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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Diana Elizabeth

Next up in our Wonder Woman Wednesday series, we are celebrating Latvian bridal designer, Diana Elizabeth

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Bridal dress designer, Diana Elizabeth
Bridal dress designer, Diana Elizabeth

Diana Elizabeth has been fulfilling her dreams of designing beautiful wedding dresses for 18 years. Since working alongside leading designers in both London and Riga, Diana has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience that has allowed her to develop her unique designs.

Diana references her perseverance, dedication and ambition as being crucial reasons for her success. It is clear, however, that Diana’s sheer want to please brides, as well as the joy she receives when being able to do this, is another reason for her success in our industry.

It’s Diana’s possession of these attributes that have earned her the title of our Wonder Woman this Wednesday.

Tell me about your background…

I’m originally from Latvia. I grew up in a town called Jūrmala, on the beautiful Baltic coast. As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a fascination with clothes and dressing up; as a child I used to make wedding and evening dresses for my dolls! This is where my creativity with fabrics and colours began.

At 16, I went to a leading fashion college in Riga and 3 years later, graduated with a degree in Dress Design and Dress Making. I was fortunate to get a job immediately and began working at one of the leading fashion houses in Riga.

Despite this fantastic experience, the opportunities to develop my career in Latvia were limited by the size of the market. I wanted to work in one of the main fashion centres and so the choice for me was between London, Paris, Milan or New York. I chose London!

Looking back now, this was a brave decision for me - English wasn’t my first language, and London has a bigger population than the whole of Latvia! To add to this, when I arrived in 2005, the job I’d been promised fell through.

After a couple of difficult months where I contacted everyone I could think of, I was offered a position at a leading London bridal designer.

How did you get into bridal?

This position was literally my dream job. I’d been creating wedding dresses since childhood, and now here I was, in London, making beautiful wedding dresses for real!

As time went on, I progressed from making to designing dresses and the experience of working here convinced me that bridal was where my future lie.

I’ve always been very independent and as my knowledge of the business and skills increased, I felt that I needed the space to develop my own ideas and designs. Therefore, I took the natural next step, and the second bravest decision of my life, and formed Diana Elizabeth Bridal Design in 2016.

What are your secrets to success?

This is easier for people who know me to answer, but in a few words:

  1. Perseverance - I never stopped following my childhood dream even though at times, it was a real struggle. I just kept going.
  2. Listening and understanding the needs of clients - a bride’s wedding day is usually one of the most important days in her life. I do whatever I can to help meet her expectations.
  3. Never stop learning - I keep up with the latest trends and visit all the major events to make sure I am able to anticipate future needs and develop my own unique designs

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

I have created collections of beautiful wedding dresses that are loved by brides and to see them smiling on their special day wearing my gowns is the most fulfilling aspect of my work.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to have received recognition in magazines.

How does an employee catch your attention, or impress you?

Enthusiasm and dedication - in practical terms, this means turning up on time with a positive attitude - I encourage contribution and challenge them to come up with answers to questions like ‘how can we make this better?’

The positive feedback from clients is also a great resource.

What does your typical working day look like?

I get up quite early in the morning, usually around 6am, have a light breakfast (toast and pastrami is a favourite), which gives me energy for the whole day. I love my morning coffee!

I check my diary for the day and make any last minute adjustments if I need to.

Next, I’ll call my assistant and discuss the day ahead for around 10 minutes, particularly to make sure the fabric orders are placed as this is a vital part of our process. Then I check my emails and spend the morning making phone calls.

I usually meet with new clients in afternoon to discuss their requirements or do fittings for existing clients. It can get very busy at times!

At 6pm, I wind down. This is my favourite time of day; I like this time to get my creative ideas flowing.

I do have a social life, and I try to meet up with friends a couple of times a week in the evening. When I’m at home, I like to read a good book with a glass of wine.

5 Interesting Facts About Diana:

  1. I collect fridge magnets from countries I visit.
  2. I dream of riding a horse along a beach.
  3. Thailand is my favourite holiday destination.
  4. I am learning to dance Salsa.
  5. My cat is a Ragdoll.

If you enjoyed reading about this successful designer, you’ll love hearing about our previous Wonder Woman, Karen Dornellie.

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