Twitter Tuesday – Abigail’s Collection
It’s time to delve into our 17,000 loyal tweet mates and discover the people behind the businesses. This week, our finger of fate has stopped on the gorgeous Abigail Neill from Essex wedding dress shop, Abigail’s Collection, a boutique that is literally bulging under the weight of all the awards they’ve scooped over the last few years, but what makes them so special?
What’s the secret to your success?
“Our customers really are the heartbeat of our business so everything is centred around them,” says Abi. “Our VIP concept makes the bride feel special too, with private one-to-one appointments. We are more like style consultants. Rather than just selling you a dress, we help you choose the style that suits you best, then take you through to the vintage-inspired accessories room where you’ll choose your finishing touches. We want to make everything perfect, from the dress to the shoes, even the groomswear.”
“The designers and the brides themselves are becoming more confident when it comes to dresses. We’re seeing a lot more voluminous styles with ruffles and layers and the brides are loving it. Lace is still a key trend for 2012, too, with brides loving that vintage look. All our designers including Mark Lesley and Alfred Angelo have a great mix of styles, so we can find the perfect dress for everyone!”
What about girls with curves?
“We had one bride recently who was a size 38 and she looked stunning in her Alfred Angelo gown. She wore a bolero for the day but went strapless in the evening because she felt so confident. Our real-life galleries on the website are a huge hit and feature brides of all shapes and sizes.”
How has being a working mum changed you?
“My first baby really was my business. I am a workaholic and I have such a great passion for what I do. My husband runs the business with me and I think our love for each other and what we do is really the secret to our success. I’ve got lots of hats – mum, business owner, column writer for Bridal Buyer magazine – but I’m really happy and having Arabella was one of the best things that could have happened to us.”
Your idea of team building is for your staff to get their kit off! How was your FYEO shoot last year – would you recommend it?
“The girls were a little horrified when I first suggested it, but it was an incredible experience and we loved our pictures. It’s a fabulous, confidence-boosting treat every bride should try.”
Tell us something we didn’t know about you…
“Before working with wedding dresses, I was involved with different kinds of stitches – as a surgeon’s suture assistant, helping with the operations!”
Abi’s 3 top tips for buying your dream dress
- Take pictures from wedding magazines to show the staff what type of styles you like.
- Once you’ve found your dress, stop looking!
- Don’t buy from online sellers. We are constantly trying to pick up the pieces when brides order gowns from unauthorised sellers. Come and have the proper shop experience – you deserve it!