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Ask Jo: bridal business consultant Jo Stott answers your questions

Jo Stott ran a successful bridal boutique for 10 years, in 2019 she partnered with Maggie Sottero to deliver stylist training to stores across Europe. This year, Jo will be answering questions in her new monthly series.

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Can you tell us about yourself

I am a global consultant, dedicated to giving my full support and love to bridal boutique owners across the globe. My aim is to give guidance and insight into how to successfully own, run, market, and manage a successful bridal business. My passions is ‘our bridal world’ and ensuring the end user (our bride, or client) not only spends their money with us but advocates our service.

I began my precious bridal business in 2009. I opened my doors in 2010 and skilfully marketed, branded, encouraged, managed, and subsequently sold my brand to my clients. My personal bridal story is heart-warming and devastating all at the same time. I knew there was no room for failure regardless of opening my store in the middle of the worst global recession known (at the time), because my personal story gave me the drive and ambition I needed to succeed. In mid 2019 I sold my store to my trusted manager, leaving her an iconic brand and dream team in tow. Towards the end of 2019 I began a partnership with the global powerhouse, Maggie Sottero, and from September 2019 to December 2019, visited 48 bridal stores across Europe and began my bridal consultancy journey.

You had a very busy 2020, can you tell us what you got up to last year?

Yes, it was incredibly busy. What an unpredictable year it has been for us all with very new pressures. As you can imagine, I haven’t been able to travel too far, but we successfully pivoted, so I’ve lived on Zoom for the past 12 months. We (Maggie Sottero & I) created the ‘Primed for Success’ programme in 2019, which covers all aspects of in-store stylist development. Due to us not being able to reach stores physically and the difficulties facing bridal store owners, our priorities changed. We wanted to become the antidote, if possible, and move to a more compassionate support network of one-to-one zoom calls and global webinars, rather than specific stylist training.

I decided to partner with Maggie Sottero because we have the same belief system, which is to inform, inspire, love, and support all clients. We dug deep into the issues facing bridal businesses across the globe and covered the topics relevant for 2020 and beyond. We are always looking towards future markets and needs.


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You are starting a new series with us this year called ‘Ask Jo’. What will you be covering in these monthly articles?

I am thrilled to be working with the Bridalbuyer.com team on this series. Thank you for asking me!

I feel that this year of unparalleled change has taught us that we need to take a step back and look at how we really run our businesses. How do you manage your people? How well do you sell? How authentic are you at growing your personal brand? What is your true brand story? Does your business have real continuity? Are you prioritising your wellbeing as much as you should be? You had a piece on wellbeing recently on Bridalbuyer.com, which is something I am extremely passionate about.

I speak with so many incredible businesses every week which helps me to see our industry for what it is – completely complex and enormously diverse! This comparative realisation comes from me appreciating individual business models, coupled with the complexity of each individual business owner and their experiences, knowledge, challenges, likes, and dislikes.

True entrepreneurs notice what they need to do, when they need to do it and who they need to support them.

Basically, as a bridal business owner, we need to be great at everything, as well as recognising those bits we need a little help and support with. Understanding yourself and your management skill set is the first step of success.

To keep these articles fresh, diverse and informative I hand over the reins to you, the reader. Every month we will cover three questions which will be asked by bridal stores from across the globe.

All businesses have their very own challenges. For example, a brand-new business may struggle with which designs will sell best for them, or how has the COVID-19 crisis changed the buyer’s needs and wants. Other struggles may also include businesses asking; if their brand awareness is clear and strong enough? What can Instagram do for them as a start-up? What do yearly forecasts and targets look like? Do they need to push hospitality offerings to engage better? Or simply, how can they recruit the right people to help open their stores?

Likewise, a well-established store of 30 years+ who have flown high through the trust equation, may feel they now need new vigour with management improvements, store morale, the upgrading of hospitality, sales figures, strategy, trends, socials or selling in the new normal. All stores will ask quite different questions. If I do not know the answers, I will turn to my trusted pals in the industry to add their ‘know how’ and their personal ‘go to’s’ to help.

Please email me your questions at jo@jostottconsultancy.co.uk. We will list your question, your name and store or your question can be anonymous. Just let me know in your email.

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