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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Anna Cirignaco

We caught up Anna, owner of Eleganza Sposa, to find out more about this award-winning boutique owner

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Anna, winner of Retailer of the Year Scotland, at the 2018 Bridal Buyer Awards
Anna, winner of Retailer of the Year Scotland, at the 2018 Bridal Buyer Awards

Tell us a bit about your background

Coming from a family of seamstresses - growing up among sewing machines and beautiful fabrics- it’s not really surprising I developed a passion for design. From a young age, I started making my own clothes and haven’t looked back.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Kimberley Fairfowl

What inspired you to set up your own boutique?

I have always had a love of exquisite fabrics and design - this was further encouraged during a visit to an Italian atelier many years ago. The experience inspired me to pursue my dream and establish Eleganza Sposa, which has blossomed into a luxury bridal boutique based in Glasgow.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Joanne Stott

Congratulations on winning Best Retailer Scotland, why do you think you won?

It was an absolute honour to be recognised as the leading bridal retailer in Scotland for this year and I am very grateful for the acknowledgment.

For over 25 years, I have strived to provide the best bridal experience for all brides throughout Scotland and beyond. In an industry that is ever changing, I have always tried to keep ahead of trends and changes in the industry, all the while listening to what real brides are looking for. I believe that this attentiveness has been instrumental in succeeding in such a customer centric industry.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Charlie Brear

Do you have any tips for retailers entering this category next year?

Recognise your strengths and work to improve them further, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Identify any areas you wish to improve upon and strive to achieve your goals.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Charlie Brear

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

In my 25 years as a bridalwear retailer, there have been many successes that I am very proud of. My greatest achievement, however, would probably have to be my honorary doctorate in Business Administration from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Regine Ellis

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I am very passionate about all aspects of bridal but I would say that it’s particularly gratifying to work with a bride on a bespoke gown and go through the full process of designing, creating and styling the gown. Seeing pictures of brides on their wedding day, after going through this journey with them, is also incredibly rewarding.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Olivia Smith

What does your typical working day look like?

I’m not sure there is any such thing as a typical day in the bridal industry! Between designing gowns and having one-to-one consultations with brides I feel like every day is excitingly varied and interesting.

Read more: British Bridalwear Designer of the Year: Sassi Holford

Can you tell us five interesting facts about yourself?

  1. When I founded Eleganza, over 25 years ago, I started out with 12 Italian couture dresses.
  2. For the first three years I conducted one-to-one appointments from Room Two in The Bothwell Bridge Hotel.
  3. Eleganza Sposa’s annual wedding exhibition is hosted at this hotel to honour my humble beginnings.
  4. Italy is very special to my family so I try to visit whenever I can.
  5. I was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in Business Administration from Glasgow Caledonian University in recognition of my work in the industry.

See a full list of winners at the Bridal Buyer Awards here.

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