A Brief History Of The Wedding Veil Shop
Hello gorgeous brides!
Today I thought I’d share our origin story, as it were. A brief history of The Wedding Veil Shop from 2005 to present day. We’re coming up for a pretty big birthday this year – 15 years in business this month! – so it seemed appropriate. Although I have to say, when I was contemplating the fact we were in almost in our 15th year back in January when we recorded the video below, I certainly didn’t think by the time the date came around we’d be slap-bang in the middle of a worldwide pandemic with weddings all but banned.
But, I suppose that doesn’t change our backstory does it so… let’s go!
Our Humble Beginnings
When I started The Wedding Veil Shop back in 2005, it was very different to how you see us today. I was 24 (aging myself already, not good). I was engaged to be married myself. The internet, and companies having a website was still a fairly new concept (I believe I got my first computer in 2003). And I had only my trusty little sewing machine and a course in pattern cutting to my name.
I also had a three-year-old, a two-year-old and a newborn baby. Looking back, I have no idea how I thought that was the right time to start a business but, hey. When inspiration strikes you just have to go with it, right?
Our First Website
As I mentioned, we’ve been around since the fairly early days of online shops and that means our website has been through quite a few different and rather interesting looks over the years. Did you know there’s an internet archive so you can see what your site used to look like? I can only equate this to looking back at old photos of yourself and wondering what on earth you were wearing, lol.
Check out some of our past snazzy looks.
Working From Home
For the first few years of the business I worked solely from home, in the evenings when the kids went to sleep. This, as I’m sure anyone reading this who works from home and is also a mum can attest to, has some perks but is also very challenging!
Some of the perks I mentioned I actually got to revisit recently during lockdown. I mean, you can’t beat answering emails on your own comfy sofa with a cup of tea and biscuits nearby can you?
But as for the rest of it, well it was hard. And the business was getting busier by the day. So, eventually I knew I needed some help. The kids had moved on to pre-school so I had time in the day which helped me but it was still too much for one person. So I spoke to my husband and he agreed to leave his job and come and join me.
At first it was just to help with the daily posting and packing and preparation of fabric samples. But if you’ve watched our little About Us video you’ll know he now does much more than that and is now our chief beader of the veils!
Taking on Staff
Eventually, in 2009, we got too busy for two people again and knew we had to make our team even bigger. This meant getting staff and premises. All very exciting but nerve-wracking stuff after being self-contained for so long. But it was amazing to see that the business was now a full scale operation that required a team to make it happen. It was a very proud moment.
The Big Move!
After almost a decade of being an online only bridal accessory shop, I woke up one morning in 2014 with a big new idea: I wanted to open a shop!
I just knew I wanted to meet more brides face-to-face. We had the odd one or two brides who used to pop down to the factory-like premises. Probably quite surprised to find that “The Wedding Veil Shop” they’d travelled 30 miles to visit wasn’t actually a shop-shop at all. I realise our name was probably a bit misleading — I do hope we didn’t disappoint!
For myself, I actually loved the visits. A rare chance to see a bride browsing through our designs and picking out her favourite. The old factory just wasn’t the place for it though. We needed more space, more mirrors, more… luxury! And so, the hunt for the ideal shop premises began, and we found it in December 2014 and have been open ever since. (Well until lockdown, anyway).
The Future Is What You Make It
So what lies ahead for The Wedding Veil Shop? Well, lots more years of making veils I hope! I still love sewing veils just as much today as I did when I began in 2005. Maybe even more as we make much more elaborate designs these days. And the best bit is, I don’t have to do it alone anymore! I have my lovely husband with me. I also have my two work-besties, Julia and Shannon. Together, we’re a well-oiled team that have worked together so long now we can communicate in eyebrow wiggles and head nods. It’s not always easy running your own business and I definitely couldn’t do it without these guys.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about the history of The Wedding Veil Shop. We appreciate you taking the time to learn a bit more about us as a company.
Take care, and please stay safe.