So we have solicited the advice of Roberta Noronha Co- Owner and Stylist of The Bridal Finery, to share some important tips and her expertise in the bridal wear industry.
As fun as it is, wedding planning can sometimes be overwhelming and your #peacocksquad would love to share some tips, best advice, and inspiration from some of the best vendors in the wedding industry with our couples. Selecting the perfect wedding dress for your big day is no small feat.
~Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
I’m the Co-Owner and Stylist of The Bridal Finery. When I’m not at the boutique I am spending time with my husband and our one-year-old son, Jude. We are a very outdoorsy family so we are often going for walks around our neighborhood in College Park or visiting the springs. We love traveling internationally as well as little day trips to small towns outside of Orlando. The Bridal Finery opened in November 2017 bringing a new concept to Central Florida. In an area with so many boutiques, we knew we wanted to offer something different and fill a void. Using relationships we have built in our industry for a combined 20 years, we partnered with designers to be there off the runway bridal boutique. Designers send us exclusive dresses for special order and off the rack purchases. The off the rack dresses are a great value for our clients looking for a designer piece at a sample sale price. Also, we partner with newlyweds looking to resell their gown. We love our resale business because we get to help a newlywed and a newly engaged bride at the same time. This side of our business makes our collection the most unique by providing designers not currently available in Florida.
~ What attracts you to the bridal wear business?
I was recruited to manage a luxury bridal boutique 15 years ago. Prior to that I was in college for International Business and managing a Victoria’s Secret. My goal after graduation was to work for an international company who services women in some form or fashion. In many ways bridal allows me to accomplish my goals. I never thought clothing would make such an impact. I love showing women how good they look with the right undergarments and wedding dress. During a time where everything is going online, I love how shopping for a wedding dress is still a very traditional process. I cannot imagine doing anything else. I love what I do.
~ Where do you get your inspiration? What is your favorite part of your job?
I love being inspired by my experiences. Customer service is very important to me and I love when I receive exceptional service locally and think of ways I can bring that same experience to my brides. I love when businesses can find a way to build a strong relationship with their clients. This always inspires me to grow. My favorite part is finding brides their accessories. I love the moment they find their dress, but accessories are when the whole look comes together. I think clients undervalue accessories until they see the whole look and they are wowed. The perfect pieces tied together in one look makes the experience complete.
~ Describe your bridal shop style in 3 words.
Welcoming, private, fashion-forward.
~ What has been your biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?
I feel very confident in helping my brides. I don’t come across too many challenges, that I have not faced in the past. I think my biggest challenges is when a relative or bride is very stuck on the color of the gown. Because we are mainly an off-the-rack store, the color of the dress cannot be changed. Of course, we do have special order options where we may order the color they are looking for. I think people get wrapped up on tradition instead of considering what looks best on them. There are a thousand shades of white and everyone’s version of a white wedding dress means something different. I really encourage my clients to see what looks best on them. To try on different shades of whites, ivories, blushes, taupes, and then decide. There is no risk in trying.
When it comes to the business I think our biggest challenge was ourselves. We were scared to take this jump. To sign the lease. To invest so much and to give up so much We thought a lot about our families. We realized this was a risk for every family member. Luckily, our husbands supported us 100%. To the point of painting the walls and building the racks. We overcame it by signing a lease very quickly. No time to back out. Of course, we did our research to make sure the lease was fair, but we didn’t look back. We found the space within days. It was exactly what we wanted and there was no reason to look any further. I guess you could relate it to wedding dress shopping. You just have to stop looking and enjoy.
~ What makes The Bridal Finery different from any other bridal shop?
You get US!! We wanted to create an environment where our friends and family would like to shop. I think while doing that we attracted clients we want to be friends with. It is a one bride at a time experience. My clients have our cell phone numbers. As a team we have a combined of 20 years in the industry so we know it well and we love sharing our knowledge and expertise,but we also when to sit back and listen. From a fashion end, we have access to certain dresses no other boutique in the nation has access to.
~ What steps do you take to make sure your client’s experience is as pleasant as possible?
Every single one of my clients has different needs. Is about identify those needs and taking action. Whether it’s a bride that feels she is bad at making decisions or a bride that is terrified of the alterations process. The client experience is what you remember. It makes the dress even more beautiful. We do our best to treat her like she is the only client we have. That’s the best way to describe it. That is our goal.
~ This last was is just for FUN!! If you were a beverage/cocktail drink, what would you be?
Hmm… I would say I’m a cider. Maybe because I like cider, haha. I don’t have a strong personality. I am very laid back, pretty easy going. I’m definitely not a tequila. haha.
Go see our Friendors at The Bridal Finery at 976 N Orange Ave Suite C, Winter Park, FL 32789