Back in 2014, I started out with a few random hair pieces and would say to potential clients that I would create whatever they wanted. This was an epic fail for two reasons: one, I didn't have enough work to show what I was capable of and two, people don't always know what they want.
I've learnt a lot through my journey to getting where I am (it wasn't pretty in the beginning!) and one of the biggest lessons I've learnt is you need to have ideas to inspire and you need to have a style that people can relate to. And if people have no idea what they want, you need to be able to build a relationship with them to figure it out.
Moving to our new home in 2016 (yes, two whole years later!) was the start of a huge transformation for me and my business. I ditched the craft markets and decided to focus solely on weddings and decided I needed to make a few pieces to show potential clients what I was capable of. I created a collection inspired by nature and then followed on with my Inspired Collection a year later, a collection designed with specific women I knew in mind. It was this collection that I consider to be my defining moment. Without realising, I had created pieces that were elegant and understated, with delicate details that didn't overpower. They were not like pieces I saw in bridal magazines, and, as a result, I didn't think they were worthy of attention.
That is until the last wedding exhibition I did at UWE in Bristol. It was my first wedding fayre without the cake toppers on display, having closed the door on that chapter a few short months ago. Women were visiting my stand and every single one that I spoke to said that they were looking for something that was "beautiful but not fussy". That's when I realised I do have a style and there's definitely a market for it. Those beautiful women may not have known exactly what they were looking for that morning but they knew it was something that wasn't readily available to them.
That collection of intricate simplicity was where my style was born. Understated Elegance. Enough to be noticeable but not so in your face that it takes attention away from everything else. I could talk about each piece and how it related to my perception of the woman who had inspired it, from the Jane tiara, the first piece I made for the collection, with it's cage-effect detail across the top that was inspired by my mum's bridal cap to the Elsa vine, with milky rose quartz and large crystals to represent the opal and jewelled rings my nan had in her jewellery box, which I used to stack up on my fingers when I was little.
It took me another year to realise that those were the details that made a difference. That I had designed with personality, sentimentality and whimsy in mind and that is what made my work special. I've replicated many of those pieces for brides since, but more often than not, we use them as a starting point and work from there to make sure that it fits with everything they're looking for. Each design is unique because it is made for someone unique. And my someones mean the world to me! We go on a little journey together from vague ideas and rough sketches to a piece of art that they can wear on their special day.
I'll be talking more about the bespoke process next week but, if you're currently looking for a hair accessory for your wedding, don't just choose something because it's available or is everywhere on Pinterest unless it's something that speaks to you. There are so many designers out there creating beautiful pieces that have their individual stamp on in a range of budgets so it doesn't hurt to do a little research. I have a friend, for example, who makes porcelain tiaras that are stunning, another who creates incredible dried flower headdresses...both have a particular style that you may or may not be drawn to but the brides that they attract will absolutely love what they create for them. It's much the same with designers using fresh flowers to create floral crowns, those who work with beads and wire and those who work with precious metals. Look closer at the designs and you'll see their style. Working with a designer who knows their style and how to create what you're looking for makes all the difference when it comes to putting that finishing sparkly touch to your special day.
If you'd like to find out more about working with me, you can send me a quick message here - all ideas are welcome, no matter how vague or bizarre ;) Have a lovely Monday, beautiful!