“Morgan Davies started as a dress agency, that re-sold ladies evening wear. It progressed into evening wear to bridesmaids, to wedding dresses! 31 years later we are still here!” Maddy of Morgan Davies London
Enveloped in the bustling streets of Islington, London lies the beautifully curated, luxurious bridal store, Morgan Davies Bridal. Stocking the likes of Stephanie Allin, Alon Livne, Jesus Peiro, Alan Hannah, Inbal Dror, Marquise Bridal and Anna Georgina at their London store (and Anna Kara, Maggie Sottero, Modeca, Halfpenny London, Catherine Deane, Milla Nova, Rosa Clara and Freda Bennet at their beautiful Hitchin boutique), the charming bridal studio is celebrated far and wide for its coveted selection of designer gowns and years of experience. Stocking a stirring selection of bridal accessories as well – from the ‘gram-worth creations of Botias Accessories to the achingly cool Lara Rose Bridal Socks – there’s no doubt that Morgan Davies Bridal should be included in your London boutique must-visit list. I managed to catch up with Maddy of Morgan Davies Bridal to talk about her business journey and her version of Taking The Plunge, including the highs, the lows, the first jobs, the worst jobs and the tech she can’t live without…
Business: Morgan Davies London
Date you took the plunge: Morgan Davies has been around since 1991, I joined in 2018
#1 In a nutshell, describe your business/brand – what do you offer?
“We bring the most unique selection of dresses from across the world together, between two stores to bring to our gorgeous brides.”
#2 What’s your career background? Has it always been in the wedding industry?
“My background is in lingerie/corset/swimwear design and production. I chose bridal because not only is it in my family and I know Morgan Davies like the back of my hand, but it is the closest thing to couture fashion that allows you to be creative. I love being able to work with brides to make their bespoke bridal looks. We work so closely with our designers, if we want to create a dress from scratch, we can!”
#3 What planted the seed of your business idea? Did it strike you suddenly?
“Morgan Davies started as a dress agency, that re-sold ladies evening wear. It progressed into evening wear to bridesmaids, to wedding dresses! 31 years later we are still here!”
#4 Describe the moment you decided to TAKE THE PLUNGE (what did this involve? Handing in your notice?)
“It just felt right after graduating uni. Whilst looking for jobs in the lingerie design world, I realised that I was never going to be able to be as creative as in bridal.”
#5 Describe how the first day of building your own business felt:
“As I took over a family business, this happened over a couple of years. It slowly became more mine and how I feel the next generation of bridal is.”
#6 The highs – what have they been so far?
“It is always the brides, there are so many that I will never forget for one reason or another. One of my high’s was also one of the saddest experiences, but I was able to help one of our brides who was very ill with a brain tumour find a dress and fit her in the hospice in the last stages of her life. She felt so amazing on her wedding day, that was my ultimate high. Now I am at the age where a lot of friends and family are getting married and it is always amazing to be able to help someone that you know find their dress.”
#7 The lows – how did you move past them? What did you learn?
“There is always going to be stressful situations but ultimately, you focus on what needs doing in that moment because there is a wedding date that is not moving. It is the bride’s biggest day of their life, it is natural for them to feel stressed. It is my job to keep calm and keep moving. There is always a way to solve anything, no matter how hard it seems at the time.”
#8 If you could tell yourself three things when you first started the business – what would they be?
No.1 “Go with your gut, if you love a style, get it! You will sell what you love.
No.2 “There will be tough times but keep focused and everything will come back up.”
No.3 “Don’t be scared to take risks.”
#9 Your tips for those dreaded lying-awake-at-3am times? (Counting sheep? Glass of water? Get up? Meditate? Read?)
“Hahah!! I email myself so the next day it is waiting for me when I get to work. Get the thoughts out because there is nothing I can do about it at 3am. Then put on a podcast to fall asleep too.”
#10 Your top organisational tip?
“Post-it notes and lists. I make a note of everything, no matter how small. Start from the top and work down, it will get done.”
#11 Who inspired you? Or inspires you in business?
“My mum and grandma, they are amazing.”
#12 An app/piece of tech you now couldn’t live without for your business?
#13 Your first ever job was…
“When I was 13 I worked at Morgan Davies as a Saturday girl for a couple of years, then a waitress.”
#14 Your top social media tip?
“If you are excited by it, everyone else will be too. Keep it genuine and fun.”
#15 The brand you’d love to collaborate with and why…
“Danielle Frankel, I love her dresses SO much!”
#16 Name a business/social media account(s) – that have helped/inspired you with your business?
#17 Your fav social media tool: (Pinterest? Instagram? LinkTree? Etc.)
“Instagram is my absolute favourite. Pinterest and TikTok joint second.”
#18 Your advice to those looking to TAKE THE PLUNGE: “It is very hard. It is not all rosey because it is weddings, this is the biggest day of someone’s life, there has been a lot of time and money put into this so you have to make sure everything is perfect at all times. Equally, there will be some amazing times and you will meet incredible people.”
Rapid Fire Questions | Morgan Davies Bridal
#1 Most inspirational book you’ve read: “Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson.”
#2 You’re in Starbucks, what do you order? “Caramel Cloud Macchiato.”
#3 Instagram feed crush: “@alonlivnewhite”
#4 Your worst job was… “A lingerie design intern, I was the only person on the team so it got very lonely.”
#5 If you didn’t do what you do…what would you do? “Couture fashion… but that isn’t realistic. Maybe events, planning of some sort then make lingerie on the side.”
#6 Work day pick-me-up? “On a busy day, take a walk round the lovely N1, there is a great tiny coffee shop built into the side of a house near here. If time allows, TRY ON A WEDDING DRESS! This always pick’s me up!”