Nearly reaching the end of our first decade in business, exciting things are happening with AWB. 9 ½ years ago I graduated from my Fashion Design degree at De Montfort Uni in Leicester.
After 3 years of blood, sweat, tears (lots of those!), sleepless nights and a few hundred tantrums later- (sorry mum and dad!), I was lucky enough to get head hunted at London Graduate Fashion Qeek by River Island who interviewed me for a position designing knitwear and evening-wear.
I had imagined after my degree moving back home to Bristol for a while whilst I figured out what I was going to do as a career. I knew I didn’t want to lose the skills I had learnt as I have always had a huge passion for sewing. This break didn’t really happen as I moved to London the day I graduated in summer 2010. Whilst I was in London, I also had experience pattern cutting at French Connection (one of my all time favourite brands!). I was ecstatic to have been given the opportunity to work for River Island, and appreciated how lucky I was as a fashion degree graduate to land a job straight away, it’s a notoriously hard industry to get work in (especially paid!) however after a few months I decided home was where I wanted to be. I have always had an interest in bridal wear, so I decided to email around bridal shops in the area to see if anyone needed a seamstress. I was lucky to have an opportunity straight away, so I packed my bags in London and moved home.
For the first 2 years, I would travel into Bristol to do fittings for brides and work on their dresses from my back bedroom. With a thirst to grow a business I decided to open my first sewing/dress studio in Nailsea, where brides could come to a cosy, professional environment and have their fitting and alterations done all under one roof. This is when I started making bespoke dresses too. It is so rewarding to be able to utilise all the skills I had learnt over the years from pattern cutting to construction.
After 3 years in the Kingshill shop, word was spreading about AWB and it was time to move to bigger premises, so along the road I went to Nailsea High street. I stayed there for another 3 years and moved to a much larger premises in Portishead in October 2018. With numerous bridal boutiques recommending us, this is when I decided it was time to grow the team from just little old me (and my very sore sewing fingers!).
Kayla joined in early 2019, to start with part time but with the ever increasing workload she quickly became full time. Kayla graduated from Wimbledon University of Arts with a degree in costume interpretation. A passion of hers is beadwork and embroidery. Bridal wear also links in well with her experience constructing costume corsetry. She enjoys the fittings process and meeting brides/customers and helping them bring their bridal vision to life through alterations and bespoke changes. A favourite of hers is stand work on the mannequins to create bespoke pieces. Before joining AWB, she had experience working for Jenny Packham with beautiful beadwork creations. Constructing lingerie for Fleur of England and at Ted Baker.
Dee has recently joined the team after completing her fashion design degree at Bath Spa Uni. Dee has a passion for colour and loves working on all the amazing prom and bridesmaid dresses we have come to us! She loves how with the little details we can really help show someone’s personality and style in a dress to help make it perfect for them.
“A beautiful thing about bridal wear is that it has the ability to look stunning from a distance with the fit and fabrics, but when you get up close there is a whole other world within the amazing detailing”.
Dee is all about the fit of garments, having been a dresser/fitter at many catwalk shows. She assisted with the creation of outfits for London Fashion week S/S ’19 for Julien MacDonald, as well as seamstress work for KEA activewear.
For myself, having started all this as just a dream nearly 10 years ago, it’s amazing to now have a team of qualified seamstresses working for AWB. Each one of us is experienced, so whoever you see when you come to us will be in very safe hands! We each have a passion for different areas of Bridal and evening-wear so try to choose accordingly who does whose fittings based on these passions, to ensure you get the most magical experience when having your dress made or altered with us.
We look forward to an exciting 2020 and meeting hundreds of new brides and clients.
Happy wedding planning everyone!