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We see you are an Altrincham based business, when were you established and what changes have you seen over the years?
Why the Altrincham location?
Any future plans for 2017?
Tea or coffee drinker?
I surprisingly drink more coffee these days, but I think I will always love tea more at heart as originally, I’m a Yorkshire Lass ;)
The Altrincham Duck catches up with Jenny from Honeyblossom Bridal a new (ish) local business start up.
Thanks for chatting to the Altrincham Duck Team, can you let us know a bit more about who you are and what your background is?
I'm Jenny, Manchester born and bred and Sale resident, owner of Honeyblossom Bridal in Sale. I've taken a slightly odd route into the world of bridal! At University I studied Economics, and went onto to become a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Chartered Accountant. After being chief bridesmaid three (yes three times!) my interest in all things wedding became more and I took on a part time role in a Greater Manchester boutique alongside my other career working in a tax team for a Big 4 accountancy firm. The boutique opened my eyes to the bridal world in a way that I wasn’t expecting and I soon set my sights on setting up my own boutique. After lots of planning, saving, support and encouragement from my family, friends and colleagues, Honeyblossom Bridal was born. Oh and yes, I still work as a tax adviser! I'm extremely lucky to have an employer who is so supportive of flexible working and entrepreneurship.
What services are you offering?
Honeyblossom Bridal focusses on wedding gowns. We work with three British designers - MiaMia, Catherine Parry and So Sassi. I'm passionate about offering choice and a variety of styles, which I think comes across in our collection - from your princess gown through to boho chic! In addition, we have those essential wedding accessories - veils, hoops and belts to really finish the look on a brides big day. Further, we're moving into the world of personalised items, and are already selling some beautiful hand embroidered vintage hankies - the perfect keepsake.
Tea or Coffee?
Tea everytime - I am picky on the brand though!
We know it is early days for you, but how has it been so far?
I am enjoying it so much. The brides I've met so far have been so lovely - I'm always super interested to hear about people's big days. As an appointment only boutique, I can focus solely on the bride I'm with, without distraction. Being part of 'that moment' when brides walk out of the changing room in a gown they love to their waiting family and friends really is incredible. I've definitely learnt a lot - being customer facing is only the start of it, but I've had a lot of support from other local businesses, suppliers, friends and family.
Plans for the future?
Good question! We are thinking about adding another designer to our collection, and will be checking out the options at the London Bridal Show in March. We are also currently in talks with some local suppliers about additional personalised accessories.
We see that you are getting married in 2017, and the Altrincham Duck Team would like to send you best wishes.... Are you getting excited yet?
Thank you and yes we are both very excited about the wedding! Planning has taken a bit of a back seat whilst we set up the boutique, but now everything is up and running with the exception of a few bits, we can get back into it. Lots to do but I have the most important thing - the dress!
Anything else that you would like to share with our audience?
Over the time I've worked in bridal, two of the most important things I've learned are, as a bride, to be open minded about styles and to be honest. It's great when brides come into the boutique with an idea of what they like (I'm a big fan of having a look at Pinterest boards!) but sometimes the reality doesn't live up to the expectation. The key is not to get disheartened, there will be another style that will make you feel amazing, its just a case of finding it. Which brings in the honesty point - its ok if you don't like one of the dresses in the boutique - I will not be offended, its important to find your individual style. The brides that tell me what they like and what they don't about styles helps me identify what might work for a bride, its not always easy to tell from a dress on a hanger!
Honeyblossom Bridal, 48 Washway Road, Sale, M33 7QZ
0161 637 6830
Who are Made in Cheshire?
We’re a family business. Jacinta’s our ‘poster girl’ and first point of contact and handles events, marketing, social media management and training. With a proven flair for writing she has a passion for words and loves helping companies with their press releases and copywriting needs. Dan’s our web guru, self-confessed geek and lover of anything techie. He brings a large portfolio of website building experience to MIC from a simple web presence to a full ecommerce solution. Julia’s our organiser, she’s super-efficient and loves nothing more than ticking a task of a ‘to do’ list. With a professional career in law and finance she brings life experience and business knowledge to the team (that’s our polite way of saying she’s the old one!).
What services do you offer?
Between the three of us we bring experience and expertise in a lot of different areas. We offer website design – from a micro-site to a full e-commerce solution - and graphic design, which covers everything from artwork for marketing material like business cards, a brochure, an advertisement or a pop-up banner to logo design and social media graphics. We also offer social media training or if you’re short on time, but want to develop a social media presence, we can manage your accounts for you. We have a passion for writing so if you need copy writing, a press release, content for your website or a blog, we’d love to help. If you’re launching a new company or product or if you’re planning a corporate event we can manage that too. With a Masters Degree in Event Management and a wealth of experience in wedding and event planning – Jacinta’s definitely the girl for the job. Sometimes when you’re just starting out it’s nice to have an empathetic ear and someone looking in from the outside to help you pull all your hopes, fears, ideas and energy into the beginnings of a plan. We’re always happy to meet for a chat about your business and vision for the future and offer support and advice where we can – even if that’s just a bit of free promotion through our social media channels.
We can honestly say business is fabulous! We’ve hit the ground running and our portfolio of clients is already huge and growing by the day. The best bit is we’ve met such lovely people already, made new friends and built great business relationships. We’re from Cheshire and the majority of our business is in Cheshire, we love the ethos of #inittogether and have found that being friendly, open and supportive of other businesses is at the heart of our rapid growth – and being good at what we do helps too of course! To tweet or not to tweet? We love social media so we’d definitely say tweet – and post, and gram….. Some platforms suit certain types of businesses better than others, Instagram is one our favourites, it’s so visual and we love a photo opportunity but Twitter’s great too, it’s immediate and sociable and you can really connect and build a relationship with people.
Do you like to get involved with the local community?
Most definitely, we live in Altrincham and we want to see it thrive. We love to see people out and about enjoying their town, and county, and we’re always happy to get on board and support local events and organisations. Amongst others, we’ve worked with Altrincham French Festival for the last 4 years, helping with everything from event management to social media, graphics and artwork to website maintenance – I suppose we’re biased but we honestly think the family event is one of the best days out in Altrincham all year! What are you plans for the future? In some ways our plans for the future are not to change! We love the way the business has grown organically (and rapidly) by recommendation and word of mouth. It’s the best way to grow: it means clients are happy with the work we do for them, acknowledge we’re reasonably priced and flexible and adapt to each client’s individual needs, and are confident to recommend us to their friends and colleagues. We do have a few new ideas up our sleeve though of course! We’ve just introduced ClickSpace which is a unique new concept in webspace. It’s a great way a new business can dip a toe in the cyber world with a micro site with a custom URL, choice of layout, directory listing and social media promotion included in the price. They’re also great for one-off events, weddings and family celebrations too! We’re also launching BusyGirl a new, young, fun take on networking, so keep your eyes peeled for news of that!
What are your hopes for Altrincham?
We’re Cheshire born and bred, we’ve lived in Altrincham for nearly 25 years and thanks to our ice skating roots we’ve visited the town for a lot longer so we’ve seen a lot of changes. There’s a real feeling of optimism now in Altrincham - it has to be said it went through a period when it felt a little neglected but that’s changing. New businesses are opening, the town is getting its vibrancy back and we hope it will continue to grow. We enjoy being part of the renewed energy the town is experiencing and we’re looking forward to seeing some of the exciting development plans come to fruition in the next few years!