I am based on the coast of mid Wales - a wonderful place to live with beautiful scenery, but miles from the nearest shopping precinct, and no proper 'main' route to a large town. Our nearest town is Aberystwyth, population 12000, plus 7000 students. There is only one bridal shop in the town, and the next nearest is in Newtown, an hour's drive away. Since brides usually want to try on as many styles as possible, they can end up travelling a long way to find a selection. I discovered all of these facts when my son decided to get married, and my prospective daughter-in-law went searching for a dress as far afield as Telford. I had previously gone with my daughter when she was looking for a dress for her wedding in 2000, but as she lived in Bristol at the time the gap did not seem quite so obvious Since neither my daughter nor my daughter-in-law were able to find a dress exactly as they envisioned it, I ended up making both their dresses, and all their respective bridesmaids dresses - all six each time! After my son's wedding in June 2008, my husband and I had a vacancy in a shop that we own in the village of Borth, so as I was doing an increasing amount of alterations for local people, I decided to use the shop myself.
Alterations are not my main interest, as it is much more fun to start a project from scratch and see it through to the end, than unpicking someone else's work and chopping it about. Since I had really enjoyed the challenge of making my daughter-in-law's dress, and those of her bridesmaids, and had received so many compliments at the wedding, I decided to make this my main aim, though I will still be doing alterations as well. So far I have really enjoyed setting up my business, and I hope that I will be able to provide a useful service to the area so that brides will not have to travel so far to find their dream dress, and their bridesmaids will have no trouble getting to fittings!
I still encourage brides to try on as many dresses as they can in order to decide on the style that best suits them, and what materials they like so that when they come to choose a pattern for their dress they know what they are looking for. To this end I keep a selection of used and end of line dresses in most sizes for customers to try for style and ideas. Since each dress I make is unique to the individual I can use whatever material they like, and add lace, beads or flowers and frills of their choice. Bridesmaids' dresses can also be made to suit the individual girls - either made of the same material, but in several complementary styles, or the same style with perhaps different embellishments or even different combinations of colours. I am building up a collection of larger pieces of material than is usual for samples so that prospective brides can see how the material moves in use. For example Chiffon and Organza are often used as an over layer on a wedding dress, but chiffon is a much heavier, more flowing material than the stiffer organza, so gives a completely different effect.
Please look at the pictures of my work, and I hope that you will come and see the shop for yourself. Please telephone to book an appointment, as I am open by appointment only.
To find out more about Borth check out the Borth Community website: Google