A Small Bridal and Tailoring Business Coping with Lock-Down and Restrictions

D H Bridal Designs, Tailoring and Tutoring Services Surviving COVID-19

Introduction:

Since my last blog, in October which was to help brides-to-be plan their wedding day, I have been very busy and challenged – things have picked up immensely, in that month, I was very happy. I was focusing on alteration work, and sewing lessons which I had a few new clients interested in and my beloved bridal gowns were to be done in the background, as this became a lower priority and gowns were not my best seller, I would say it is simply a passion I want to keep doing and improving upon in the background – soon to take off in the near future. I will, however, need extra training in couture to be really able to make what I want. So, for now I prod along with the other loves which are garment alterations and sewing lessons 🙂

My priority is tailoring and adjustments and delivering sewing lessons and its been this way with alterations since back in early 2018 where I took on many different tailoring and alteration works such as curtains, a table runner, trouser alterations, cushion cover alterations etc part time. This was more basic but definitely challenged me and helped me gain more skills in what I do, however, after completing the degree finally, and knowing I had 14 years sewing experience since, It was time to move forwards and finally do what I love, which is what I’ve been trained in and even worked in the industry on a lower level at and that was in garment design and making, developing ideas and seeing them into realisation, using a sewing machine and working with apparel. I have been recently working with #RegencyBrides a local bridal boutique and so have been taking on work from there as a subcontractor. My work I do there is mostly to do with alterations right now, and I do like this very much.

A Recent Customer Alteration Done at D H Bridal Designs
A Recent Alteration for a Customer’s Gown That Ive Worked on 11.2020

A Recent Bridal Gown Designed and Made by D H Bridal Designs, Near Completion…

More Detail:

Since August, I have focused all my time and attention on the business now, finally letting go of part time work which was a second interest but also like bicycle stabilizer wheels for me whilst setting up business. It was a risky move and quite an emotional time for me recently I felt a bit dull about putting myself fully fledged into a new business that just wasn’t making enough money yet and as the stats go its usual for a business to take 3 years to break even, its only been about 2 for me! Yikes. I hope you can feel some of the pressure! So, inevitably I soon strategised and planned my way about changing up my processes and production that needed a new lease of life to it. I now have subscribed yearly to a business help and support organisation! And since doing so, I have had some very good results and business is picking up – thank God..! I feel it is hard to manage training and education in the business support programme as well as to do daily work that needs to get done – however this annual membership is very important to me and so I do find myself having to catch up a lot but I am very blessed by the teachings etc.

Some things I am engaged with currently are teaching and delivering sewing lessons to ladies/people or children who want to learn, my lessons are set in a course of 7 sessions and are also customisable to suit individual needs – this can be discussed prior to starting. The set course is only £150 for 6 lessons with the first lesson being free. I cover all basic sewing topics from seams and zips to textile applications such as applique and machine embroidery. I offer online lessons or face to face lessons.

I am definitely being hit by the Covid 19 pandemic right now and have seen not all that much need for tailoring and alterations as the events are just cancelled or severely limited in size and I also feel the same with bridal gowns people are postponing plans till next year at least for weddings. The #Sewing lessons that I offer have picked up – It’s a really good time to learn a new skill such as this. I do have other plans on what the business should do next but its just having the time and money to put into it is another thing…However, I am sure it will pan out well in the coming weeks and months.

Future Focus:

I am at a stage now where I need to diversify and introduce more services and products to the brand. I have pressing passions and ideas to create a new line in evening wear, however its evening wear with a twist as it is preowned garments which have then been altered and customised to become bespoke unique pieces…this is an eco friendly approach and is actually up-cycling in its full understanding. This will be good business practice for me and also great to bring in different customers and see to different needs! I want to do smaller additional items alongside my bridal and occasion wear too, so quite a lot to do and provide people with and so I will be needing to seek an Assistant – someone with an interest for design and or even business and who can work along side me, freeing my hands up to move forwards – that’s the only way to grow now. Everything I do is basically risky and it takes a lot of faith and know how…I am fully responsible for my decision making and my ideas/plans. The business is not something I take lightly and if I’m honest I have actually avoided going into business for many many years of my life because of the responsibility and hardship of it all…! However, we all have a unique purpose and I very much believe I’m doing much of mine…! Business is not for everyone and it is wise to learn some tricks of the trade and shadow and assist others before you take that step yourself! As Ive always said, I have a lot of life experience at my age and have shadowed and assisted quite closely with other business minds before hand – this is key.

Summary:

Its been a long hard month or two with a big spanner thrown in the works, such as the virus but after much prayer and thought things have moved forwards for me. I have taken off the stabaliser wheels on my life and left what I liked and cared about (children’s work) for my first love in work, which is design and making in the clothing industry. Risky but rewarding it has been and it all paid off since finding also some wise help such as a mentor and business support membership programme – I don’t feel so alone or so stuck in my ways. I’m trying new things and getting to know my customers better, I want to be a helpful service to people and something that is a solution to problems out there. Looking at new product lines to introduce and requiring staff now; business isn’t to be taken lightly nor is it to be mishandled because you must be a responsible person knowing that you are on the firing line whether it is a good or bad decision made. I know what I do has consequential ripple effects and I will need to have drawn on my life experiences and wisdom learnt, prayerfully all the way through. However, thankfully its something I naturally enjoy and seem to take to, after many years of avoidance..! It does run a bit, in my family and it also is a creative and risky way of life something I do enjoy! So, that’s all for now and hope to write again soon!

Business Details: –

If you would like to inquire/comment or feedback about anything D H Bridal Designs, Tailoring and Tutoring Services does please get in touch via the following details:

W: http://www.dhbridaldesigns.co.uk

E: dominique.haywood@yahoo.com

FB: @dhbridaldesigns

T: @DHaywood_85

IG: @dhbridaldesigns