The Cotswold Bridal Boutique believe wedding dress shopping should be a fun, exciting and stress-free experience, and husband and wife team Ramsey and Emma at The Cotswold Bridal Boutique, in Long Compton, Warwickshire, promise that it will be all of this. and more.
The “more” is the very best level of customer service that every bride deserves. At The Cotswold Bridal Boutique, this includes personal appointments at a time to suit you, affordable, top quality, designer wedding dresses and the a commitment to making every bride feel relaxed and confident in making such a special purchase.
We’ll let Ramsey tell you so much more now about his boutique:
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
Since we opened in July 2012 our bridal shop has gone from strength to strength and is growing a popular following and name for itself. Founded by myself, an ex truck and coach driver, I have certainly given other bridal shops a run for their money.
Voted ‘Most popular bridal shop in the U.K.’ 2 years running in the Wedding Industry Expert Awards the shop is now run by myself and my wife and business partner Emma, who 4 years ago walked in off the street looking for a job!
What motivated you to start your business?
Fed up of truck/coach driving I left full time work to start up a small business advice company from home, helping other small to medium businesses get off the ground. My first customer was a lady wanting to open up a bridal shop and she recommended me to another and another until I had helped around 15 other bridal shops open up around the UK along with many other businesses, some wedding related some not.
After 15 years of doing this and listening to brides complaints about bridal shops I decided I could give this a go myself and try and tackle all those complaints to create the perfect bridal shopping experience. I have never looked back since although it’s not been an easy ride!
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
We decided only to open when a bride wants to pop over to try dresses on so when we have no appointments we are not open, however that means we are usually extremely busy with paperwork and marketing at home!
Working this way is an advantage to us and the brides. For us, when it’s nice weather like it is today we are enjoying it at home. For the bride, because we are 1 minute walk away from the shop and because we have quality time off we are happy to offer day or evening appointments throughout the whole 7 days. Our brides love that they can come to us when other bridal shops are shut.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
We are absolutely customer service orientated. We treat all our brides how we would like to be treated. So we never push a bride into purchasing anything she doesn’t want to purchase. We are non pushy, we are extremely warm and welcoming and we are proud that no matter how nervous our brides are when they first walk in, within two minutes they are totally relaxed and having fun.
We believe all brides are equal and should be treated as such. That means we welcome brides with varying budget requirements, with style and size requirements and any other issues they may have that may seem silly to most people but we understand the importance to the bride.
So whilst we have sample dresses to try on and buy in our shop from size 8 to 28 you will not hear words from our mouths like ‘plus size’ or ‘curvy brides’ or ‘petite brides’. Brides often call themselves by these terms but it is not our place to do so and I have been told by many brides they stay away from shops who use those phrases.
There are no snooty sales staff at all, we are very down to earth and can interact with our brides and their party like we have known them all for years. We are open, honest and trustworthy. Brides can be very confident that should they purchase from us they will get exceptional good value for their money in both goods and our service.
If a bride finds and purchases her dress from us we donate a percentage of that sale to helping sick newborn babies at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
I cannot stress this enough… Research whoever you intend to use! With the internet we have so many great ways to dig up all information we may require about a business. From how long they have been trading, whether they have good or bad reviews etc.. Many social networking sites allow you to discuss with many others now on what they felt about certain businesses. So ask ask ask!
It does annoy me when you see a bride asking for a recommendation and then businesses posts a comment recommending themselves! That smells of desperation and should be ignored. You, as a bride, want to ask other brides their thoughts…
Be careful using businesses with no good contact details. If they don’t give you their address and phone number don’t use them! Many businesses now set up on Facebook only, no website, no proper business details, be careful as these people are likely illegally earning a second income and those people are the Ines who usually disappear with your money without a trace.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
I couldn’t pick one or two. Without sounding cheesy we get a kick from absolutely every bride who purchased her dress from us as we feel part of her day then. We have created good relationships with these brides and we eagerly await photos of their day and to hear how things went. For each bride our job is not over until the end of their wedding day.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
Not really no, not as a business. I still dabble in my previous job of helping small businesses and often can be seen giving marketing, website, customer relation related advice to others.
What have you got planned for 2017?
We are awaiting the arrival of two major new designers we have taken on, Eddy K and House of Mooshki. This is just going to bring so much attention to us hopefully as both very huge names in the industry and much more upmarket to what we have done in the past so will bring in a whole new clientele
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I don’t think any person inspires us. We just want to be successful, we want to run a business that is talked about in a good way, one that has nothing but satisfied customers. We love what we do and we want to be the best at it.
All images courtesy of The Cotswold Bridal Boutique