Interview with Jessica Acheampong – Founder of ThingsIAdore-Bridal
A flare for fashion and a desire to create a stress-free life for herself and her daughter led Jessica to start her own business…two years later and she hasn't looked back (but is looking forward with big plans for the future)!
Describe your business – what do you do?
ThingsIAdore-Bridal (TIAB) is a bespoke bridal store based in London. We specialise in bespoke bridal wear. Our gowns are tailored to the bride-to-be's inspirations, requirements and figure. We cater for all sizes, from the petite to the more voluptuous bride. We pride ourselves in offering a very high standard of service. We want our brides-to-be's day to be memorable as far as her dress is concern as such our services are available until the bride is completely satisfied We believe in excellencies, in our design, craftsmanship and customer service. All our gowns are hand-made to ensure every dress is made to perfection. Our Bridal boutique serve as a showroom where all our latest collections are on displayed.
Our overall philosophy is to create beautifully designed and quality bridal wear.
What gave you the idea to start up your business?
Before I had my daughter, I worked for an organisation as a Buyer. At the end of my maternity leave I decided not to return to work. I couldn't see myself combining a work full-time employment with being a new mum. My employers refused my application for a part time position, so I resigned. It was the best decision for my daughter and myself. I wanted to create a stress-free life whilst being a working mum but with hours that suited my family.
I have a flare for fashion and I dreamed about started my own business in retail. During my maternity leave I used to watch a lot of bridal shows and that is where I got many of my ideas for TIAB.
Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
Marketing. I know how to get my ideas up and running, selling it to my target audience is my weak point. I am member of an organisation called 639 Enterprise. They help entrepreneurs with all elements of marketing strategies and start-up concerns. The organisation gave me a Mentor and another benefit was that I was able to be among other entrepreneurs. I've learnt a great deal from this experience.
What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
Customer satisfaction. When my customers send me their wedding pictures or videos. I feel like I have played a part in their dream. I feel proud of myself every time a bride-to-be leaves the showroom with her dress that treat myself to an ice cream.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Being able to predict customer and marketing trends. The wedding industry is very competitive, and we live in a rapidly changing time. Sometimes I feel a small fish in a big pond. But I have faith in my business ideas with focus and hard work I believe I can contribute. I have learnt a great deal already, and I am learning new things every day. My confidence is growing. It's challenging and exciting at the same time.
If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?
At this stage I have to say nothing. The business is just over 2 years old. I'm still working overtime to make it super successful, which can be overwhelming, but it's necessary for a young business. My passion is still sky high and so I am enjoying every aspect of the business. I made a few mistakes earlier on, but all have been part of the learning curve, so I wouldn't change anything. I don't have a big team, so I do a great deal of the work myself.
Ask me this question again in 3 years’ time!
What are your plans for the future?
I wish to expand my business further, add a range which I am currently working on and I hope to showcase soon.
To find out more about ThingsIAdore-Bridal…