Wedding season is upon us! A season filled with celebrations, happiness and open bars. For the bride-to-be it's probably the most exciting time of her life when all those childhood dreams of lacy white gowns are turned into reality. In the post-engagement euphoria, it's easy to get carried away with the experience and blow the budget, because the wedding dress you want is never cheap!
Thanks to savvy, local entrepreneur, Melissa Cortinas, this might be a problem of the past. Enter Blush Bridal, the Gold Coast's only wedding consignment store that brings designer wedding dresses into the affordable price range.
As a newlywed, Melissa knows only too well that it can be quite frustrating to search for second-hand designer dresses online. Websites such as Gumtree, Stillwhite.com.au and Facebook all offer pre-loved wedding dresses, the experience and quality however, is unpredictable.
"Travelling long distance to try on a dress in someone's bathroom just wasn't the romantic or time efficient experience I thought wedding dress shopping should be."
Melissa set out to collect new and second hand dresses on consignment, and so the idea of Blush Bridal began - a central location where you can purchase new and pre-loved wedding dresses without compromising the 'dress shopping' experience or the environment.
Only two weeks after launching, Blush Bridal has already received more than 40 dresses from designers such as Peronovias, Grace Loves Lace, Mia Solano and Anne Bertossi all reduced by 20% to 60% off the original retail price!
We wanted to know a little bit more about Melissa's venture and had a little chat to her...
Hey Melissa, so are you a Gold Coast girl?
"I was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents and moved to the Gold Coast 6 years ago."
What did you do before Blush Bridal?
"I have a Bachelors in Commerce and a Master in Communications. I have always worked in Marketing especially in the digital space. Most recently, I was working for the City of Gold Coast editing their website."
How did it all start?
"The idea started when I was wedding dress shopping. I wanted to have a sustainable wedding so it was a no-brainer to have a second-hand wedding dress. However, I didn’t have a ‘bridal experience’ going to op shops and into a stranger’s house to try on a beautiful wedding dress in someone’s bathroom. I knew there was a market to buy second hand dresses without compromising the experience."
What is the biggest challenge you had to face?
"Overcoming my own self-doubt. Learning to silence that voice is a struggle but it’s one that I am happy to have."
Where did you buy your own wedding dress?
"I bought five wedding dresses! I couldn’t decide. Two were purchased in a bridal store and three were second hand. After I had already bought four dresses, one of my bridesmaids took me to a bridal store and made me try on dresses in various different styles. I tried on a blush princess style dress (after swearing that I wasn’t going to wear a big princess dress) and started crying. That was when I knew I found ‘the one'!"
What sets Blush Bridal apart from Gumtree, Google etc.?
"You can bring your girlfriends and try on a wide range of wedding dresses - some new, some second hand but all discounted. And you don't compromise the experience. There’s definitely a place for online wedding dress shopping but there are still brides that like the experience and that want to ‘touch and feel’ their wedding dress. I don't sell dresses online but you can view them on the website."
What is the size range?
"The dresses range between a size 4 to a size 20."
What are criteria for sale?
"I try to only take dresses that are in style (lace, form fitting, designer, etc) or dresses that are unique and have that something special."
What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?
"Don’t let your dreams be dreams."
What is your future goal?
"My long-term goal would be to give back to the community. Whether it be by hiring employees or by franchising. My short-term goal is to help a bride find ‘her dress’ without compromising the environment."
If you are a bride looking for a bargain or freshly married and looking to make some money for the honeymoon, head to Blush Bridal.
By Louisa von Ingelheim