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Bridal Retail Success Academy: Meet Speaker Nova Reid

We catch up with Nova Reid, founder of wedding blog Nu Bride, to find out more about her ahead of her seminar at London Bridal Week

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Nova Reid joins the BRSA
Nova Reid joins the BRSA

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! My name is Nova, which means new! I’m an advocate for equality. Love singing, adore creativity, loathe marmite.

I am founder of multi-award-winning wedding blog Nu Bride, a diversity campaigner and wellbeing mentor.

What is your favourite part of your job?

The parallel that runs across all aspects of the work I do is helping people. I love to help others.

What inspired you to start your own business?

My business almost picked me if that makes sense!

I was working in mental health when the hubby and I got engaged, which first introduced me to the wedding industry. I instantly saw a huge gap in the market for modern couples who look like me and I personally felt so invisible as a modern British bride who also happens to be black. With so little representation and inspiration for me in the mainstream industry it was like I did not exist.

So I decided to do something positive about it and start my own blog. It started as a hobby, but quickly (and unexpectedly) grew to be a leading platform for encouraging race equality and diversity in the wedding industry. More and more brands started to get in touch about sponsorship and more and more couples started contacting me to thank me for providing representation for them and asking for wedding advice. So I thought, let me give it a go! Six years later it is now my full time business and I offer diversity consultancy as an extension of the work I do for brands who want to reach more clients, be more progressive and more diverse, but aren’t quite sure how.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

“What is for you, won’t go by you”

And my personal favourite that I like to share with others is:

“Always be kinder than you feel”

Running a business can be tough, life happens, we can get disenfranchised and fed up. I stick with that and it’s helped me out of some pickles and helped bring perspective.

Tell us about a typical day at working on Nu Bride?

Ha! No one day is the same and that’s part of what I enjoy about running my own business.

It can range from a day of admin and emails, to spending the day educating and training businesses about diversity matters, speaking at on panels, networking, attending press launches, producing and hosting events, or editorial shoots, reviewing hotels, consulting with couples and recommending suppliers for them, brand and diversity consultancy sessions to help businesses better appeal to my readership, or working with clients on a one-to-one basis to help them manage their wellbeing while running a business.

Burnout is a big issue I see over and over again in the wedding industry and I love to bring some of my background in the wellbeing industry to help people better manage their wellbeing so they can reach their personal and professional potential rather than continuously operating from a place of burnout.

What’s the best part of working in the wedding and bridal industry?

Working with people who are celebrating one of the most joyful life events is truly infectious. The network of extremely talented creative and supportive peers is also a pleasure to be around.

What are you most looking forward to at London Bridal Week?

Meeting businesses and business owners who are inspired to elevate their brand and see the wedding industry evolve this year.

What can retailers expect from a session with you?

Honesty.

What would you say is the most important thing for a small business to consider?

How to keep evolving, to diversify and to be so much more inclusive.

Recognising the importance of continuing to invest in both personal and business development to and keep things fresh. So many small business owners are not aware of the impact of lack of diversity nor are they taking advantage of the power and influence of a strong online presence. Socio-political landscapes are changing, and so are consumers’ spending habits. Forbes reports businesses who are not diverse are losing billions.

If we don’t move forward we will get left behind.

What’s your favourite social media channel and why?

Instagram for my sins! (Such an instant timewaster when I should be working…)

Who is your favourite bridalwear designer/brand?

Okay, so you know I simply can’t answer this. Too many! I love designers who are visually inclusive, and who give you a fresh take on their designs each year.

How do you switch off from working? Is it difficult to do that as a business owner?

I think my background working in mental health has REALLY helped me with setting firm boundaries when I am working and when I am not. Don’t get me wrong, I still slip up every now and then, but I generally find switching off quite easy - it is vital for self-preservation for entrepreneurs and especially with the diversity and race equality work I do. How can you put your best self forward and give your clients the service they deserve if you are constantly feeling exhausted?

A few things that help me switch off include removing my business emails from my phone, communicating working hours clearly with customers and enquirers, so if someone emails me at 10pm at night, I don’t feel I have to respond immediately, I have an auto reply with tells them when I will be back in the office and when I will respond by. So I can enjoy my time off without worrying. I also don’t engage with business matters via social media or text messages (which is very, very tempting).

I acknowledge social media engagement and ask them to contact me via email so I can pick up the next working day. Setting your own business boundaries helps to enforce boundaries with your customers too by leading by example.

I also dedicate regular time a week for self-care, respite and down time (that’s normally when new ideas and creativity emerges!).

I also have my own business mentors and industry peers I call upon for support – having a reflective space and outlet for regular feedback is vital for growth. We can always learn more and we can definitely learn from each other’s experiences.

Where can people find out more about you?

For weddings you can find me on Twitter or Instagram @nu_bride or www.nubride.com, for everything else you can find me at @novareidofficial www.novareid.com

If you want to find out more about London Bridal Week, register here. Nova will be giving a seminar called Real Bride Q&A: Diversity and the Bridal Retail Consumer Experience, where she

will openly discuss the bridal retail shopping experience from a consumer perspective and why it’s important now more than ever to better understand the impact on consumers and retailers on diversity in bridal businesses, to help you adapt to growing and evolving audiences to better cater to the modern bride. This will take place at 9am on Sunday 25th March.

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