“Oh are you ready for this one? I was a Christmas Elf for the big man himself. Yes, Merry Christmas – I was definitely on the NICE LIST.” Kayleigh Audsley, Founder of Penny Pearl Bridal Co. on her first job
Within seconds of placing her Valentino-adorned feet inside Yorkshire bridal boutique, LIMElight Occasions, Penny Pearl Bridal Co.’s founder Kayleigh Audsley instantly recognised her calling: the wedding industry. With a vision of creating beautifully memorable and personalised bridal accessories for the modern bride, Penny Pearl Bridal Co. unveiled its glittering array of sumptuous bags (check out Melody), achingly cool jewellery designs (I’ve got my eye on Florence) and aisle-ready accessories this November. I managed to catch up with Kayleigh herself, to talk about her business journey so far 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…
Name: Kayleigh Audsley
Business: Penny Pearl Bridal Co.
Date you took the plunge: Est. 2022
#1 In a nutshell, describe your business/brand – what do you offer?
“Penny Pearl Bridal Co. is all about those extra little details that complement and excite brides-to-be! We offer a range of bags, jewellery and accessories that can be personalised. Our aim is to provide something beautiful, memorable and sentimental. Something that can be used long after the wedding party.
“To have and to hold… from this day forward”…
“We may be bridal focused but our products cater for everyone and so many more occasions other than the ‘Big Day.’ We even have a little something for the main men in your lives too…”
#2 What’s your career background? Has it always been in the wedding industry?
“I have a degree in dance and always thought I would end up having a career in that world but since graduating University I fell in love with the world of bridal. After graduating a lovely friend of my husband and mine, Haley asked if I could model some wedding dresses for their boutique. It was clear from the moment I stepped in the wedding dress in the bridal boutique LIMElight Occasions over in Huddersfield that I fell head over heels in love with EVERYTHING Bridal. I am so thankful for the opportunities Haley and Sue at LIMElight have given me over the last 10 years… because of these ladies and the styled shoots we have been involved in I have been so incredibly lucky to work with some of the most beautiful Yorkshire wedding suppliers.”
#3 What planted the seed of your business idea? Did it strike you suddenly?
“My little girl… Penny and my love for a pearl. It did strike suddenly towards the end of last year and do you know what… I can’t actually remember the reason why but I am SO glad it did!”
#4 Describe the moment you decided to TAKE THE PLUNGE (what did this involve? Handing in your notice?)
“I’ve always been a HUGE overthinker but I think after spending a couple of years in a pandemic and since turning 30 and having my little ones, something has changed in me. I guess I’ve grown? I’ve said goodbye to that “I can’t” self doubt (most of the time anyway) and it seems to be disappearing! I still have major imposter syndrome but the overthinking is definitely well on its merry way and now I just think YES I can do it! What do I have to lose? If anything I’ll be left with lots of pearly gorgeous stock to wear, that’s not a bad thing right?”
#5 Describe how the first day of building your own business felt:
“I wanted to take it easy. I didn’t want to rush anything so it’s been a slow burner over the last year. A nice gradual gathering of bridal gorgeousness and a really clear vision of what I want to offer in the bridal world. Imagining my products with future brides just makes me beam inside! I cannot wait to see how my brides will style their Penny Pearl goodies.”
#6 The highs – what have they been so far?
“Trialling out my products on my beautiful friends and family. Like I said before seeing my accessories on other ladies and gents is just gorgeous…if only you could see my little happy dance! And, of course, seeing my vision become a reality – the packaging, the products, the marketing. Everything falling beautifully into place. I have a creative mind and it’s hard to describe the vision I have. It’s like one big sparkly explosion inside my head! So being able to show you – look this is what I meant and this is what I have created – makes me extremely proud.”
#7 The lows – how did you move past them? What did you learn?
“I’m a silver lining type of girl, I try not to focus on the negatives/lows. But if I had to choose one I’d say maybe the overwhelming feeling of “so much to do so little time”. I originally wanted to launch in the Summer but it just wasn’t meant to be. In the end I decided to open on the 11th November (11.11). I thought that was the perfect date. I’m a sucker for an angel number and I see 11.11 so often so that had to be the official opening date.”
#8 If you could tell yourself three things when you first started the business – what would they be?
No.1 “You. Have. Got. This. Slow and Steady…take it easy.”
No.2 “Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet…you have worked hard.”
No.3 “Pretty stationery and a nice aesthetic to work in always helps!”
#9 Your tips for those dreaded lying-awake-at-3am times? (Counting sheep? Glass of water? Get up? Meditate? Read?)
“I LOVE my sleep so I’m struggling to answer this one. If I was ever awake at 3am – it was for a baby feed. Although I do have to say, I am a serial online shopper and in the past I have had parcels delivered to my house that I have no recollection of ordering. Yep…this was back in the day of the half awake 3am baby feed wakes. I wish I could say I don’t have as many online orders delivered to the house now but I do (only this time I know exactly what each one is…oops)!”
#10 Your top organisational tip?
