Blackpool bridal shop records strong first year

[caption id="attachment_70832" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="176"]Rollercoaster: Kim Lord set up her shop 'Always and Forever' a year ago with help from Blackpool council Rollercoaster: Kim Lord set up her shop 'Always and Forever' a year ago with help from Blackpool council[/caption]

A young bridal shop owner has described her first year in business as a "rollercoaster ride".

Kim Lord opened her Blackpool based store 'Always and Forever' on Highfield Road last year, selling bridal dresses and offering wedding planning services to couples planning to tie the knot.

The 22-year-old started her dream business with help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service, which offered advice on creating a business plan and doing financial forecasting, to give her the best chance of success when the shop opened.

One year later and the shop is going strong, selling a range of packages for weddings and events from organising the stationery to picking up thank you gifts.

Kim said: “I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride in the middle of a whirlwind. It has been so busy we didn’t even have time to launch - we are thinking about a belated first birthday party instead.

“I have learnt so much over the last year – I love this work even more than I thought I would. I planned to create a job that would fit around my life but it’s so much fun it’s taken over my life.

“There have been a few moments where I nearly panicked but I’ve held my nerve and the business is really settling in. I made a little mistake with advertising in the first couple of months because I didn’t ask enough questions.  So I would advise anyone starting their journey to make sure they understand exactly what they are signing up to!

“My favourite part of running the business is seeing people so happy, finding out about people’s fabulous love stories and opening the parcels containing gorgeous new dresses. I wouldn’t swap this for the world.  Starting a business was definitely the right move for me.”

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “Kim is a great example of another young person who has taken their career into their own hands and decided to set up on their own.

“It’s a bold step to make a decision like this at a young age but I’m delighted that our help could give her the support she needed to make her dream a reality." To find out if you could become your own boss, contact Get Started on 477147 or search www.blackpool.gov.uk/getstarted