BOUTIQUE TOUR: LUELLA’S BOUDOIR
You may have noticed in my bio that I have been involved in weddings since the age of 12. My obsession with weddings stemmed from weekends spent helping out with my parents business, an outside catering company. I loved everything about the weddings that I saw; the details, the blooms, the love, the laughter… But the thing that held my thoughts long after I had left the marquee to rest my weary feet? The pretty dresses.
Yep, my head is easily turned by a wedding dress. I love them in all shapes and sizes and can usually appreciate the aesthetic of any wedding gown, even if it is something that I don’t think I would choose myself. It’s my fancy for all things wedding fashion that is to blame for my long-held hankering to own my very own wedding dress shop. And if I did it would certainly be modeled on the eye-poppingly gorgeous Luella’s Boudoir, with a bright airy space, delicate pastel details, beautifully luxurious décor, and row after row of fabulous dresses and accessories.
So, as you can imagine, I am really delighted to share today’s career feature with you, where Rachel Attwell, Owner of Luella’s Boudoir, tells us about her journey into the world of wedding finery. It is a really inspiring read for anyone looking to start or develop their own business, fellow wedding fanatics, or just anyone that wants a behind the scenes peek at the goings-on of a wedding boutique captured by the lovely Kate Nielen.
Tell us a little about your business?
Luella’s Boudoir is a bridal boutique located in the heart of Wimbledon Village London. It offers an exciting range of products that have been sourced from designers from all over the world, including UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Singapore and Israel. Some of the products are very vintage in style but we also have some exciting contemporary designs.
We also work closely with a range of incredibly talented wedding suppliers, including everything from Photographers, to Florists, Cake and Stationery Designers, Caterers, Entertainers, Make up and Hair Stylists and Wedding Planners. We love recommending them to brides because we know that they share a similar ethos and that they will also strive to ensure that everything is perfect for our brides on such a special day.
How did you get started in the industry + what prompted you to get started?
I was inspired to start a bridal business after my own wedding. Having had the experience of trying to plan a wedding whilst juggling a busy job and with 7 bridesmaids to dress, I decided that there was room in the bridal market for a boutique that catered for all the members of the bridal party.
I also decided that the style of the boutique should be less traditional in style and set about creating a beautiful vintage inspired boutique with a stunning collection of unique dresses and accessories.
What do you think has made your business successful?
Hard work and a great team. Good people are hard to find and I am very lucky with the team that I have. They really care about our brides and that has definitely had a huge impact on how successful we are.
Where do you work and how do you make sure your space stays inspiring?
I am lucky enough to split my working week between the boutique and my home. The boutique is always a lovely place to be because it is so light and airy and Wimbledon Village is a stunning location. I also love being at home because I have an office in my loft which means that I can be busy working upstairs whilst my little boy Archie is busy creating some sort of mischief downstairs!!
What’s the biggest mistake people make when starting their own business, and what advice would you give for avoiding it?
Never underestimate how much money you will need. Have a budget and then double it!!! I would also invest in a good accountant right from the start. They are worth every penny.
How would you describe your style?
My personal style is quite minimalist with a touch of vintage chic and I think that pretty much describes Luella’s too. I absolutely love beautiful things and try to source the most gorgeous dresses and accessories that I can find, to display in the boutique. I think our customers like the fact that we are fairly relaxed and that we offer something a little bit different to many of the other more traditional boutiques.
What trend predictions do you have for 2015? 2016?
The dresses are definitely getting sexier with brides wanting to show a little bit more flesh!!. We have some great new Israeli Designers that seem to have got the balance of showing a little bit more, whilst remaining really tasteful, and I think these dresses are going to be very popular this year.
I also think that the Boho trend is here to stay, but it’s also changing slightly with the introduction of more unusual types of fabric being used, different types of crocheting, and more unique styles of beading appearing on the dresses.
Long sleeves were definitely popular this year, but they are going to be even more popular next year with several designers introducing them to their new collections.
At Luella’s we are very excited about the trend for Victorian style dresses with high collars and we will also be continuing to indulge in our passion for amazing beaded dresses by showcasing some new designs, by one of our Australian designers Gwendolynne and British Designer Vicky Rowe.
What challenges have you set yourself for the next 12 months?
Well we have only recently moved into our brand new boutique in the Village so we are still adding the finishing touches to the store.
We are very excited to be launching our own wedding dress collection, which should be ready this Autumn.
We will be making some changes to the website towards the end of the year, with a brand new on-line boutique being launched in spring 2016 and we will be continuing our search for some new, amazing dress and accessory designers, to add to our existing collections.
Tell us 5 things we don’t know about you…
- I love sky diving!! The last time that I did it we were travelling round New Zealand and I have to say it’s one of the most exciting and exhilarating things that I have ever done in my life.
- I wanted to be a firewoman when I was younger, I’m not sure if it was because of my love for the TV drama London’s Burning but I often wonder how different my life would be if I had gone down this path.
- I love floral smelling perfumes and would be quite happy spending a day with Jo Malone creating new scents for her collection.
- I also love handbags (doesn’t every girl) but I think it would be nice to make a Luella’s Boudoir handbag in our aqua colour scheme….who knows maybe I will?!!
- I have a husband called Simon who is simply the best husband that anyone could ever ask for…he is one of those handy types that can turn his hand to most things and he absolutely adores our little boy Archie which melts my heart every time I see them together.
- Photography: Kate Nielen Photography