais quoi, as the French so wonderfully say.
Oh, and also, when adding subtle touches here and there, don’t be afraid of the dark side. After all, it is the perfect complement to brilliant bridal white…
Ultimately, second-guessing what your bridal boutique ‘should’ look like is likely to limit your scope of creativity rather than enhance it.
Despite everything we’ve suggested, there are in fact no rules here, and therein lies the dazzling beauty. This should be a whole lot of fun – for you as well as for every bride who walks through your door!
And if you’re having fun and giving full voice to all of that magical creative impulse – with confidence and panache and a clear concept of who you are – then that will be impossible to hide in your boutique.