Shrewsbury business woman nominated for BizMums award
What started out as a childhood ambition soon blossomed into a thriving bridal business for the 31-year-old.
And despite being just six months into her new venture, she’s already found herself in the running for a new business award.
With a surname that lends itself appropriately to her shop – Heavenly Brides & Belles – Suzanne from Shrewsbury single-handedly offers a more personal service from a prime spot within the town’s Pride Hill Shopping Centre.
Having spent two years planning her own wedding, the mum-of-one understands the importance of a bride’s big day.
“I love being a part of someone else’s wedding and I offer a very personal service because I like to get to know the brides, find out about their themes and colour schemes, and use my experience to offer them advice about dress styles,” she said.
“I absolutely love the industry, love the fashions and hearing about people’s wedding plans and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a bride walk away with her dream dress.”
Such passion hasn’t gone unnoticed by Suzanne’s grateful customers, who have nominated her for a BizMums award.
The social enterprise network celebrates and supports mothers in business across Shropshire, Staffordshire, North Wales and the West Midlands and is launching its first round of awards later this year.
Founder, Michelle Childs explains: “We offer support and inspiration to mums in business by hosting child-friendly events where women come along, share what they do, meet other mums and learn valuable skills which they can take back and apply to their business. We also have an online members group on Facebook.
“The awards have been set up to recognise the achievements of working mums, just like Suzanne and are a really positive way to promote our local businesses.”
Suzanne added: “It was so lovely to find out I’ve been nominated for an award, especially for doing something that I am so passionate about. It would be a great feather in my cap if I won.
“I found out about Bizmums through Facebook and have found it really helpful speaking to like-minded people who are juggling running a business with being a mum.”
Speaking about how her dream became a reality, Suzanne said: “I’ve always wanted my very own bridal shop ever since I was a little girl but I never had the opportunity at first.
“When I left school I worked in admin for a while, and had a little online business making wedding invitations and favours before going on to work for the children’s charity, Barnardos in one of their ‘brides by appointment’ stores.
“I really enjoyed working there and I had lots of ideas, but I couldn’t really implement them because it wasn’t my business.
“I went off on maternity leave and when I came back, I thought, I need to do this for myself, so my husband and I invested our life savings in setting up the business.”
Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “We’re delighted for Suzanne that she is making such an impression so early in her business career.
“It’s important to us here that we have a mix of high street big names and independent retailers and Heavenly Brides and Belles is part of that varied offer we have at Shrewsbury Shopping.”