We’d like you to meet Kelly, the powerhouse behind Brides With Curves…
We thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak at our Head Stylist, Kelly. She’s the brains behind Brides With Curves, and the reason why so many plus-size brides never have to go through what she went through as a curvy bride-to-be.
“Believe it or not, I was in the ambulance service for 18 years before I jumped ship and launched Brides With Curves. My day-to-day was as exhilarating and rewarding as you’d expect it to be – racing around on blue lights, literally saving people’s lives.
“But when my husband proposed in 2000, everything changed. As a size 22, I was suddenly thrown into a world that was designed for slimmer figures: wedding dress shopping. To describe my experience as horrific is an understatement – I was made to feel utterly worthless and completely ugly.
It was then that the seed was planted; I started to dream about opening my own plus-size wedding dress shop: a shop that was 100% devoted to the many beautiful curvy women out there. I felt a burning ambition to make sure no one else went through what I went through, and after many years of dreaming, I finally made the leap – I quit my job and opened Brides With Curves in 2016.
“It was a scary risk – I knew my career inside out, I was used to it, it gave me a regular salary and pension… but I believe life is too short to shy away from gambles, and it’s safe to say I haven’t looked back since.
The change to my – and my family’s – life has been all encompassing. I have a husband of 27 years and two children: Ollie who’s 14, and Charlotte who’s 10.
With no NHS shift work, my hours are now flexible to suit family life – yes, I’m in the shop 7 days a week, but I have the freedom and flexibility that you just don’t get from being employed.
My set-up in Poole is ideal – a beautiful space to show off our gowns, a dedicated steam room to ensure dresses are 100% perfect for our brides, a second fitting room dedicated to getting that gown to fit just perfectly, an office for admin and – the pièce de résistance as far as my kids are concerned – a top floor dedicated to my little ones, giving them their own space when they have to come to work with me. And we can’t forget the kitchen for all those coffees, teas and biccies!
I truly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my amazing support network – my wonderful husband who’s been a rock throughout, my children and my dear friends who are always there if I need extra support in the shop during our busy times.
It’s not been a smooth ride, and I’ve definitely had my fair share of sleepless nights, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I might not be saving lives, but I’m making a big difference to curvy brides-to-be who want – and deserve – a beautiful wedding dress shopping experience. And when it comes to the future, the sky’s the limit. So, watch this space everyone!”
Kelly (right) and the team at Bride: The Wedding Show, Exeter Autumn 2019