At Dotty Bridal one of our main goals is to get to know our brides as much as possible, and for your experience with us to feel comfortable and personal. So today on the blog we’re giving you a little insight into how our boutique came to be and a chance to get to know Dotty owner – Shannon Martin, as she tells all you brides to be what you can expect from Dotty Bridal in our little interview below. So go grab yourself a cuppa and read on!
Q1. What was your inspiration for starting the business/what was your vision?
Shannon: Inspiration for opening my own bridal shop first arose after my own wedding. I really enjoyed the planning process leading up to the wedding and once it was over I felt at a bit of a loss. I’d been so busy planning and now it was over and I was left with all of this spare time. So I began researching into what brides did with their dresses after the wedding and into the preloved market, to find that there was a gap. This was the start of our first store Evelyn Taylor selling preloved and designer sample dresses, which later evolved into Dotty with the introduction of new designer dresses.
I found when I was shopping for my own dress that there was nowhere different and most of the shops I visited were generic bridal and not something I was looking for. Having a background in retail, I also couldn’t understand why there wasn’t much variety for brides as there is with other clothing. This was my main reason for wanting our boutique to be as different as possible. My vision was to provide variety for brides and an experience that was more personal, to not have anyone walking in on appointments and to be given a private experience of trying on dresses with friends/bridesmaids/mothers etc. To be able to offer brides who didn’t want the typical bridal look something different to try. The dresses we have now for our brides, I often think there was nothing like this 4 years ago when I was looking for my own.
Q2. How has the business changed and developed from first opening it’s doors?
Shannon: The business has changed a lot since first opening as Evelyn, selling only sample dresses to opening Dotty Taylor Bridal and introducing new designers and eventually rebranding to simply ‘Dotty Bridal’. Everything feels different now, we’ve grown and changed in our experience and with the help of our brides to provide something that I feel really is unique to bridal. When opening Dotty we had only Anna and myself, since then we have expanded our team and now have Beth, Molly, Juey & Chelsea. Our new shop is larger, having multiple fitting rooms allowing for more appointment times, yet still being private and separated. We have also expanded our range of designers, Pronovias, Pronovias Atelier, Katya Shehurina, LouLou Bridal, Lusan Mandongus and a new designer which we will be revealing the name of very soon, so look out for that one!
Q3. What designers/collections are stocked?
Shannon: Pronovias, Pronovias Atelier, Katya Shehurina, LouLou Bridal, Lusan Mandongus and our new soon to be revealed.
Q4. Why are these designers in particular the ones specifically chosen for Dotty & it’s brides?
Shannon: Katya in particular was chosen as we found a lot of our brides were after a more relaxed dress for their day and noticed a demand for more boho style dresses with less of a structure than our other designers. LouLou we have stocked since opening Evelyn simply because they are perfect for our vintage bride and really have something to suit every shape and size. They also come in various lengths, tea length, calf and long. expanding into Pronovias Atelier was due to the statement dresses from other Pronovias collections being really popular with our brides. However the real statement dresses belong to the Atelier collection, with a slightly higher price tag, but ideal for our brides that want something really luxurious and out there! Lusan Mandongus was introduced for our brides that were looking to spend a little less than say our Pronovias collections but still come away with something beautifully made, incorporating lace & beading. We also used to sell a lot of this designer for another boutique in Evelyn so we already knew they were a good designer and very well made. Rachel Simpson felt right for us as their branding fits well within ours. We are now officially a flagship store and stock all of their collection, we can order in anything from the Rachel Simpson collection in any size for our brides and are able to process returns.
Q5. What can brides to be expect from the ‘Dotty experience’?
Shannon: We aim for a really personal, relaxed service for our brides. It’s also important to us that we don’t seem pretentious in anyway. So often with bridal stores you can feel intimidated and scared to go in, this is the exact opposite of what we want your experience with us to be. We’re a Yorkshire boutique, with a team of Yorkshire girls, we want you to feel right at home with us! We’re more afternoon tea, than prosecco and champagne but whilst keeping it luxurious, such as drinking your tea in our Dotty tea cups and searching for your dream dress in our beautiful boutique. You can expect your appointment to be completely private, with a really experienced consultant, who knows how to accessorize items. We usually ask our brides to choose a few of their favorite styles to try and offer suggestions throughout your appointment once we know the styles and silhouettes that the bride favours. We know our dresses well and what works with various accessories, shapes and sizes. You definitely get more of a stylist experience with us as opposed to someone there just to dress you. On purchasing your dress you receive your very own ‘I’m a Dotty bride’ mug, and our branded products to keep your paperwork. We also offer personalised storage boxes for you to store your dress in after the wedding or if you’re having a wedding abroad we can pack it away for you to take with you. These are £35.
Q6.What extras are offered for brides to be?
Shannon: We also offer our very own collection of bridesmaid dresses called ‘Daisy Maids’ made especially for us and we are the only stockist of Daisy Maids. These come in up to 30 different colours and a multi way range that can be worn in up to 60 different ways, meaning they can be tied differently to suit each of your bridesmaids. They suit a range of different shapes and sizes, as well as two lengths, midi and maxi. We carry small, medium and large which caters for sizes from a 4 to a 28/30 and are also really good option for pregnant bridesmaids! Accessories we have such as Rachel Simpson, we also stock Nieve Couture veils as well as lots of designers in head dresses, birdcage veils, headbands, tiaras, and hair vines. For brides and bridesmaids we also have Hook boxes, filled with quirky bits and pieces such as ‘bride’ wrist tags and temporary tattoos for hen do’s, treats for the bride and bridesmaids if these wanted to be purchased as a gift. Other bridesmaid gifts include the Estella Bartlett bracelets, with different charms to choose from, such as bees, wishbones, hearts which make for the perfect thank you to your bride tribe.
We hope any of you brides to be looking for bridal shops to visit, now know a little more of what you can expect from us! If you like what you’ve read then make sure to get in touch and make your appointment with us and start the search for your dream dress!
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01484 950700 to book your appointment.
We can’t wait to see you!
You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we post updates of our collections, available appointments, offers and events. So go over and click that follow button to keep in the know on all things Dotty!