I've made a lot of memories over the years!
I thank you for taking the time to look at my page, but sadly after 20 years, I have moved on, and the door here at Rococo closed for good this Jan.
Please read on.....
Past, Present, and Future
My Story - some of this may shock you!
I'll start backwards - My future, is not in Bridal! (I would say "thank god", but you may not read on!)
Present - I am full-filling all orders for existing customers, even though I will not personally be going back into the shop. I'm doing this, because I have a heart, and unlike MANY previous store owners who screwed lots of brides over, did a runner with their money, and never looked back....I am not like that.
If you are on the books, you can TEXT me on 07436 266939, or email me at
Past - Well, Lets say as a family business, we've owned 4 stores over 20 years, sold some of the biggest most expensive designers in the world, and some of the cheapest and most annoying to deal with.
We've served somewhere in the region of over 10,000 brides, god knows how many maids and prom girls....but you know what I just realised? I think we had about 150 thank you cards! Amazing service, price, and quality, doesn't get you as many thank you's as you'd expect!
Anyway, I've had some wonderful customers, and the ones that we loved, we will always remember your kindness and laughter! (You know who you are!)....But, I've also had my fair share of Zillas!! (You also know who you are!), and sadly, I will still have nightmares for life over the stress inflicted on me.
So, whats happened? Well, the industry just got worse and worse over the past 2 - 4 years. People started wanting something for nothing. Asking for discount ALL the time! Customers forgot that we are actually specialists in our industry. Our expertise was abused, by people wanting "ideas" and they buying cheap knock-offs on line or second hand gowns to save a bit of money.
They also rang round other stores over 100's miles away asking for a "better price"....
They didnt realise that to just OPEN our doors the to public, it would cost around £100 an hour!...and god forbid if we ever asked for a refundable booking fee because of the amount of people that booked us out for 2 hours and just didn't bother to turn up or cancel.
Then came the world of buying off the peg from mass produced stores. While suppliers are forcing us little boutiques to purchase 10 gowns from them twice a year to stay as a stockist (I had 8 labels at one point - imagine the costs!!!)....and all the time we are paying these suppliers, people are thinking they got a bargain from a shop who is there to SELL YOU ANYTHING, and wave you good bye.
Unlike boutiques who are there to help you find "The one" and where we look after you until the "I do's!"
(thats a whole book in the making though - when I figure out how to self publish)
So, buying patterns changed, customers changed, life changed, and the ways of the world changed. In a world where we can order on line and have a delivery the next day, people forgot that boutiques needed TIME.
Then, attitudes changed. I went home upset all too often, and was very close to drowning myself in a bottle so many times, just due to how many people spoke to us like dirt.
I started to hate what I did....for very little pay (some weeks no wage at all), and definitely no holidays or time off - I worked 7 days a week, often answering daft messages and emails at midnight, because someone couldn't wait for me to answer in opening hours.
(I cant imagine many people would put up with that....would you?)
I tried to sell the shop - but it didnt sell. So, I can no longer pay rent on a shop I dont have the heart to be in.
Its that simple. Its sad, but its true. I have spent half my life in this industry, and I've been to the top, and hit rock bottom. I realised lately LIFE IS TOO SHORT, and I need to move on!
Now - PLEASE take note of the following 3 best tips if you are getting married ....
1 - YOU are wearing the gown - dont go for something everyone else thinks you should wear.
2 - YOU said yes to your soon to be spouse. YOU can say yes to your dream gown without asking a judging panel of 10 friends and family members or phoning a friend! You didn't ask permission to say YES to your proposal, so grow some 'you know what', and say YES to the feeling you get in your gown.
3 - When your other half asked you to marry them...You didnt go and try 10 to 50 other people out first before coming back and saying "YES, you are the one!"....its the SAME with your gown, when you find it, BUY IT!!! Stop wasting yours and everyone elses time wondering if there is something out there better!!!
Now, I've finally had my say, and no I'm not bitter, I actually feel a huge weight has been lifted and I am so proud that I did all those amazing things over the years, and I've still got the chance to be someone else now.
If any of this humours you, or makes you intrigued - I'll let you know when the book is written!
Michaela - An EX bridal shop owner!
Rococo Bride has now closed for good. While Paula remains in part of the building, and is always available for alterations on the 3rd Floor, I personally have moved on. The website remains active for my existing customers to get in touch.
Paula is available on 07307 188605 - Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm. You can TEXT me only on 07436 266939, any time, and I will text you back between work shifts.