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Jo Stott: From the Road of Maggie Sottero's 'Primed for Success' Programme

As part of Maggie Sottero’s Primed for Success program, Jo Stott has been on the road visiting partnering bridal boutiques to offer personalised stylist development training

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Back in 2018, prominent bridal brand Maggie Sottero announced its visionary ’Primed for Success’ programme. As part of the retailer support initiative, the brand recently partnered with Jo Stott Consultancy, Founder of Y.A.P. Bridal Boutique, to provide personalised stylist development training for valued retailers.

For the last three months, Jo has been travelling throughout the UK and Europe supporting Maggie Sottero retailers. We caught up with her from the road to find out more about how the experience was going.

Read More: Maggie Sottero Designs Partner With Jo Stott Consultancy to Offer Personalised Stylist Development Training

Can you tell us about your background and experience in the bridal industry?

I worked within the private sector for years, during which I began to realise that I had a real passion for seeing other people do well and progress. I slowly moved into training and HR and then began working for the Theatre Royal Newcastle as their HR Manager. After my parents passed, I began to work on their legacy – ‘You Are Precious’ (Y.A.P) Bridal Boutique.

I opened, grew and managed one of the brightest and biggest bridal boutiques in the UK for the last 10 years. However, after a decade of creating magic, I handed over the reins and recently sold the business to my dearest manager who has been a member of the team since the very beginning.

You are now on the road as part of Maggie Sottero’s ’Primed for Success’ programme. Can you tell us about how this happened?

Back in 2019, I was approached by Maggie Sottero to partner with them and visit their bridal boutiques to deliver my very own personalised stylist training programme. Maggie has captivated the bridal industry by understanding their retailer’s needs in more depth. I really believe that this is a real stroke of genius on their behalf and because of this, I decided to get on board.

You’re currently on the road now, can you tell us more?

I’m just finishing a gruelling schedule. Over the last 12 weeks I have visited 48 bridal boutiques across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden and Denmark – it has been a lot of hard work but also crazy fun! My general diary for the last three months has been hectic, to say the least. I cannot tell you how many hotels I’ve stayed in or means of transport I’ve taken, but its all been worth it.

I have visited every type of retailer you can imagine and each one has blown my mind with their dedication, passion, love, consideration, emotional intelligence and ambition. I am there to see what they already have in place and see where I can offer some business advice and add a bit of magic.

I often say if you cut me in two I would be a bridal retailer at my core! I understand and appreciate all of the struggles and ambition needed to make a bridal boutique become a beacon of success. The industry has changed and is forever transforming and as retailers we need to keep up. We need to look after each other and know exactly what our consumers want and what they expect of us.

Read More: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Joanne Stott

Can you tell us more about what the personalised stylist development training consists of?

The training covers everything from the expectations of the stylist to the bride and her guest. I cover things like how we should say hello and goodbye, plus all the little bits in the middle that help create moments of magic. The training also offers business advice on every topic needed. I want to help retailers create the best bridal experience for their customers. Some of the topics we tackle are;

  • Connecting with Today’s Bride
  • Building Brand and Collection Knowledge
  • Creating a Personalised Shopping Experience
  • Building Knowledge and Confidence in a “Sea of Ivory”
  • Anticipating Needs, Overcoming Objections and Closing the Sale

How are retailers responding to the training?

When Maggie Sottero pitched the programme to their retailers they loved it – I believe it sold out pretty much instantly! We’ve already had some success stories which honestly, makes my heart sing.

I keep all retailer information private but I can tell you that the boutiques which surprise me the most are the ones with a real drive to improve. These boutiques have the ability to alter their awareness and belief system, which, in turn, creates a change in behaviour. A change of behaviour in the right direction and with the right guidance is the key to becoming successful and this is what I am seeing happen.

Many bridal boutiques may have been at the top of their game a few years ago but have recently felt the change and movement in the industry, causing them to suffer. To see these particular boutiques make invaluable changes to their business is just incredible and to see them climbing back up the ladder is beyond rewarding to me.

Where can UK retailers find out more and where can they catch up with you next?

If you are already part of the ’Primed for Success’ programme, please get in touch and we can arrange to visit you in 2020. Alternatively, you can contact me directly through my Instagram account @jostott_consultancy.

I will also be attending London Bridal Fashion Week to take part in the Bridal Retail Success Academy. Plus, I’ll be sitting in with Maggie Sottero during their show, offering advice throughout the programme.

Jo Stott will be participating in The Bridal Retail Success Academy at London Bridal Fashion Week this year. Make sure you register for the event here so you don’t miss out.

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