“Now is the ideal time to be booking bespoke orders, if that is what you would like, as lead times are shorter.” Gemma Victoria of Garter & Veil on how we can support small businesses like herself during the lockdown.
For the bridal magpie, the glittering allure of Garter & Veil is going to be all too much to resist. Whether you’re craving the achingly cool edge of a celestial hair pin or require an intricate, winding hair vine – blooming with elegant botanicals – to pair with your bohemian up-do, Garter & Veil’s endless array of hair pieces, couture bridal belts, aisle-worthy jewellery and intricate garters will sate any brides’ thirst for glitz (and, if not, they have a bespoke service B2B). Described as, in her own words, a label dedicated to crafting “modern day heirlooms, meticulously designed and handmade in our UK studio,” Gemma Victoria (Garter & Veil’s founder) likes nothing better than whipping up bridal accessory creations in her West Sussex studio.
I caught up with the designer herself (digitally, of course) to get the lowdown on her lockdown 3.0…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Determined, motivated, proud.”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“Thankfully my daily routine hasn’t really changed during the lockdown and I can still use my studio space. A normal day in the studio starts at 8am. The first thing I do is find a good playlist – I then spend the morning catching up on emails, scheduling new orders and marketing.
The afternoons I spend creating orders, designing bespoke requests and packing up orders for delivery. I love every element of what I do and I am excited to start each day.”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“The wedding and events industry has been affected so much by the pandemic and understandably brides have lost confidence in planning ahead or have chosen to leave accessories until nearer their wedding dates which has had a knock-on effect on makers like myself.
However, I have had many brides who have spotted exactly what they want on my website and gone ahead and others who have requested bespoke pieces. Now is the ideal time to be booking bespoke orders if that is what you would like as lead times are shorter.
Many small wedding suppliers have pivoted their business during the pandemic to create a broader offering – at Garter & Veil, I have expanded my jewellery range and created limited-edition seasonal items like crystal embellished valentines headbands.
By investing in these pieces brides can ensure suppliers can continue until the time weddings are back in full swing.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “@ellaiconic – for everything you need in a luxe planner.”
No.2 “@carolinearthurbridal – amazingly talented bespoke dress designer.”
No.3 “@madeupbycathryn – fabulous videos on bridal skincare prep and makeup.”
#5 Favourite lockdown snack?
“Peanut butter on toast – if I’m feeling extra naughty I will butter the toast first but I’ve been a little stricter with myself in lockdown 3!”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown?
“A Neom wellbeing pod – I find scent really alters my mood so I use essential oils, depending on the mix you use they can energise or calm and I keep the diffuser going all day in the studio.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Yeast – before lockdown I was an infrequent but capable baker, I guess I had the same idea as everyone else to bake fresh bread every day but even now I still can’t find yeast on the shelf at my local supermarket.”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“Homemade soup – making soup from scratch and enjoying it with a warm crusty roll is like a big bear hug from a friend.”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“I keep a journal close by at all times as I am always jotting down ideas – recently I have been working with mixed metal elements to create some new botanical and celestial inspired pieces in silver and gold, I have also been sewing embellished swatches to create some one-of-a-kind exclusive headbands.
I am a magpie when it comes to Swarovski crystal and pearls and I love beading so I always have a sparkling piece in the making.
I hope to find a beautiful boutique stockist this year and I also have some incredibly exciting collaborative shoots planned for the spring – watch this space!”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“My outfits haven’t changed so much but I now only wear makeup if I have a video call – it has done wonders for my skin so its a win-win.”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“Gosh so many, The Crown, Selling Sunset, Ru Paul’s Drag Race (every season), Bridgeton, Unorthodox, Marcella, Next In Fashion, Queer Eye and I have just started re-watching Heartbreak High as I loved it when I was teen.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My best friends Gregg and Kate and my Grandmother who I have not been able to go and see in person for a year as she lives in North Yorkshire.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“In lockdown 1 I was invited into a Whatsapp chat with a group of wedding suppliers and it has really kept me going, we discuss everything from clients and lockdown legislation to Tom Hardy.
It’s a safe space where we can all release our anxiety and support one another and actually, I really appreciate the support from the wedding industry as a whole – we have all stuck together.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
“@hayleymorris3 – Hayley Morris creates the funniest short videos about her inner dialogue, they make me laugh out loud most days as I can totally relate, I’m also obsessed with @baileysarian and her true crime makeup video’s (I did not know that was a thing until lockdown!)”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “The internet.”
No.2 “Outdoor space.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“My husband and I are huge foodies and our absolute favourite is Restaurant Interlude in West Sussex – it will be a huge treat to go back again.”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“Practical Magic, Cruel Intentions, Inception, Devil Wears Prada and What Happened to Monday.“
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“I’m a huge fan of Audible, when I’m not listening to my favourite playlist I will stick on an audiobook whilst I’m making or walking to the post office.
My favourites have been Sandman – Neil Gaiman, The Trauma Cleaner – Sarah Krasnostein and The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Burnstein.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“An inflatable pool for the back garden – I only managed to use it for one day … hopefully, it will make another appearance this summer.”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“The 6 hours we were allowed with my parents on Christmas day – for those few hours, everything felt normal.”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Try to stay calm and keep focused on the plans for your special day and if you have had to postpone keep a dialogue open with your suppliers so they can be there to support you.
It will happen and it will be magical.”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“A Hendrix Gin & Tonic with cucumber or Nyetimber Champagne.”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with.
“Vogue or Grazia.”
Discover more of the brand’s incredible bridal accessories by heading to the Garter & Veil website STAT.