‘Every girl’s dream’ -bridal shopping with CG Boutique –
In today’s edition of our business spotlight, we speak to award-winning bridal boutique founders Serena and Caroline, of CG Boutique, Amesbury. Though off to a rocky start, with the pandemic hitting just a month before their official launch date, team CG Boutique quickly caught the media’s attention with their show-stopping window displays. From bringing their local community together to running a super successful bridal boutique, read on to hear their journey.
Thank you both for taking the time to speak to us today. So the beginning feels like a good place to start, how do you start your day? What’s the first thing you do?
When we arrive it’s all about a tea or coffee check in with the team and a rundown of appointments for the day. Sometimes that is our only chance as a collective to be together before our end of the day when running a busy bridal boutique!
And so would you describe yourselves as early birds or night owls?
We are definitely all early birds! Though we do accommodate our brides-to-be so do have late-night slots available too.
What does a day in the life of CG Boutique look like?
No day is the same for us, as every customer at CG Boutique is unique and so is their experience with us. So there tends to be a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure everything is just perfect for our brides-to-be and their friends and family that join us. Aside from the main focus of running a full day of bridal appointments, we could be doing anything from: changing our window display dresses, making customer calls, ordering dresses with designers, interacting on social medial, cleaning the sizeable boutique between appointments to name just a few!
Can you pinpoint your Eureka moment?
We (Caroline & Serena) met for a relaxing breakfast catchup one weekend. We got talking about some options as we were both at points in our careers where we could review and look at things…That wasn’t even the nature of the catch-up but it just came up in conversation, we thought – YES let do this and set up our bridal boutique. We have a chance to make our personal dreams come true and try and show that to our future customers too! We’d both had stories from wedding dress shopping, so we wanted to show everyone how amazing they could feel based on our experiences.
We love to hear how organically your business developed. Tell us about getting set up, how did the launch go?
We had such a blast setting up! It was super exciting planning, designing, shopping – literally every girl’s dream!!! They were very long days and many hours but it was needed to make the experience for our customers perfect. Our passion and dedication to making brides dreams come true and feel comfortable in every way are what kept us going.
Our diaries were fully booked, our social media going wild in the build-up, but sadly, a month before we were due to open, COVID hit us. So our grand plans of launch parties and events came to a harsh stop! It was a really hard time for us as it was many people and businesses, however, we still had our positive energy and dream in mind.
We kept customers entertained in lockdown with our weekly window display changes, which made us famous in the local area and we were even featured on the BBC for it as we lifted community spirits. We shared these on social @cgboutique_uk as well for all our followers to enjoy as not everyone was local to walk there! We even won an award!
It was all such an overwhelming time until we were finally allowed to open our doors. That was the best feeling ever and we’ve never looked back though it’s been a rocky year with lockdowns as we all know – we got through it and are running a super successful bridal boutique!
Wow, what a journey you’ve had, how lovely of you to have bought the community together in such a fragile time. What’s been the most challenging part of running your own business?
Aside from dealing with COVID, lockdowns and the unknown…Switching off – your heart and head is always there at the boutique. Whether that’s speaking to customers after work, catching up on emails or remembering spending time with family and friends. When you love what you do it’s no hardship but it is more challenging than one thinks as we are so dedicated to our customers. We are online 24/7 really but it makes us happy!
That sounds about right, I’m sure there are lots of small business owners reading this that can relate. And so what would you say you’ve found most rewarding?
Seeing the difference we can make to each person that walks in our door – sometimes they can be really nervous and anxious and once you work with them they go out the Boutique bouncing with happiness. You really cannot beat that feeling that you have made a real difference to someone’s day. Aside from that, it’s also very exciting and rewarding to be able to see all your ideas and passion coming together and having something you own is just an experience you can’t explain until you do it.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for any aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just go for it! Prepare yourself to work hard but you won’t regret it – it could be the making of you. Also, don’t listen to anyone that tells you that you can’t do anything…everything is possible if you want it to be!
Thank you both for taking the time to speak to us at Podengo. For anyone who would like to visit CG boutique in person, you can visit their stunning 16th-century grade two listed, two-storey building right in the heart of Amesbury high street. And to speak to one of the team or book an appointment click here.
Podengo are not affiliated in any way with the above businesses. Nor, do we receive any affiliated fees if you decide to book or use the services of the above businesses. We are simply providing a spotlight for fellow small businesses. If you would like us to feature your business in our blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org