“Charlotte Mills has been both a help and an inspiration to me. She not only has the most beautiful bridal shoes but Charlotte and her team have always been so lovely to team up with for pop up shops, shoots, and collaborations.” Ashley Wild Bridal on a business that has helped/inspired her with her business
Prepare to delve headfirst (so all that’s left is your Manolo’s sticking out and a small amount of leg) into the glittering treasure box of beautifully unique wedding veils and accessories that is Ashley Wild Bridal. Conceived back in 2017 after a career spent working in high-end millinery, as well as crafting pieces for the likes of Harrods and Fenwick Bond Street, Ashley Wild Bridal is dedicated to delivering sumptuously crafted, truly unique headpieces, veils and accessories for the aisle. I myself have had my eye on Ashley Wild’s Emmy earrings for a while now, not to mention that Kiss headpiece with its whimsical full face merry widow veil embellished with delicate organza flowers and a heart-stopping veil collection which is literally the stuff of dreams. I managed to catch up with Ashley herself, to talk about her business journey for Ashley Wild Bridal 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: Ashley Wild Bridal
Date you took the plunge: 2018
#1 In a nutshell, describe your business/brand – what do you offer?
“Ashley Wild Bridal offers veils, headpieces and accessories for modern brides.”
#2 What’s your career background? Has it always been in the wedding industry?
“Before starting AW Bridal I worked as a headwear designer and maker.”
#3 What planted the seed of your business idea? Did it strike you suddenly?
“I’ve always had a love of bridal design and knew I wanted to create my own brand after leaving uni. However the idea for AW Bridal slowly built in my mind over the next few years as I worked within the millinery industry and gathered knowledge and experience.”
#4 Describe the moment you decided to TAKE THE PLUNGE (what did this involve? Handing in your notice?)
“So, in order to create my own brand, I did have to leave my role as Head Designer of the millinery brand I was working for. That was bittersweet as it was a great job, but I knew at that point that I wanted to produce something that was totally ‘me’ and concentrate on bridal design.”
#5 Describe how the first day of building your own business felt:
“Exciting and nerve-wracking! Of course you have that little voice of self-doubt in your head, but my partner, family and friends have been such an amazing support to me!”
#6 The highs – what have they been so far?
“Every time I get a message of thanks from a bride, or I see their wedding photos and know I’ve played a part in the most important day of their life. That’s very special.”
#7 The lows – how did you move past them? What did you learn?
“I mean, the obvious low has been Covid! It was a difficult time, but actually the brides who persevered and made the most of smaller weddings, second weddings/parties post-restrictions etc. was very inspirational.”
#8 If you could tell yourself three things when you first started the business – what would they be?
“Have confidence, don’t compare yourself but instead take inspiration, and it’s ok to say no to things that don’t feel right!”
#9 Your tips for those dreaded lying-awake-at-3am times? (Counting sheep? Glass of water? Get up? Meditate? Read?)
“I should really say deep breaths and meditation but truthfully I watch Architectural Digest home tours to fall asleep at night! Not because they’re boring – I’m just obsessed with them! Or listen to a podcast.”
#10 Your top organisational tip?
“Make lists. I make a list every morning!”
#11 Who inspired you? Or inspires you in business?
“I love learning people’s back stories and finding out how they came to be where they are (so this interview series is right up my alley!) I think Kate Halfpenny of Halfpenny London is a particular inspiration to me within the bridal industry. Not only her amazing gowns, but her branding, shop decor, and general aesthetic. As well as the inclusive nature of her sizing.”
#12 An app/piece of tech you now couldn’t live without for your business:
“Ooh this is a tough one as the tools I use day-to-day are pretty un-techy! Scissors, needle and thread! So, I suppose just boring tech like my phone and computer for keeping in touch with customers and suppliers!”
#13 Your first ever job was…
“Working for Estée Lauder, packing up orders!”
#14 Your top social media tip?
“Think of social media as an online shop window for your business.”
#15 The brand you’d love to collaborate with and why…
“I would love to create pieces for the Vivienne Westwood Bridal collection. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since I was little, and love her whole brand aesthetic.”
#16 Name a business/social media account(s) – that have helped/inspired you with your business?
“Charlotte Mills has been both a help and an inspiration to me. She not only has the most beautiful bridal shoes but Charlotte and her team have always been so lovely to team up with for pop up shops, shoots, and collaborations.”
#17 Your fav social media tool: (Pinterest? Instagram? LinkTree? Etc.)
“I am obsessed with Pinterest!”
#18 Your advice to those looking to TAKE THE PLUNGE:
Rapid Fire Questions | Ashley Wild Bridal
#1 Most inspirational book you’ve read:
“I recently read a biography of Isabella Blow. She was such a character within fashion but really championed the designers she believed in like Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy.”
#2 You’re in Starbucks, what do you order?
“Chocolate Frappuccino- I hate coffee!”
#3 Instagram feed crush:
“The Bridal Editor of course!”
#4 Your worst job was…
“I’ve been really lucky and enjoyed all of my jobs!”
#5 If you didn’t do what you do…what would you do?
“I would definitely still be doing something creative – photography, styling, floristry…something like that.”
#6 Work day pick-me-up:
“Lunchtime walk with my little Frenchie Hector – it’s good to get outside in the fresh air and clear my mind ready for the afternoon!”