The White Room bridal boutique is owned by myself, Chloe Curry with a (lot) of help behind the scenes from my hubby, Kieren whom without him I’d still be fighting with my excel spreadsheet and paying the accountant lots to manage my books!
I wrote this little piece way back last year so thought as a nice little intro to me, The White Room and all things bridal, I’d start the blog with this piece too! Enjoy…
When you’re young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun generally involving drunken nights out, part-time jobs, days in bed, rarely attended uni lectures, pink hair, the Stone Roses, buying lunch with a cheque, holidays on a shoe string and the firm belief that the only way to true happiness is to live in the moment and not be worried about the future. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You know that you could break a bone, lose your home if you buy another pair of shoes, and break your heart by falling for the wrong man (again). You look before you leap and sometimes you don’t leap at all because there’s not always someone or something there to catch you. Yet, we are all human. We make mistakes. BIG mistakes but what about thinking that maybe these mistakes are what make our fate… without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we don’t jump, we may never veer off course and what would that look like? Would we ever fall in love, have babies, buy that house, change the career or be who we are? My point being….. sometimes, you just have to jump…
Welcome to my news/blog page dedicated to The White Room, the brides who follow me, the friends who support me, the husband who encourages me and the passion that drives me. So, how did we come to be? Well, The White Room was born from a passion for people, rock and roll, vintage loveliness, romance, fashion and of course, all things wedding! Created for the bride with a creative spirit and an informed yet independent mind after years of research, hard work, late nights and hope. Back track to 2008 and I was an engaged lady (never thought I’d say that!!) and planning a laid back beach wedding on the pink sands of Bermuda. Then the recession hit, the money ran out, friends and family alike were all losing their jobs and suddenly the dream of beach chic was turning in to a Tsunami… So we cancelled. I was stressed. And it was this stress that randomly dictated which way my final year dissertation went… One minute I was looking at qualitative research methods, the next, I was looking at engaged women’s stress levels and health, it resonated with me and I so the research began. I won’t bore you too much with the details but let’s just say that ladies, men should be grateful for us! Not only will a man live longer, have better physical and emotional health and a stronger social circle if he’s married, but chances are he’ll only learn to use the washing machine when the wife is either a) on holiday or b) divorcing him!!
I graduated and began working for the drug service but couldn’t shake the wedding stuff, especially the dress element as at this time was struggling myself to find THE dress, coupled with the service you expect when parting with your hard-earned cash… I knew there were more questions to ask, more ideas I had to explore, reasons why brides were soooo stressed and explanations as to why weddings could be so traumatic! So I took it upon myself to carry on the research and look at what women really wanted from the world of bridal and how they had found it so far. I asked questions about the boutiques, how they were treated, what was good, how bad was bad and the stuff in the middle. The results were amazing to be honest, were pretty dire and included wonders such as….
- Having to change in a toilet, alone, to get in to a lace up gown whilst the assistant went outside for her fag break!
- Being asked “when is your daughter getting married” – only for the middle ages bride to be looking for herself!
- 2 female partners looking for their civil partnership gowns, and being told they couldn’t try on together “its policy”….
- Fake sales patter, namely making up expiry dates on ‘offers’ which have been running for years
- Being advised where the “sale rack” was when a bride had a budget of £3,000 yet was judged on her jeans and make up free face
- Pink, fluff, fakery, more pink
- Squealing assistants who did the whole “OMG, you’re getting married!!!” patter
- Being told “you are too fat to fit in our samples” (Really, I’ll find the nearest bridge now shall I?!)
- More than one bride in an appointment at a time and sharing the dress “I’d like to try the one she has on next please”….
- 3 hour drives to find something in a sample size 12….
So the picture was painted… Women, normal women, women who go to Glastonbury, who read Grazia, who like Sex and the City and who eat cake on their diets were being lied to, faced with puffy taffeta creations in a size 8, couture was only something they read about in Brides magazine and even then, it was a myth!!! Could it really be that difficult to find something to represent you on your wedding day? To reflect you, your style, your personality… And with that, the concept of The White Room was born.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been no easy feat! I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I could jack my full time, paid job in, open a shop, understand bridal and sell dresses… this took time. Dedication. Hard work. Passion. Spirit and Devotion to the cause. I dug deep and worked out what I wanted to deliver brides and how I could translate that in to a boutique. I believed it shouldn’t be so hard, dated or stressful, especially for the bride who wanted and expected more. I discovered that brides ideas were being ignored and no-one took the time to know ‘you’, your thoughts, fears and expectations from a bridal gown buying experience, resulting in unhappy and confused brides.
I needed to know which designers brides wanted to wear, who they wanted to buy into, who weren’t represented up here in good ol’ Yorkshire… I needed to know logistics, costs, sales and you, the bride. 12 months passed, the plans were written then written again. Designers were contacted, meetings were had. I went on a wing and a prayer and a whole heap of passion under my belt. I sold my concept, it was no more that that… I believed that I knew how bridal should be done for the bride of 2011 and beyond! A lover of music, individuality, people and weddings, I could downright say the idea for my boutique all came from Psychological research in to women’s health and gown shopping and that it just wasn’t being done ‘right’ coupled with my now drive to be different. I wanted to play rock and roll on the stereo, I wanted grey walls, I wanted masculine furniture and minimal fuss. I wanted Stephanie Allin. I got her. I wanted Claire Pettibone. I got her. I wanted Jenny Packham. I got her. I wanted Cymbeline, I got her too!! This was happening… This was real.
I found my premises, alone, on a cold February morning. It was empty, bare walls, concrete floors, and damp in the bathroom… I fell in love and knew this was where I would lay my hat.
The White Room was born on July 16th 2011.
So, what can you expect to find? Well, my aim is to reach a diverse variety of women, learn who they are and find you a gown that reflects you, your body and your mind, celebrating individuality, confidence, happiness and romance along the way! I don’t do fluff, or pressurised selling, if you like the gown you’ll buy it. If you don’t you won’t! If you love the boutique, she will love you back. There is something so tranquil and calming about her, you feel safe as soon as you walk in the door and feel like this is your moment. You can forget about the stress for all of 2 hours and get back to focusing on you and your wedding gown. You are important. Others, for that short space of time are not. We deliver a little vintage haven of peace, fashion and bridal beautifulness, away from the fake, pretentious and sometimes challenging world of weddings.
Because sometimes, a girl just has to jump…