“Not having to be shouty mummy in the mornings. Slow mornings have meant laughing and playing with my children instead of shouting at them to get in the car when we’re late… (again!)” Victoria Arndt of The Bottom Drawer on her lockdown love
Enveloped in the heart of King’s Lynn lies Victoria Arndt’s glorious little pink bridal boutique, The Bottom Drawer bridal. Designed and curated for the modern bride “looking for utter romance“, this intimate store is home to some of the best British bridal designers (and their aisle-worthy gowns). Stocking the likes of Bowen Dryden, House of Mooshki, Sassi Holford and Stelfox Bride (as well as the incredibly unique Motee Maids for your bridal party) you’ll love the eclectic mix of timeless silhouettes, bohemian, free-spirited styles and modern lines that Victoria has hand-picked for her brides. In her own words, The Bottom Drawer bride “isn’t afraid to go for what she wants. She is feminine and confident, a woman who wants to be unique, she’s a dreamer, a romantic, she’s modern and oh so stylish!” I caught up with Victoria 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: “Scared, sad and anxious.”
After: “Grateful, determined and excited.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“All that seems to have changed is that it’s a lot calmer. We are still getting up around the same sort of time and have the usual morning demands of breakfast as soon as possible but all without the deadline of the school run, which I’m actually really enjoying!
I’ve been homeschooling a five year old and six year old so the business is now mainly being run between the hours of 7 to 10pm, with the odd day where I can escape to the boutique!”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“Obviously there’s not going to be a lot that I can report back to the accountant with for this quarter, unfortunately the business has been financially affected during these last three months but I am very fortunate that this doesn’t affect my family as Mr A is a teacher and still working virtually.
I am very lucky in that the brides that have had their appointments cancelled during lockdown are rebooking for when I am able to reopen and continuing to support my little pink shop with love through reviews and social media and all I can ask is that they continue to do so!”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “My fabulous recommended seamstress spent a lot of time at the start of lockdown making scrubs for the paediatrics department at our local hospital.”
No.2 “My favourite florists Floral Sistas have been creating some amazing dried flower bouquets and delivering them around the local Norfolk area and are now helping me to plan some permanent features within the boutique, which I am so excited about!”
No.3 “Simply Cake Co have always provided my brides with some nibbles when they come in for their appointments. Susie makes the best brownies in the world and they can be sent direct to you through your letterbox. I have already sent some to my Mum and Sister during lockdown and am planning on sending some to my Dad for Father’s Day!”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“I don’t know if I have a favourite, I’m definitely a crisp kinda girl so we never really have biscuits in the house, but last week me and my husband could not stop thinking about Hobnob biscuits, I have no idea why but it was 100% the first thing that went on the shopping list that week!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“Me and my daughter are fast becoming lovers of a good ol’ dance off. We move the furniture in the front room, get Alexa on full volume and dance the silliest dances we can think off. The Trolls sound track has featured a lot lately!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“At the start of lockdown my husband could never seem to find crumpets, then the more he couldn’t get them, the more I desperately craved them!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“Mr A has never been one for DIY and getting him to do anything around the house without the assistance of his Dad is near on impossible, but during lockdown – in preparation of my daughter’s birthday – he decided he was going to make (from scratch) a full two storey rabbit hutch!”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“My family live all over the UK so we’ve always had to rely on Facetime and WhatAapp to keep in touch.”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Cheesy – but not working! I love my job and am really missing my beautiful brides!”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Not having to be shouty mummy in the mornings. Slow mornings have meant laughing and playing with my children instead of shouting at them to get in the car when we’re late… (again!)”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My mum, she was in the process of moving to Norfolk before lockdown and had been living with me, so I’ve gone from months of seeing her everyday back to Facetime in an evening.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“That when I’ve called my brides to make sure they’re ok, they are just as keen to make sure that I’m ok.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“The Bottom Drawer Bridal is all about celebrating the best of British bridal designers and I’m excited to have found a gorgeously new and modern brand who I am currently in talks with to try and bring them into Norfolk. There will be some new Shikoba bride gowns coming into the boutique as soon as possible as well as maybe an exclusive with Bowen Dryden.
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Teachers! My children go to a very small school which actually means they are in the same class so I will be forever grateful to their teacher and her assistant who manages to teach 11 children over three different year groups. I’m struggling with two!”
No.2 “My postman. Well all posties really, but I think my postman has been to my house more in the past 12 weeks than he has in the last six years of me living there!”
No.3 “My children. I mean obviously I’m always grateful for my beautiful children but they seem to be so unphased by lockdown and think it’s an adventure at home. Seeing how easily they have accepted our new way of living has made it so much easier.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“OMG, there are so many amazing restaurents in Norfolk! I think my belated birthday dinner out is going to have to be The Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham, their shredded chilli beef is amazing!”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I feel like I’ve not had loads of down time to be able to binge anything but we’ve finally finished Homeland and are now working our way through Killing Eve!”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“I’ve just finished An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena, I really struggle with watching thrillers and horrors but love to read them!”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“Gin. Currently working my way through Aldi’s new selection of flavoured gins. Peach and Orange Blossom is the current favourite!”
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