We caught up with Loveitsomuch to find out more about what they can offer retailers
Loveitsomuch is a one stop shop for belts and other embellishments for gowns that might need that extra sparkle. Offering this service means bridal boutiques can tweak dresses and create entirely different looks depending on each bride’s preferences. This service also allows brides to have a dress that’s totally unique to them.
If you’re up to date with bridal trends, check out the latest groomswear trends here.
Not long ago actually, it’s all still quite new to me. My background was in training within the South African mining industry of all things. Five years ago I returned to the UK and wanted a real change in career (not many gold mines in Lincolnshire).
It all began when I had an idea and was willing to fund it for a grand total of £100! I bought six rhinestone appliques and sold them on eBay. From the money I made from those sales I bought 10 more appliques and sold those. You can tell where this is going, can’t you? I was lucky, I caught the market at just the right time; it would be impossible now.
As the company grew (still on eBay), bridal shops found me and started to buy my products, and I soon found myself in a dilemma of selling to the public, and to retailers. I didn’t feel it was ethical to sell to both, so I chose my retail clients. There was no great marketing insight into the reason for choosing retailing; I just loved the continuity and felt a connection that allowed me to become part of the whole bridal trade.
Within bridal shops it would be at the point when a woman tries a dress on and says, ‘it’s really lovely but…’ A phrase no one wants to hear. It’s not quite a ‘no’ either though! It’s being indecisive because something is lacking, so bring out the ‘supporting cast’ of crystal belts, trims and appliques and it might just change a decision. The client might simply not have realised that this small addition of some embellishment was all she needed. I am sure the veils and head pieces come out, but it might be the dress itself that needs the attention.
Read more: join us in celebrating Paloma Blanca’s long history in bridal.
Oh, it’s all terribly professional… Not really… it’s all about nattering. Yep, I think my inspiration starts by chatting to clients. I get a lot of calls from bridal boutiques asking, “have you got…” which can then flag up a possible shift in the market. I have to be proactive when looking out for developments in the market.
Trends come and go but make no mistake, crystals will always have a place and I believe should be offered, where appropriate, as it might just close the sale. Both trims and appliqués make a dress unique and that’s an important selling point when we have an industry awash with dresses being sold at cheap off-the-rack prices.
If I had a shop I think I would also look at any sale dresses I had that were not moving on. Trims can be attached so quickly it literally takes minutes. Once in place the dress becomes unique, and hopefully, more interesting to browsers who are drawn to crystals (I refuse to say ‘bling’ even though it’s the best description).
Your question made me look through my records and they showed that the greatest negative change seems to have been that smaller bridal shops are only ordering from me for an upcoming event, rather than the shop holding stock for future sales. The reason for this change, I believe, is that they are now having to contend with an aggressive campaign by Wed2B to capture their market.
My stats also show me that seamstresses have fared better and I wonder if a part of that may be that many are on the receiving end of this glut of off-the-rack dresses, and so therefore opt for fitting alterations and finishing touches. Designers, too, have their own uniqueness in their dresses, which helps them through these tougher times.
My advice for boutiques is that they should arm themselves with top-to-toe accessories in order to help secure the dress sale before the bride leaves the shop.
I don’t suggest RRP on my ranges and my inexpensive pricing caters for everyone, however, in some cases I’ve been alarmed at huge margins being put on my products, and if that is done by a shop owner in a poor demographic area then good sales are unlikely. I suggest lowering mark-ups on my products and having more designs on show as this will increase the chances of a sale and fill the shops with more sparkle to draw the eye. Making dresses more unique is one way to battle the influx of walk in, walk out, off-the-rack selling.
Of course, I could be completely wrong about all of this! After all, I’m just an independent business owner looking in from the outside.
For myself, my principles remain the same: no minimum orders, reliability, continual additions of quality products at inexpensive pricing, quick despatch and continued friendly, but strong support of my clients through these times of change. These beliefs are the backbone of my business.
Want to read more? Check in with Jenny Packham in our exclusive interview with the iconic designer.