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To keep in tune with the new year, we thought it would be exciting to show what our year of 2021 looked like.
We started the year by continuing to make dresses for 2 of our brides that came to us in the year of 2020. Whenever I had time on the side, I would be working on 3 new samples for our first ever trunk show for the business in Brisbane!
Bridal work continued with 3 more added to the production line, prompting our first casual hire… We were also busy with back-to-back events this month where we attended our first Sydney Wedding Expo at the Randwick Racecourse. We ended the month by hosting our first Adelaide trunk show at the Oscar Hunt studio and back again to Sydney for a trunk show. It was during this time that we saw huge growth and was slowly outgrowing our garage studio…
March was a busy month for our brides! 3 of our brides got married during this month. Our Melbourne trunk show unfortunately got cancelled due to the Delta strain hitting Melbourne hard and SA consequently shut our borders to VIC. We started seeing progress as strangers started to book in to have appointments with us, which meant that our brand was spreading – yay! This month was also the first time we visited our Gilles St studio and fell in love!
We started designing for our second bridal collection, saw another 2 brides get married and got the keys to our new studio! The renovations began, customer bookings kept coming in and our ARA Modulars were well underway…
We hired our first part timer and was sad to say goodbye to our casual employee as she decided to focus on her last year of uni. We attended two bridal expos in Adelaide after deciding to cease interstate trunk shows for the time being. Bridal work continued and a lot of time was spent developing our second bridal collection. Majority of our renovations were completed (finally!) as we saw our curtains and new lights get fitted into our showroom.
We started getting so busy with production and sample work that I had to train Matt to cut fabric, which he is now a pro at doing!
July was when production work started to get really busy as I spent most of my nights completing our 12-piece collection to be shot in September. We had a short lockdown here in Adelaide and started to focus creating more content for Reels. One of our videos hit 950k views! It was a cool moment for us but it certainly didn’t help us in preparing for the coming months…
As the delta strain was hitting its peak in Australia, SA started applying strict measures like mask indoors, no dancing and singing at weddings, house gatherings capped to a certain number for the first time ever. Life felt even more abnormal and there was certainly little to no motivation for couples to plan their wedding. As it was our first official year in the wedding industry, we had no idea when peak and non-peak periods were and didn’t plan our sales goal accordingly. Unachievable sales goals left us disappointed and feeling as unenergetic as the wedding industry at the time. Meanwhile, two of our brides got married and we kept ourselves busy by completing orders for our brides while I continued to spend a lot of time after hours completing our bridal collection. There were many days where we were at our studio more than we were at home.
This month was when we shot our Liberty Collection with a team of amazing people! We got to experience one of the perks of owning your own business and spent two nights at the amazing EOS Hotel. Wedding season was coming to its peak with so many of our brides getting married in the next 2 months! We were busy with so many fittings during this month. SA still had a lot of restrictions on travelling interstate, we hence had to make a hard decision to stop any interstate trunk shows for the year.
What an incredible month! We saw so many of our brides celebrate their hens and get married this month. The weather was wet but the sunshine came to us every weekend, it was such a blessing! We finally had time to cut down the trees in front of our studio and opened the space up with white rocks and dwarf pinks that will hopefully grow with us in the years to come. We also launched our collection with an awesome 10% off event, as well as a new and improved Dress Builder where you can mix and match different elements to create your unique wedding dress.
Image by Jaz Anderson
I had so many final appointments with brides who were getting married at the end of the month! We saw 4 brides get married on the weekend of November 20th alone. It’s always hard to say goodbye to my brides but we were so happy for them and feel so thankful every single time. Our studio changed again with a new mirror installed and we saw so much more enquiries this month than we did during the last 3 months as restrictions lifted and weather warmed up! We got ready to host yet another event for the Christmas period…
The last month of the year and we ended on such a high note! In this quarter, we hosted two very successful events, hit our goals for the quarter and made awesome plans for the year of 2022 ahead! We’ve seen over 100 brides at this point and have received wonderful feedback about how inclusive and versatile our ARA Modulars are as they allow our brides to visualise their designs before committing to anything. Safe to say we’re on our way to disrupting the wedding dress industry!
What’s the plan for 2022? Honestly so much! We’re a small team of 4 now and will continue to be for a while I think. We have a couple of secret projects in the works that we will share in due time. One of our biggest goal that we can share for the year is to expand interstate to bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne! As you know, the uncertainty around the current COVID situation in Australia is still looming over us and we have no idea what’s ahead of us for 2022 but we are so lucky to have such a supportive and strong community behind us to push us through. We can’t wait to experience you 2022, let the fun (but also tough) times begin!
And before I go, I just wanted to let everyone who’s apart of the wedding industry know that we understand how tough the last 2 years has been for you. Whether you are a wedding vendor, planning a wedding or helping someone plan a wedding, just know that you have done a great job getting through it and will continue to do a good job ahead. Coming from someone who was an obsessive planner pre-COVID, trust me when I say the best advice I was given was to accept that this is the new normal now and learn to go with the flow of things. After all, we are here for you if you need anything so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Bride and Groom Peter and Chelsea from Him and Her Music. Image by Nathan Story.
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