A KIRKCALDY-based bridal shop has celebrated a successful first year in business and made a significant contribution to the high street by helping other independent retailers.
Amy King Bridal offers unique designer dresses for brides and bridesmaids, prom and evening dresses, jewellery and wedding accessories. The shop was launched by former quantity surveyor Amy King in January 2019, fulfilling her dream of owning a dress shop.
In her first year of business, Amy has served over 250 customers, hosted open days for brides, supplied gowns for a bridal photoshoot at Balbirnie House and ran a pop-up shop offering a wider range of clothing.
To help launch her new business, Amy approached Business Gateway Fife for support. In addition to one-to-one sessions from a business adviser, Business Gateway helped Amy to develop her business plan, set financial forecasts and implement a marketing strategy.
The business advice service also helped Amy to identify potential sources of funding, supporting successful applications to the Business Gateway Fife Young Person’s Start Up Grant and the Prince’s Trust. With the combined £1,100 grant funding, Amy was able to purchase essential IT equipment and expand her business to include other services.
To provide a complete customer experience and support other local entrepreneurs, Amy recruited four beauty businesses to operate from her premises. Make-up artist Jennifer McLachlan, nail technician Ellen Brown, lash and brow expert Laura Voinci and Pamela Wallace, who provides non-surgical aesthetics and advanced skincare, are all self-employed and offer beauty services on the ground floor of the shop.
All four beauticians operating from Amy King Bridal have received one-to-one support from a Business Gateway adviser and successfully applied for Young Person’s Start Up Grants to purchase laptops, stock or vital equipment.
Amy King, owner of Amy King Bridal, commented: “Launching my own shop was a complete career change after working as a quantity surveyor for five years, but Business Gateway has guided me through every step of the process. The support has given me the financial and marketing skills I need to grow the business, and my adviser has opened my eyes to potential funding and business development opportunities I didn’t even know existed.”
Marissa Yassen, Business Adviser at Business Gateway Fife, added: “Amy’s passion for opening a bridal store combined with our business support helped Amy King Bridal get off to a fantastic start. By focusing on the importance of customer experience and collaborating with other local retailers, Amy King Bridal is a fantastic example of how small shops can continue to thrive despite the growing popularity of online shopping.
“Kirkcaldy’s high street has suffered following the closure of several big brand names, so Business Gateway’s support for retailers is crucial. Our advisers provide comprehensive support for start-up businesses, specialist guidance on everything from HR and finance to digital marketing, and strategic reviews for established businesses looking to grow their operations.”