Waltham Forest Business Network’s Jo Sealy meets the Walthamstow woman making brides’ dreams come true
In a little corner of Walthamstow a brand new business has emerged providing unique, intricately hand-crafted accessories that would delight any blushing bride.
Steph Haire started her luxury bridal accessories business just a few months ago, but already her designs are gracefully adorning the gowns of brides this summer.
She says: “My designs are tailored to each bride and aim to encompass their individual style and complete their bridal look with bespoke, luxury decorative details.”
Steph studied costume design at the University of the Arts London, where she focussed her work around hand-embroidery and embellishment. She also worked as a bridal consultant and stylist while studying at university a role which helped her to spot a business opportunity.
“I always found myself frustrated with the limited options for accessories to go with a bride’s dress,” Steph explains. “Even the high-end pieces tended to be a little underwhelming. When my cousin got married, I realised I could put my hand-embellishment skills to good use and create something truly spectacular for his wife to wear with her beautiful dress.”
Despite only having started the business very recently, Steph feels that some of the best support she’s had so far has come from the encouragement of family and friends, giving her the courage to tackle the launch of a new website.
“It’s been a huge achievement! I created it completely from scratch, which was quite a challenge as I am more creative than technological. I’m so excited to use my new platform to showcase my designs and reach more lovely brides.”
While Steph has found it exciting to start the business, there have been a few challenges – confidence in herself and in her technical ability have been top of the list. Other areas outside of her comfort zone have included putting together financial plans and costing her creations. However, creating a viable business out of her talents has made all of the hard work worthwhile.
“I bring a personal and bespoke touch to each of my designs. I love to work one-on-one with my clients and incorporate their ideas to make something really special. So often wedding garments can have a mass produced look, I’ve been able to experiment with materials allowing me to create unique and quirky designs that offer a more cost-effective way to bring individual style to a bride’s wedding day.”
Steph is hoping in the next 12 months to expand her business into a studio that will function as a dual workspace and showroom so that she can offer more face-to- face consultations.
“Being able to make my brides so happy and contribute to the most special day of their lives is one of the most satisfying aspects of the starting the business. I”d say that if you’re thinking of starting a business don’t be scared – just go for it.
“You’ll never know until you try!”
For more information about Stephanie Jacqueline Bridal: