Getting Inspired - VOW Atlanta Bridal Market

There were plenty of reasons I was excited when Wendy at Do You Speak Bride invited me to be an expert on the panel for Vow in Atlanta.

1) I would get to meet her in person (She's awesome. You need to follow her.)
2) I've had the Atlanta market on my to-check-out list for a couple years
3) I would get to tell lots of top notch stores all about why I love Wed Altered and the designers and store owners who are a part of the community.

Specifically, Wendy wanted me to talk about the world of independent bridal designers and why looking outside the big 5-10 labels is good for their brides and good for business. It's my favorite bridal industry topic, so that sounded perfect to me!

Here's our group.

 Panelist from left to right - Ramona Southard of Love and Lace Bridal, Christen Schneider of Wed Altered, Meredith Bullock of Anya Bridal, Liz Stoner and Brenda Norman of Normans Bridal, and Wendy Rivera of Do You Speak Bride

Panelist from left to right - Ramona Southard of Love and Lace Bridal, Christen Schneider of Wed Altered, Meredith Bullock of Anya Bridal, Liz Stoner and Brenda Norman of Normans Bridal, and Wendy Rivera of Do You Speak Bride

The show was beautiful. The building is really unique from other bridal markets in the US, since it's a permanent trade show set up. The spaces are built out with walls and windows instead of temporary booths. There were plenty of dresses and accessories to admire, treats, flowers, and other fun all week, and JENNA KUTCHER to listen to during their education series.

I was able to stay all week with Wendy in the Do You Speak Bride space. We had a small selection of dresses from Wed Altered designers and I showed buyers examples of what we had talked about during the expert panel. In between, we all talked about the changes in the industry and had an amazing time exploring our vision for what's ahead.

It was a wonderful week. Take a peek at some pictures of the panel, the WA dresses, and our time building intentional growth and relationships in our industry.

These weeks are business changing and I love it! Want to join us at the New York Bridal Week in October?

Designers can grab their space here. There are limited spots, so message or email christen@wedaltered.com soon if you have any questions! We do everything with really specific purpose and these shows are no different. We're bringing in lots of new events and support and it's going to be the best one we've ever done!

If you're a buyer and want to be considered for our expert panel, email jenni@wedaltered.com.

If you want to attend and see our designers who are bringing new ideas and designs to stores and brides every year, grab a spot on the newsletter and you'll be the first to know when registration opens up.

These shows are the biggest in-person community event we tackle each year. It's my favorite weekend and we do everything with our mission in mind - Bridal business done differently. You don't want to miss it!

 

Fix it or Ask for Help - Getting the right support for your business.

It was one of my more brilliant parenting moments (and I promise there are plenty less than brilliant ones to make up for it). When my oldest was about 2, he started to show a tendency to get frustrated with himself very easily. If he was playing with something and it wasn't doing exactly what he wanted or something broke or got stuck, he would start to huff and puff and get closer to a fit. One time I reminded him he had two options - fix it, or ask for help. The huffing and puffing did nothing to get rid of his problem.

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It became a refrain in our family. As he got older, he would even (begrudgingly) say it when we asked him what his choices were. Action figure keeps tipping over? Fix it or ask for help. Shoe won't stay on? Fix it or ask for help. In adult language, take charge and do something to move the issue forward. It does no good to stay in a place of frustration and expect results to magically change. That one sentence stopped more fits in their tracks than anything else we did. It's also one of the better life lessons we've managed to reinforce.

Now that our second is two, we're starting to use the phrase again and it made me think about the issues I see pop up in my business and in the businesses of my clients. We go through all sorts of complicated problem solving and discussion points, but I have been thinking that it really boils down to the advice my seven year old could give from lots of good experience: Fix it or ask for help.

Here are the two major lessons I've been pulling out of that simple sentence lately:

Fix it can mean a lot of different things

Whatever your issue, the solution can vary significantly. 

