Meet the owner of Cosham bridal shop who seeks to turn every bride into a ‘velvet queen’

Nicola Willshire owner of Velvet Queen in Cosham

Velvet Queen, formerly known as The Bridal Dressing Rooms in Cosham High Street, has always strived to be a fully inclusive experience.

Starting with a simple goal of dressing a bride from head to toe, Velvet Queen went the extra mile to ensure they could offer bridal wear to suit every bride’s needs.

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Honeymooners can spend up to two hours inside the store while they sort out their perfect outfit.

“We like variety and we strongly believe that bridal wear has no definition,” Nicola said. “It doesn’t have to be a white or ivory dress. If you want to wear a black dress, a pantsuit, a jumpsuit, something pink, we want to be able to give it to you.

“We also make sure we cater to all shapes and sizes.”

After five years as The Bridal Dressing Rooms, Nicola felt the business needed to embark on a new era that truly reflected the business and with that came the new name: Velvet Queen.

“It’s something a bride can support and say, ‘I’m a velvet queen,’ which is a type of person who isn’t afraid to be a little different and is looking for something different. unique,” added Nicola. “They feel empowered to have the wedding they want.”

While Velvet Queen caters to more unique tastes, the store also offers more traditional choices, ensuring they can give every bride her dream.

“We see brides for who they are and celebrate that. That’s what Velvet Queen is; bridal wear, but different.

Getting married is one of the most special times in a person’s life and Velvet Queen wants to ensure that choosing bridal attire is a big part of that experience.

Fittings are by appointment only, which guarantees the bride will have the boutique to herself and up to four loved ones for 90 minutes to two hours.

This creates a safe and fun space with no restrictions on what you can try, with brides in control of the store the entire time they are there.

“We have a lot of new things coming this year with goody bags and different types of dates,” added Nicola. ‘Choosing a dress becomes part of your wedding memory and we want to make it special.

“I love it when people come in and take pictures with their friends in the store and really have fun.”

Over the next year, Velvet Queen has more exciting things to come, including a company anniversary party in April that will double as a rebranding celebration for Velvet Queen’s birth.

While there are positive changes to come, the store still sticks to its roots of dressing the bride from head to toe, shoes to headwear and finding that unique touch for every bride. to make it special for her.

Velvet Queen also offers bridal wear customizations, ranging from slight tweaks to bigger changes.

Nicola added, “We have done fully custom dresses in the past, but we are not tailors ourselves, so we prefer to start with a basic dress and make custom changes like adding sleeves, more lace, changing lining colors and adding accessories and beads for Example. It gives a unique experience and a unique dress at the end.

Velvet Queen is currently accepting applications on its website for models. Diversity is always at the forefront of the store’s goals and they are looking for “real people” to model their bridal wear.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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