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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Wendy Wallis

Proud mother, charity supporter and Sales Manager at bridal brand True Bride, Wendy Wallis is Bridal Buyer’s next Wonder Woman Wednesday

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Wendy Mills from True Bride trekking on The Great Wall of China
Wendy Mills from True Bride trekking on The Great Wall of China

Wendy Wallis is the Sales Manager at bridal and bridesmaid brand True Bride and has worked with the popular brand for 12 years.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Maria Ryan

We caught up with Wendy to find out more about her background in fashion, secrets to success and female inspirations, as well as what we can expect from True Bride at London Bridal Fashion Week in March.

Find out more about the rebranded London Bridal Fashion Week here.

Tell us about your background in fashion

Before working for True Bride, I progressed to management at Next, gaining invaluable retail training and experience.

I quickly came to miss the one-to-one contact with customers and the birth of my daughter became the catalyst for change, prompting me to take a part-time job in a bridal store. Within three months, I was back working full-time and managing the boutique, a job I still look back on with get fondness.

When working in this role, I understood the empathy necessary to work with our customers on an individual basis. No two stores are the same and neither are their needs, and as the bridal industry continues to become more competitive, I can draw on my experience to assist them.

Every inch of rail space should count!

Check out bridesmaid dress designer Rosanna Garden’s Wonder Woman Wednesday profile to learn about her background in fashion.

How did you start working at True Bride?

This is my 12th year as Sales Manager at True Bride, joining Nicki and the team when the business was still in its infancy.

A few years after I started managing the boutique, I was ready for my next challenge and decided I would take a side step and work for a supplier. After brief spells with both Veromia and Margaret Lee I found what would become my perfect role at True Bride.

Read Kirsty Voce’s Wonder Woman Wednesday profile to find out how she started working at Rachel Allan.

What are your secrets to success?

I think it goes without saying that hard work is key to any success, but alongside that I am driven and passionate about what I do.

I believe there is a solution to any problem, as they say, ‘don’t change the goal, change the path’.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Regine Ellis

Who’s your greatest female inspiration?

My world is full of admirable woman, however, as the youngest of four daughters, my mum and sisters are my main inspiration.

I’m currently reading a book called ‘The Choice’ by Edith Elgar, a woman who’s now in her 90s, who survived the Holocaust. I find this story makes my problems seem very small.

I’ve also recently completed a trek on The Great Wall of China. I wanted to take on a challenge for myself but also to help raise awareness and funds for Acorns Children’s Hospices, a charity that both myself and my husband support.

The oldest trekker was 78 years of age! Another has just had her petition for greater funding for children hospices signed off and granted in full by Number 10… now that’s inspiration!

Read the inspirational Wonder Woman Wednesday profile of Sanyukta Shrestha, and learn about her sustainable bridal designs.

What does your typical working day look like?

No two days are ever the same and this keeps me on my toes.

As I cover the whole of the UK and Ireland, my job involves a lot of traveling, but I love seeing our stockists and their boutiques.

Strong supplier/stockist relationships are really important. Read what five suppliers had to say about their relationships with their stockists.

What’s your greatest achievement?

The greatest sense of achievement within my role at True is watching new bridal businesses and accounts go from strength to strength. I have seen customers expand their stores, move to bigger premises and develop teams who become the heart of the business.

The hard work of boutique owners does not go unnoticed, it is so much more than a nine-to-five job when you’re working on the shop floor, especially with the ever-increasing demands of the bride to be.

Outside of work, my greatest achievement is my daughter who has just turned 18, and I’m proud to say I’ve got her there relatively unscathed. She is studying fashion, buying and marketing at university and I hope that in the future she too finds a job she loves.

Read more: Wonder Woman Wednesday: Tiffany London

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Although my main role is sales, I also work closely with our Creative Manager, Lydia. I liaise with Lydia on designs for the new collections, making decisions for our advertising campaigns and, of course, supporting her on the all-important photo shoots.

Also, as cliché as it may sound, I still love to see brides and bridesmaids in our dresses.

What can we expect from you at London Bridal Fashion Week?

Our next bridal collection, which will be launched in London, will include three stories:

  1. Vintage romance, including un-beaded lace and flowing layers of soft tulle.
  2. A glamorous sparkle look featuring sheer fabrics, glitter tulle, sequins and ball gown skirts.
  3. Finally, sexy fitted gowns in crepe with plunge necklines and low backs.

Want to attend the world-leading fashion event in the nation’s arts and culture capital, London Bridal Fashion Week and White Gallery? Register here.

Can you tell us five interesting facts about yourself?

  • I like to think I have green fingers – I grow lots of vegetables in our garden. Beetroot is my favourite as it’s a great ingredient for chutney and chocolate brownies.
  • I love to travel and I’m counting down the days until our next holiday in New Zealand.
  • My friends say I throw the best parties, I absolutely love fancy dress!
  • I grew up in the countryside, where we kept chickens, geese and ducks. My favourite pet was my goat, April.
  • I completed a half marathon a few years ago, next challenge… 26 miles?

If you love reading these profiles, learn about one of Bridal Buyer’s first ever Wonder Women, Charlie Brear, and her background in bridal design.

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