Photo by Elisabeth Marie Photography

Photo by Elisabeth Marie Photography

The cover photo was taken during a photo shoot we coordinated in September of 2017. During that season, we were blessed with nearly a dozen “vintage remakes” - gowns that modern brides wanted us to clean and restyle for them that had belonged first to their moms, grandmas, or aunts. We chose 4 of the brides and had them model their gowns on a beautiful sunny September morning.

This photo is Kylie, wearing her mom’s gown from the 1980s. Our seamstress Sherry removed some of the “poof” from the top of the sleeves, cut down the back neckline, and added an organza layer over the satin skirt to cut down on the “shininess”. We think the gown - both versions - is classic and flattering!

And it reminds me of my thoughts at National Bridal Market over the last weekend of August - the 80s are coming back! Classic shapes, structured bodices, GLITTER, bows, and the glamour of that decade are returning; but in a modern way, of course.


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Something for everybride…

I think this display is really representative of everything that is happening in bridal fashion right now.

Sheer bodices with visible bra cups

Classic shapes and fabrics

Lace

Horsehair trim

Straps of all types


how to sell more wedding gown preservations

Our education focus for September in The Gown Doctor Facebook Group is on selling wedding gown preservations and gown care in general. Whether you use our services, a local dry cleaner, or one of the big names, the process of selling the service to the brides in your boutique is the same; and I want to help you do that successfully!

I’ve been preserving wedding gowns since I was 15; I learned from watching my mom handle the beautiful confections of satin and lace that were 1980s wedding gowns. She was an expert; other dry cleaners would often call Mom for advice on challenging gowns. I was lucky to learn from one of the best.

I mean - it’s hard to sell “we’ll put your gown in a cardboard box” for $250, right?

When I purchased my bridal boutique in 2007, I realized how difficult it is to keep all the balls in the air in that business. Even though I owned a gown care business, my consultants and I sometimes didn’t sell as many preservations as we should have - because I did not have it built into our sales system at the beginning. There were too many other things to pay attention to.

But, once I began really educating my team about gown care and we built it into our sales practice (from first appointment through gown pickup), our percentage was phenomenal! If you think about a $100 profit increase on a $1000 retail gown - that’s 20% increase in profit! Definitely worth putting some time and energy into doing it and doing it well.

I’m sure that one challenge our teams face in selling gown care and preservations is a lack of education and a less-than-adequate understanding of what is really is. I mean - it’s hard to sell “we’ll put your gown in a cardboard box” for $250, right?

Your gown preservation company or dry cleaner should offer to educate you and your team about all aspects of gown care and what “preservation” really means. What is the advantage to the bride? Are there other options? What if she wants to sell her gown? Don’t just turn your brides’ gowns over to someone and somewhere that you don’t understand yourself. And offer your team plenty of opportunities to learn about gown care - the same way you expect them to know about each gown and designer represented on your racks.

Here are a few Easy Selling Tips:

  • Talk about “gown care” - it’s a more relatable term to your bride than “preservation” or “cleaning packages”.

  • Sell preservation as part of a package with accessories or an “emergency kit”.

  • Sell preservation at the same time the gown is sold as an add-on at a discount.

  • Paint a picture of the alternative - “You don’t want your gown crumpled in a corner for months, right?”

If you are interested in learning more, be sure to follow along in The Gown Doctor this month. Each of our Partner Boutiques also receives an in-store or Skype training for their consultants as often as requested. So, if you’re one of our partners and haven’t had a training recently, please email me at tami@greatlakeswgs.com to schedule one at a convenient time for you!

If you are interested in learning more, be sure to follow along in The Gown Doctor this month. Each of our Partner Boutiques also receives an in-store or Skype training for their consultants as often as requested. So, if you’re one of our partners and haven’t had a training recently, please email me at tami@greatlakeswgs.com to schedule one at a convenient time for you!

If you are interested in learning more, be sure to follow along in The Gown Doctor this month. Each of our Partner Boutiques also receives an in-store or Skype training for their consultants as often as requested. So, if you’re one of our partners and haven’t had a training recently, please email me at tami@greatlakeswgs.com to schedule one at a convenient time for you!


Two more educational opportunities for you!

“When your dream is bigger than you are, you only have two options; give up or get help.”
— John Maxwell

Click the image for more information on these opportunities.