TWO friends have marked the end of their first year in business.
Occasions of West Street, an independent bridal shop in Fareham, celebrated its anniversary last weekend.
The shop is run and owned by James Wadey, 29, and his business partner Elena Molchan.
‘It has gone really well,’ said James.
‘We have been really well received by everybody, mainly because the service we offer is one other bridal shops do not.
‘Unlike other shops, where you are bombarded with hundreds of dresses as soon as you walk in, we do it in a different way.
‘We have the entire workshop out the back. So when the customer walks in we have a full consultation and find out their wants and styles.
‘We try on a few different dresses and the one you like most is made for you here.
‘Every new dress that arrives has come from a combination of what we love and what the customers are after. It’s a beautifully organic process.
‘We have been really well received and it is not as expensive as you think.’
The fashion business has been a long-held passion of James, and wedding dresses blend his love of fashion and costume, which he studied at Bournemouth University.
He said the shop has undoubtedly benefited from its location, and James said he is grateful for the support that his fellow West Street traders have offered.
‘We expected it to be a little bit cut-throat, but the support we have got from the other businesses has been great,’ he said.
‘What is lovely is we are surrounded by other independent businesses and there is this great feeling of community here. Everybody knows everybody else, and everyone gets stuck in to help out.’