“Lists, lists, lists and more lists. The satisfaction of ticking a list off! No matter how small the task is add it to your list – it feels SO good to tick off. For example: ‘Make a Coffee… TICK!’”
#11 Who inspired you? Or inspires you in business?
“Ooohhh…how long have you got? It’s a long list but I’ll keep it as short and sweet as possible. Like I mentioned earlier I have been SO incredibly lucky to work with some of the most gorgeous Yorkshire wedding suppliers in the past so here’s just a few. Firstly, Natasha Cadman Photography. I met Natasha on a styled shoot with the lovely Victoria Walker Boutique (she’s coming up too). We got on SO well and I asked her to photograph my wedding. She is a total BOSS BABE and the most uplifting woman you will ever meet – I guarantee it! Secondly, Victoria Walker. I met her on a styled shoot around 10 years ago and she has now become one of my very good and equally beautiful friends. She is a jewellery wizard – anything your heart desires she will make – from ashes jewellery to bridal – she is amazing! Thirdly, LIMElight Occasions: Sue and Haley. The way they run their boutique is so beautifully done. Relaxed, friendly and they cater for ALL women in all shapes and sizes. The way they uplift and make their brides feel incredibly beautiful is very inspiring to me, I have a lot to thank these ladies for.”
#12 An app/piece of tech you now couldn’t live without for your business:
“Shopify and Instagram. Shopify for making my online shop of dreams a reality and Instagram for forever providing those little squares of inspiration and advertising.”
#13 Your first ever job was…
“Oh are you ready for this one? I was a Christmas Elf for the big man himself. Yes, Merry Christmas – I was definitely on the NICE LIST.”
#14 Your top social media tip?
“I am going to quote what the lovely Lisa from The Bobby Pin said here because she is absolutely spot on. “Collaboration. Working with others helps you build a network and share the work/offerings of fellow businesses. It’s all about being kind, too, someone might not have the most followers, but it happens to be a brand or a person you feel you want to connect with or support. And who knows what they might grow into.” So yes, absolutely the above, one hundred percent.”
#15 The brand you’d love to collaborate with and why…
“This is a tough one! But if I had to choose one I would absolutely dream big and say BERTA Bridal. I’d also do a little scream inside if I was ever lucky enough to get some Penny Pearl Bridal Co in VOGUE. Dream. Big.”
#16 Name a business/social media account(s) – that have helped/inspired you with your business?
“Businesses: @tulleandflobridal and @handmadescandicompany. Both Claire and Drew have been so beautiful in helping me with anything I’ve asked business-wise. They’re both SO beautiful inside and out.
Social Media Accounts: every single one of my gorgeous Instagram followers on my personal account. The support and love they have shown for my new venture has been incredible! Overwhelmed with kindness!”
#17 Your fav social media tool: (Pinterest? Instagram? LinkTree? Etc.)
“Instagram… forever and always. It just has to be Instagram doesn’t it? It’s a crazy little place… you chat to people you’ve never physically met almost every day and the support they give you is just so so lovely! I find it’s the best place for feedback too – I love a poll! It’s great for finding out what people really want and for spotting the trends early on. Oh, and of course for all the inspo.”
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS | PENNY PEARL BRIDAL CO
#1 Most inspiring book you’ve read.
“Not So Mumsy: Finding happiness, confidence and your style in motherhood by Marcia Leone. She’s a total boss babe. I was drawn in by the leopard print cover (I am a sucker for a bit of leopard print) and when I read the back of the book and found out what she was all about I was sold. Motherhood, Business and not losing yourself in the process. It’s such a good read I highly recommend!”
#2 You’re in Starbucks what do you order?
“I love a Blonde Vanilla Latte with a raspberry and white chocolate muffin – the perfect combo *chefs kiss”
#3 Instagram Feed Crush
“Lorna Luxe and Kristy Green. Lorna and her fashion sense, she just gets it right every time! And Kristy, oh my did you see her Italian wedding? If you didn’t have a little nosey now…an absolute DREAM.”
#4 Your worst Job was.
“I worked for a high-end makeup counter. I won’t name any names but it was the worst. All about the sales and the money making and not about making the client feel good and providing them with the right products! But, like I said before … I’m a silver lining kind of girl and I met my now best friend out of it. Things happen for a reason. If I hadn’t have worked there I’d have never met her! I don’t know what I would do without her, she’s a diamond. Call it fate.”
#5 If you didn’t do what you do now what would you do?
“Midwifery. The awe I have for those ladies is incredible! My midwives Rachel and Amy were an absolute credit to their jobs!”
#6 Work day pick me up?
“McDonald’s…McDonald’s makes everything better right?! P.S the Christmas Camembert bites are my favourite thing ever! If you haven’t tried them yet add them to your list. You can thank me later!”
Discover more beautiful bridal accessories from Penny Pearl Bridal Co. – not to mention the brand’s glorious Instagram feed @pennypearlbridalco
Catch up with all the latest Taking The Plunge entries on Bridal Editor.