“I do enjoy the occasional Irish whisky, so in terms of a cocktail, something like an Old Fashioned is usually what I go for off the menu (and can make a mean one myself!)” Siobhan McElroy of Indie Grace Bridal on her quarantine cocktail of choice
Indie Grace Bridal, an intimate bridal boutique situated in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, is known not just for their welcoming, relaxed approach to the dress hunt but their fiercely cool, modern designer collections for the fashion-forward bride. Founded and run by Siobhan McElroy, it’s the perfect place to escape – in her words – “the pressure, the chaos and the crowds to explore.” Not to mention the ideal space for that unique, personal bridal moment (that you’ve always dreamed of). As the exclusive Irish stockist for Vagabond, Divine Atelier, Anais Anette and Marquise Bridal (plus, the only stockist in Northern Ireland for Anna Kara), Indie Grace should definitely be on your must-visit list if you’re a Northern Ireland bride-to-be! I caught up with Siobhan to get the low-down on her lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Anxious but resilient!”
After: “Come back stronger!”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“The mornings are really dictated by our 2 year old! So, it ranges from really early (5am!) to the more regular 7am. It can be hard to stay business-focused when you are forced to be a little removed from it and have a toddler running rings around you! It took a few weeks, but as lockdown progressed I began to find my groove again and get to grips with it a little better! The good weather has certainly helped as the sunny corner of the garden has become my new spot for replying to emails.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“As a small family run boutique, lockdown has been difficult. We made the decision to close the doors a little early before the official lockdown as we felt it was the right thing to do – for ourselves, our brides and the wider community. That seems so long ago now, and we cant wait to get open and welcome our Indie Grace brides back. I think its that social interaction that you miss most of all.
In terms of support, follow, likes, & shares on social media all help or you can subscribe to our Indie Edit – a source of info of all things bridal and a great way for our brides to keep up-to-date with what we are up to! If you are thinking of coming to see us after lockdown, you can book now on our
website. Its always a great little boost to see a new appointment booking these days!” Click here to book your appointment today.
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
“We have used our Indie Edit to do just that, focusing on some local
business women doing their thing in the bridal industry…
No.1 The fantastic Olivia Muldoon (hair and make-up artist).
No.2 Sarah Fyffe (photography) and Ursula from Love Blossoms (florists) have already featured.
No.3 And, we are currently working on a great little project with Ciara Patrick Designs (stationery).
(I know that’s actually four, but we are all about sharing the love at the min!)”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“We have started a little tradition in our house since lockdown, Friday nights are now homemade pizza night, which go down a treat! (even with help from the two year old!)”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“I do enjoy an evening wind down with a glass of wine, the favourite at the minute is a Portuguese red, Porta 6.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Belgian waffles or my favourite peanut butter!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“Everything is a little strange during this period, but I find it strange not being in my mum’s house for so long as it is usually a hub of activity and the central gathering point for our family (and many others!)”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“WhatsApp is great, but I have been using Zoom for the first time during lockdown. It has been great for our weekly quiz with friends!”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Wiping down the groceries and all the deliveries is a pain, but missing that contact with your family and friends is the thing I really hate.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Spending more time with my husband and child.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“On a really stressful day were everything seemed to be going wrong , I got a knock at the door and on the doorstep was a little care package from some of our friends! It was an amazingly thoughtful thing to do and something I really appreciated (spoiler it contained whiskey!)”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“We certainly haven’t been idle during lockdown and we have used the time to add some newness to our in-store collections! I can’t wait to get back to the boutique to get new veils from the fabulous New Phrenology on the rails and display AMÉLIE GEORGE’s beautiful earring collection. Soon after re-opening, new gowns are due to arrive from the Vagabond 2020 Collection, Brides are going to LOVE them!
We have also reconfigured our space to offer our brides a more personal space for their appointment, and while we were at it, gave the whole store a facelift (I got a little carried away when I started!) So, it will be great to get back to a beautiful new working environment.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.3 “Living in the countryside.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“We ate in Muddlers club in Belfast for the first time just before lockdown and it was fantastic, so I can’t wait to get back there! Lockdown has certainly made me value a good night out!”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I really enjoyed the Michelle Obama documentary Becoming, a very inspiring lady. Not on Netflix I don’t think, but the BBC series Normal People was a good watch.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“Currently reading Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella.”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“I do enjoy the occasional Irish whisky, so in terms of a cocktail, something like an Old Fashioned is usually what I go for off the menu (and can make a mean one myself!)”
Want to discover more about Indie Grace Bridal? Click here.
Read more WFH Diary entries from your favourite bridal brands, designers and boutiques on Bridal Editor, here.