Post # 32
@MrsDrPeter: I would really have to see the dresses in person to draw a more accurate conclusion, but from what I can see a few of them say “upscale”.
Dress Number 1: I think this dress looks inexpensive, I don’t want to say “cheap”, but I personally wouldn’t spend over 750 on it. This dress looks suitable for a younger bride and/or a garden wedding.
Dress Number 2: This dress looks similar to a Pnina Tornai dress. However, I don’t think a majority of their dresses look anything near what their price point is. This dress does look “cheap” to me from the waist up. The reason being that the corset is see-through. This is not something I would wear in front of my father, family, and family to be. I would wear this for my husband but probably not outside our bedroom.
Dress Number 3: This dress looks more “upscale” than dresses 1 and 2. I still doesn’t look expensive to me, but I’d pay more for it than I would the other two dresses. I love the uniqueness of the train on it.
Dress Number 4: I think this dress could be worn as a wedding dress or other special occasion dress. Black wedding dresses are becoming more and more trendy. However, unless you are selling other special occasion dresses, I wouldn’t stock something like this unless I lived in a more diverse area or big city. This dress looks “upscale” enough but I don’t think it’ll be a big wedding dress seller unless you live in a larger city.
Dress Number 5: With the exception of the bow on the side of it, this dress is my favorite out of all 6 dresses. It looks more “upscale”, well made, and expensive than the other dresses. I would pay more for this dress than the other five dresses. The bow does cheapen it a bit though in my opinion. For some reason, when I think of bows on wedding dresses, I think of the 80’s and 90’s.
Dress Number 6: I also like this dress quite a bit. Although, I’m not sure if it’s something I could/would wear but I like the bodice with drop waist. I think this type of dress is nice in that it can flatter more than one body type. It also combines the “fitted look” along with the ball gown look, which is where a lot of people are torn now when purchasing a dress. This dress does look more “upscale” than most of the others and I thin it may bring a higher price tag.
Post # 33
@unixfairy: These are also very valid points to consider. I live in small but growing town. An upscale bridal shop recently opened in an even smaller town next to this one. This bridal salon sells high-end gowns (3k and up) in a beautiful shop in a little country town (think Mayberry). It’s unlikely it will make it long-term because the estimated per capita income is 20,000 in the small town. Not that there is anything wrong with that income but people making an average of 20k yearly aren’t likely to purchase a gown that is 5k.
@vorpalette: I’m right with you in regards to Pnina Tornai dresses, lol.
I’d also like to mention a few designers who I think have unique beautiful gowns. Modern Trousseau gowns are made in America, not necessarily local to where you are but local within the U.S. Most of her gowns start at about 3k retail. http://moderntrousseau.com/
Sophia Tolli, has some beautiful gowns as well. http://www.simonecarvalli.com/
Jim Hjelm, Lazaro and Tara Keely are also a few more of my favorites. http://www.jlmcouture.com/Jim-Hjelm
These designer’s gowns are more along the lines of what I personally consider “upscale”. They also bring a higher price tag.
As far as the name, “Fancee” goes it doesn’t really sound like a high-end bridal salon name to me. However, you set the “upscale” tone at your business by the shop’s overall look, what you sale and how you treat your customers.
Post # 34
They’re all too over-the-top for my taste (I wouldn’t wear them), but they are beautiful!
Post # 35
I voted for “look for more dresses.” Not because these ones aren’t good though. I think they are all very pretty. BUT they are very busy dresses and would all appeal to the same type of customer. You will need much more variety than this. However, if this is just one of the designers you are thinking of carrying, then sure, I like them 🙂
Please, please don’t name your shop “Fancee Bridal” though. Maybe I’m super sensitive because I’m a grammar nerd, but I literally cringed. I would think that you were a knock-off store, like one of those Chinese shops you see downtown in the city. My first thought is that the owner doesn’t know English very well. Here are some of the bridal shop names near me, maybe they will spark another idea? The Crystal Bride, White Satin Bridal, Francia Bridal, Wolsfelt’s Victorian Bridal, Catherine Simms Bridal, Bella Bridal, Veiled in Elegance, The Dress by Nicole, Bella Bianca Bridal, Eva’s Bridal, White Carriage Bridal, Shelley’s Bridal Couture.
Post # 36
there are upscale dresses that look like all different things (from super-simple to mega-lace and tulle), so my suggestion is to know your market and offer a variety. perhaps it would help to add some more simple A-line of sheath dresses to balance out the ballgown/flare styles. I know a lot of people don’t like the first one, but I’ve seen several designer dresses with similar styles!
you are correct about the service/staff making the store professional rather than the name. I must admit that Fancee Bridal is not my favorite name, but there are other strange ones out there (e.g. BHLDN…meant to be pronounced “beholden” which works because of the brands that precede it). still, if you love the name, keep it! there are others like “Fantasy Bridal” and “Fairytale Dresses” that make me gag far more.
good luck with your venture! sounds like an awesome idea
Post # 37
I think it’s wonderful that you’re considering this venture but I think you’re way off track with the name, branding and the dresses you’ve shown us here. I found myself saying ‘okay which one is the least awful’ when trying to pick my favorite… none of them look good to me 🙁
Also if you’re going to consider yourself ‘upscale’, the experience needs to be pretty high end and personal because dresses <$1000 dont point to ‘upscale’ to me.
I would keep going, but really focus on your target market, what THEY would want, and how you are going to fill a need that exists. What’s going to set you apart? Why should they come to you? There’s a local movement right now for sure, but when it comes down to it people are motivated by money. You have to have an AMAZING local product for people to come over from the comfort of other brands.
Small business is no joke. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it can be wildly expensive, but it can also be rewarding. Have you ever had a small business before? Are you prepared?
Post # 38
Beautiful gowns! Many different styles. I love the trumpet cut ones, especially the one with the one shoulder strap and the last one with the assymetric cut. The black dress is awesome!!
Good luck with your business 🙂
Post # 39
I would say less upscale, more coutour (I KNOW I spelled that wrong). I love the dresses; they would go great in whatever setting the bride intended for them, but I think they’re more for the “unique” bride than the “upscale”.
Post # 40
Haha! I get the point on the Fancee.. we scrapped it.
We have a ways to go on our plan, but saying “upscale” was the wrong choice of words. I will not be trying to compete with JLM, Vera Wang, etc. Who am i to try and attempt something like that? With that said, I would like to be above David’s Bridal. Most boutiques are.
I have dabbled in small business before and was fairly sucessful; however, it was a completely different type of business than this.
Thanks for all of your input! It helped a lot!
Post # 41
Post # 42