  • Get more information - You can do this by finding new data that gives you the ability to make better choices. You can learn new skills. You can gather clues from other people's past experiences.  You can find a resource or widget that makes everything so much easier.
    • Pros - You build your toolbox. Next time a similar problem pops up, you're more likely to tackle it effectively and efficiently.
    • Cons - This is the biggest liar of all the options. Procrastination hides here. Self doubt uses this as a cover. Business owners will pop up a tent and camp out so that they can feel productive without having to hold themselves accountable for actual results or changes. It's the best spot to hold on to your fear and hunker down for the long haul. Which means no progress, no solution, and no money.
  • Ignore it - I'm being very, very serious here. We decide things are a problem that we can often just pass over. If you can just decide that it really doesn't matter, the problem goes away.
    • Pros - The absolute minimum amount of time and frustration spent to solve the problem. This is how I handled my Twitter dilemma. I couldn't put my finger on how to engage meaningfully with my ideal clients on that platform. When I realized my time was better spent elsewhere, the problem vanished, along with the stress and guilt.
    • Cons - Sometimes things just really do matter. Business owners will do this and claim with bravado that they don't let the little things bother them or that's [insert issue like monitoring cash flow or marketing analytics] is just not their strength so they don't bother....except business doesn't care if you stink at something important by nature of omission. The consequences are still coming for you. Make sure they're worth it before you decide to let whatever it is fall by the wayside.
  • Brainstorm, tweak, and try again - You may be close and just need to adjust. If you think you have the info and skills you need, take the time to step back and analyze and then try again.
    • Pros - Most solutions don't happen the first time. Perseverance is a necessity in business and using time and patience to look at what's worked and what you could change is a skill worth developing.
    • Cons - It can create a downward spiral. If you're too stubborn to admit you don't have the necessary data points to find where you need to make changes, you'll get stuck here, get even more frustrated, and keep throwing more and more desperate solutions at the problem. This is the easiest way to let the "sunk costs" hang up hold you back and drain your bank account or patience to zero while pushing the income making solution further and further away.

Asking for help can look very different, too.

Once you've tried fix it for a while or in a couple different ways, you need to realize that it's likely not going to change without help. If you haven't figured X, Y, or Z out so far, why is the next time going to be any different? That's when you need to make a call to ask for help.

  • Find someone who has gone through it - You may just be missing a little insight or a few ideas of what worked for them. This is why good, skilled, like minded business buddies are so essential for a wedding business owner who wants to continually grow and be happy about it. (Like our Facebook groups for wedding businesses or indie bridal designers)
  • Bring in a coach - Coaches are different than buddies. If a buddy's advice makes sense but you still aren't seeing results, you need the clarity, expertise, and accountability of a coach to push you forward and help you apply solutions in a way that exactly fit you, your business, and your needed results for the current problem.
  • Bring on an expert - For certain problems, you may be better off paying someone to handle it. It's not my go-to solution, but it's an essential one. If your Facebook ads just aren't making it and you would rather delegate than have a Facebook Ad coach show you how to rock them yourself, hire an Ad manager. You can't tackle everything and you shouldn't try. The trick is identifying when you're needed in the solution and when you're better off handing it over and moving on to where your focus is more valuable.

So whatever is popping up in your daily life or business that has you up against the wall or ready to kick your feet in frustration, take the time to sit back and settle on your next move. Will you fix it? Or do you need to ask for help? Both move you or your business forward. 

Designers to watch: Autumn Silk Bridal

When we are looking for the best bridal designers to work with we are often most enamored by the details. Anyone can make a white dress but figuring out how to make a tradition into a masterpiece takes artistry. Those are just a few of the reasons we are thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about one of our favorites, Autumn Silk Bridal.

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Made with just a touch of nostalgia, California based designer, Liana Mirzadeh brings bridal dreams to life with over 18 years of bridal design experience. Each piece in this collection is handmade with love by expert artisans, and you can absolutely see that in the details.

These sumptuous gowns are a unique combination of vintage and classic style. With modern silhouettes, delicate lace, silk, and beautiful hand embroidered appliques Autumn Silk Bridal is a rising star in the world of bridal design.

Autumn Silk Bridal Prides it’s self on exclusivity and is sold to no more than two salons per state, with a 25 miles minimum radius. This ensures that they can work with the best bridal stores and provide them uniquely marketable gowns.

Because of the demand they have been receiving on this collection, it is sold on first come basis so, don’t miss the opportunity to come see them in our Wed Altered space in Atlanta to see these works of art in person!

We encourage you to see more work for yourself at their website https://www.autumnsilkbridal.com/signature . You’ll be glad you did!

Source: https://www.autumnsilkbridal.com/