“This is so hard – so many people I want to hug – family and friends! I miss hugs so much but if I had to pick one I would say my Mum, she wins it! (Unless Zac Efron Is passing by)” Rosie Meehan, Owner of bridal boutique Mimi Toko on who she’ll hug first once restrictions are lifted
Behind the beautifully curated Instagram feed and elegant bridal store, Mimi Toko is owner (and former event and wedding co-ordinator) Rosie Meehan. Enveloped in the welcoming village of Duffield, Derbyshire, her contemporary bridal boutique glitters, sweeping brides of their feet as they book to visit the iconic designers that hang from her rails (prepare to discover the likes of Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani, Élysée Bridal and (very soon) the incredible Eva Lendel. I managed to catch up with Rosie (digitally, of course) to get the lowdown on her lockdown 3.0…
#1 Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Hopeful, chilled and full (eating my way through lockdown).”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this changes in lockdown…
“My daily routine couldn’t be more different in lockdown. Currently my day consists of home schooling my two boys (five and nine year olds).
Outside of lockdown, like any business owner, daily routines can vary so much – one day it can be super glamorous traveling to attend catwalk shows to buy new stock while sipping on complimentary fizz to the next being stuck on your own in the office completing boring accounts. The best bit for me however is meeting my brides – I love to hear about their wedding plans and help them find their perfect dress to help their vision come together.”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“Lockdown has a huge impact on my business as the boutique is currently closed due to being classed as a non-essential shop. Even when I have been allowed to open over the past year I have had to follow guidelines and only allow one or two guests to accompany the bride to appointments. Let’s face it, when any bride plans her wedding dress shopping trip she wants the whole tribe with her and so she should! Having to limit that has been really tough.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “@thesocialteacup – this lady is my insta guru.”
No.3 “@lush.occasions – you won’t meet a nicer lady! She can create such beautiful wedding set-ups and have I mentioned her ice chairs – love!”
#5 Favourite lockdown snack?
“Oooo snacks my fav – at the minute it has to be…brie on a rosemary cracker topped with red onion chutney – trust me it’s a taste sensation!”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown? What’s getting you through the days?
“Other than the obvs – popping on a favourite song full blast for a kitchen disco (and yep, I have a disco ball in my kitchen) – I’ve been teaching myself to hand embroider with the aim to personalise veils for brides, I find it really therapeutic.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket ( and consequently dreamt continuously about ) during lockdown?
“White chocolate covered oreos, only seem to find the milk chocolate ones and they just aren’t as good.”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“Margarita from Costco, already made, just chill, close your eyes and boom you could be on a beach somewhere beautiful (oh, how I miss holidays).”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“I am soooo excited to be able to say I will be stocking Eva Lendel dresses and will be the only stockist in the East Midlands. I have been searching for a new brand to fit into our boutique so as soon as I saw the collections and fell in love, I just had to have them. I have also just added a shop to my website stocking bridal gifts. Planning a wedding during a pandemic can be very stressful so thought little gifts could be sent to put a smile on someone’s face.”
#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 lockdown outfit is based around a hoodie, comfy, warm and am I wearing a bra?? Who knows?”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“I have just finished Dead To Me staring Christina Applegate and just started Bridgerton (I know, totally late to the party). Also, have to mention After Life, if you haven’t seen it you need to – you will never laugh and cry so much at one programme.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“This is so hard – so many people I want to hug – family and friends! I miss hugs so much but if I had to pick one I would say my Mum, she wins it! (Unless Zac Efron Is passing by)”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“My brides. From the very first lockdown, even though my brides are going through the stress of postponing, the amount of support and messages I received from them was so heart warming – I feel very lucky.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
“@distractionsband – their voices are so good, could listen to them all day!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Time – owning a business and having two little ones, my life is none stop, its been so nice to not be clock watching.”
No.2 “My brides, without them I couldn’t do what I do.”
No.3 “My family – so grateful we are all happy and healthy.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“@house_of_darwin – it’s a local gastro pub. Not only is the food amazing but the cocktails are fabulous as well.”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“I’m not a film buff, for me a film is to sit, chill and switch off so my go to tends to be something that makes me laugh. Here goes:
No1. Hitch – a classic Romcom
No.2 The Hangover – came out the year I got married in Vegas (it was the first time we had been and weren’t even engaged when we went – when in Vegas and all that).
No.3 Mean Machine – totally random I know but its got a bit of everything in there, laughs, emotion and Vinnie Jones’ bad acting, whats not to love?
No.4 Big Hero 6 – family favourite
No.5 Bridesmaids – got to have a wedding one in there.”
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“I’m not a reader, I know I should but never really get into a book or make the time for it. I tend to read autobiographies if I do read, the latest I have brought is from the comedian Romesh Ranganathan.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“A neon sign for the boutique, totally not needed but now I have it I love it.”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“Dancing lessons, my Hubby surprised me with private ballroom/Latin dance lessons for the both of us. See you on Strictly! After a glass or two of margaritas of course.”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
“@iamflorence1912 is a gorgeous bridal shoe brand that I am a little obsessed with. I find traditional bridal shoes a little samey but these beauties are traditional but with a modern edge. Just how I think about my dress collections at the boutique.”
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Keep on planning! Planning your wedding is so exciting, it’s not just the day itself, the planning part has so many memories to make, from the proposal, to setting the date with the venue and of course becoming a #mimitokobride (wink wink). The list goes on, so use this extra time to sit on Instagram and Pinterest and keep the excitement going.”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“Pornstar martini – cliché but who doesn’t love it?!”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with.
“@Bridalbuyermagazine – I love a peaceful five minutes with a cuppa to read this. It covers everything from spotting new trends to business advice. It has it all for a bridal shop owner.”
Discover more by heading to the Mimi Toko Bridal Boutique website STAT.