A woman in a bridal shopThe Covid-19 outbreak is making things difficult for everyone.  If bridal shops want to survive 2021, it’s going take a lot of work.  You’ll have to do some careful planning to avoid material shortages.  In addition to keeping your store clean and sanitized so it’s safe for customers, you’ll need to coordinate with everyone to keep on top of things.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to survive 2021:

1. Get the Materials You Need

Contact your manufacturers now and order corset kits, fabrics, laces, and netting in the colors and styles of your best-selling dresses. Many of these dresses will come back needing to be let out.  You might even need to add a corset.  If your manufacturers don’t have corset kits, you can order them at corsetkit.com or dressfitkit.com. Long sleeves are all the rage with brides right now, so be sure to order plenty of matching nude netting and lace.  It’s so hard to match nude netting. One of my favorite shops always has plenty of matching lace for their brides.  It makes my job so much easier when I don’t have to find or farm lace. Take a look at my resources page for a ton of suppliers that I utilize for my materials. 

2. Talk To Your Seamstresses

Contact your seamstresses and make plans. If you have in-house seamstresses, but feel you may need more for 2021, ask them if they know of anyone else looking for work. Did someone recently retire?  Perhaps ask if they could help out during the busy season this year. 

If you use independent seamstresses, book up all the fitting spots you anticipate needing during the busy season. Now is the best time to build a good relationship with your independent seamstress.

3. Coordinate Your Inventory With Your Employees

Invite your seamstresses to go through your inventory with your salespeople.  Make sure everybody knows the alteration scenario for each style you sell. This is just as important for in-house seamstresses as it is for independent ones.

How do you hem this dress? Should I order this dress in a bigger size if the sizing is borderline? This dress has been around a long time, how do we make it more current? How much fabric would you need to make a sleeve for this dress?

Get everyone comfortable in giving their input on stuff.  Seamstresses love it when people ask their opinion. It shows respect and the seamstresses can learn from the salespeople how brides want dresses to fit.  You may all learn more, sell more, and have better fitting dresses. Building these comfortable relationships will help the store give brides a better shopping experience.

a woman working at a sewing machine with multiple spools of colored thread
I’m Here To Help

I’m currently refining my calendar and stocking up on corset kits and materials.  Just like you, I’ve been feeling the squeeze.  I’ve got to prepare, too.  If you want to be sure you know how to give your customers the best experience possible, I have training courses available to show you the ropes.  I’m hoping we can all get through this and will be updating you on anything I find that might help us. 

Thank you all for your support!