Kirsty Voce is the UK Operations Director at the popular bridal brand Rachel Allan, and here’s why she’s our Wonder Woman this week
Established in 1985 and formed by husband and wife team, Rachel and Allan, Rachel Allan is a family run business based in the US. Their origins are that of a fashion design house for occasion wear and prom whilst also specialising in pageant and junior prom.
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In 2017 Rachel Allan debuted into the world of bridal with their Lo’Adoro by Rachel Allan collection offering sophisticated glamour for any bride. This was an incredibly exciting year for Rachel Allan as in the May they also acquired the well-respected Mary’s Bridal brand. The two companies were a perfect match with Mary’s also serving bridal stores and their bridal parties for over 30 years. Since joining the Rachel Allan family, Mary’s continues to flourish and grow.
Talking of growth, it was in September 2017 that I was approached by Rachel Allan with the view to establish a dedicated UK Operation for the company, I was delighted to join the family and bring my work family with me too. The 1st October marked our one year anniversary of Rachel Allan UK and we are beyond thrilled with what has been achieved in such a short space of time.
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A lot of hard work and determination! I put a lot of thought and effort into everything I do so it’s imperative to me that whatever I set my mind to is successful.
I also like to live by a favourite quote of mine: ’Have courage and be kind’. In business I believe these two personality traits are vital: to have the courage to take risks, albeit calculated ones, and always treat people how you wish to be treated yourself. Kindness and honesty is incredibly important to me.
Finally, I firmly believe you are as successful as the team around you – I surround myself with positive, hardworking people.
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On a personal note, as a mother of two boys I of course have to say that they are my biggest achievement. I draw strength and determination from my super resilient 10 year old boy, Liam, and garner humility and a sense of grounding from my crazy, loveable six year old son, Ethan.
Talking professionally, I have to say the launch of Rachel Allan in the UK has been like a dream come true for me. I became very suddenly and unexpectedly available professionally in the summer of last year and had a period of time where I questioned what to do next. From a brief meeting with Rachel Allan at the Harrogate Bridal Show, a visit to Chicago and Houston the same week and an unmeasurable amount of excitement and determination, Rachel Allan UK was formed.
The relationships I have been able to regain with some of my old customers as well as establishing new partnerships with new accounts is a major highlight of the year for me.
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I am genuinely in awe and inspired by any woman that is managing to juggle work, family, friends and being the glue that holds everything together. There is no better example of this in my opinion that my own mum, the most selfless and thoughtful person I know. She taught me very early on to be strong, live for today and always focus on what you have and not what you don’t. She demonstrated the meaning of hard work whilst I was growing up, running a business of her own whilst raising a family. She is know my very own Mary Poppins, playing grandmother to my two boys and a constant support to me on my adventures, no matter what they may be!
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All of it – I mean, what’s not to love? I absolutely love being part of the bridal industry and all of the excitement that comes with it. I have a great team who work tirelessly, I have the most amazing customers who are a pleasure to work with, I get to meet new people all the time and start new relationships that grow into friendships.
I do also throw myself into exhibitions and events, I love creating a positive and rewarding experience for our retailers and balancing that with the correct sales environment. It is very rewarding to see the reactions of our retailers to our exhibition spaces and makes the whole planning and building of it worthwhile. I have to say I also love seeing my social media newsfeed full of our beautiful dresses.
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There is never really a typical day – which is part of the appeal. The main constants are that I start my day with the school run followed by a large coffee at my desk and get myself set up for the day. I am predominantly office-based so I do always have time with the team to discuss what is going on and what to prioritise that day.
Our stockists’ needs will pretty much determine the day whether that be a call to talk through how their businesses are doing, helping the team in organising and sending out a designer event, processing orders, receiving new collections and all of the preparation that goes into having these ready to showcase to our stockists.
This industry has you moving in different directions all the time so I pretty much go with the fact that part of my day will always be whatever is needed that day, however, for the most part I diarise everything and am a lover of lists so every task is documented to keep me on track. There is always a lot going on!
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If you loved reading about Kirsty’s background in Bridal, discover more about the talented bridal designer, Charlie Brear.