Retailer Spotlight – Memories Bridal and Evening Wear

admin wrote this on Mar 24 |

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Michigan Wedding Dresses

courtesy: Memories Bridal and Evening Wear

Over the past year and a half, I’ve had the privilege of working with Derek from Memories Bridal and Evening Wear in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Memories carries fabulous Wedding Dresses and Bridal Gowns for brides in Michigan. So if you happen to be looking for wedding dresses in Michigan, Memories is THE place to go.

I caught up with Derek and asked him a few questions about BridalLive.

Tom: Tell us a little about your shop? How did you get into bridal, your location, how long in business, sq footage, etc.

Derek: Memories Bridal & Evening Wear has been in business for since 2003. We started out as a little tiny consignment shop in Stevensville Michigan selling prom and pageant gowns. We quickly moved into bridal, shed our consignment roots and moved into a larger location in Downtown Stevensville. Soon thereafter we uprooted again and moved to a larger market in Downtown Kalamazoo, MI where we have been very happy since. Our building is about 5,000 sq feet of retail space and about 8,000 total including backrooms, storage, break rooms, etc. It is a 100 year old historic building that we own and have completely restored inside and out. It is a real jewel in a vibrant downtown.

Tom: What made you choose BridalLive over the other bridal-specific software vendors?

Derek: Prior to BridalLive we were using Quickbooks Point of Sale and although it handled the financial transactions well I saw so much missing with regards to all the work that gets done BEFORE the sale. I looked at several CRM products but couldn’t find anything to meet our needs…so I started designing my own system to be custom built. Low and behold after several months of mapping out exactly what it was we wanted in a Bridal Marketing, POS, and Sales Performance program, I stumbled across BridalLive. It was exactly what I had envisioned. I downloaded it and bought it on the spot. Since then It has surpassed all my expectations.

Tom: How long did it take to learn to use BridalLive? How long to train your staff?

Derek: Bridal Live is very intuitive and hardly takes any training at all. If you know how to use a mouse and keyboard you will be able to figure this out.

Tom: Has BridalLive improved your bridal shops operations? How?

Derek: Absolutely – mainly with regards to our bridal scheduling and follow-ups. We deal with a fairly high volume of traffic and BridalLive keeps us on task and helps us make each customer feel like that matters.

Tom: What is your favorite feature of BridalLive?

Derek: There are so many, the reports are excellent, but so are the tasks, you’ll never again forget to do something, just set yourself a task and it will stay in the list until you mark it as completed! Yay, a few less sleepless nights worrying about the thing I’m sure forgotten, but can’t actually remember what it is!

Tom: How much would you estimate it has/will save you per year?

Derek: I have no idea but if I knew then what I know now about BridalLive I would have paid several times the retail price of the product.

Tom: What is your favorite feature of BridalLive?

Derek: The scheduling features…especially the on-line integration. I also really like how it keeps everything together on one platform form prospecting prospective customers to sending the congratulatory note after their wedding.

Tom: Would you recommend BridalLive to other bridal shops? Why?

Derek: The software is modern, sophisticated yet intuitive. It’s built by a software engineer who also owns a bridal shop: doesn’t get much better than that. And if you have a good suggestion for improving the product, shoot Tom an email and you’ll probably see it implemented in the next (free) upgrade to the program.

I’d like to thank Derek for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts and insights with everyone. Memories is one of the leading Bridal Shops in Michigan has an excellent selection of Wedding Dresses, Prom Dresses, and Evening Wear.

Bridal Image talks about their experience with BridalLive

admin wrote this on Oct 7 |

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I was lucky enough to meet up with Colin and Angela from Bridal Image a bridal salon San Francisco, CA. They stopped by to say ‘Hi’ and check out the upcoming features in BridalLive 2.0. Here’s what they had to say

Retailer Spotlight – Pure Brides

admin wrote this on May 17 |

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Wedding Dresses Norwich Norfolk

courtesy: Pure Brides

Over the past few months I’ve had the privilege of working with Anna and Gemma from Pure Brides in Norwich, Norfolk UK. Pure Brides carries fabulous Wedding Dresses, Bridal Gowns in Norwich, Norfolk. Anna and Gemma have been instrumental in providing feedback and suggestions for BridalLive enhancements; especially for the UK. Many of the features you see in BridalLive are a direct result of their insightful feedback. So if you happen to be looking for wedding dresses in Norwich, Norfolk, Pure Brides is THE place to go.

I caught up with Anna and asked her a few questions about BridalLive. The interview follows:

Tom: Tell us a little about your shop? How did you get into bridal, your location, how long in business, sq footage, etc.

Anna: I’m based in Norwich in the UK and got into bridal simply as the opportunity presented itself, the numbers looked good and I was looking for a different direction from the corporate background I had come from. We have been trading for 5 years now and have around 1300 sq ft.

Tom: What made you choose BridalLive over the other bridal-specific software vendors?

Anna: There was nothing else in the UK that was even close to doing what BridalLive does. I have looked at a variety of different options, only one of which was Bridal specific and none of these even came close to what I was looking for. I was at the point where my web designer and I were looking to try and develop our own software when I found BL and so it was a great find for me as all the hard work had already been done!

Tom: How long did it take to learn to use BridalLive? How long to train your staff?

Anna: My manageress and I found it very intuitive and got to grips with it very quickly, and we are pretty used to working with Windows and regularly use a computer, the other members of my team have definitely found it harder, as they are less comfortable working on a computer and are very used to writing everything down, so the transition has been painful in places, but they do all love it now and despite the many ‘how do I’ type of questions that we get throughout the day, they can see the benefit and are beginning to feel more professional as a result of BridalLive. It’s take a few months, but we are rather unique in that we were the 1st UK shop and have had to change several bits and pieces to make the system ‘feel right’ in the UK and we deliberately took it slowly as we weren’t able to fully switch over until all the UK specific updates were in place.

Tom: Has BridalLive improved your bridal shops operations? How?

Anna: YES! It’s very easy to immediately locate brides info, and there are no excuses for mislaid paperwork or incorrect balances or payments being taken. The reports features are fab and actually made it very clear to me where we are making good money and where we need to re-evaluate stock etc.

Tom: What is your favorite feature of BridalLive?

Anna: There are so many, the reports are excellent, but so are the tasks, you’ll never again forget to do something, just set yourself a task and it will stay in the list until you mark it as completed! Yay, a few less sleepless nights worrying about the thing I’m sure forgotten, but can’t actually remember what it is!

Tom: Would you recommend BridalLive to other bridal shops? Why?

Anna: Absolutely, although the fact that I don’t want my immediate competitors to have it tells a story!

I want to thank Anna for taking time out of her busy schedule to share his thoughts and insights with everyone. Pure Brides has an excellent selection of Mother of the Bride dresses. Check them out!

Retailer Spotlight – Ella Park Bridal, Newburgh, Indiana

admin wrote this on Sep 16 |

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courtesy: www.ellaparkbridal.com
Yesterday, we talked to Mike from Ella Park Bridal in Newburgh, Indiana to see what he had to say about his new bridal shop software, BridalLive. Mike has been instrumental in providing feedback and suggestions for BridalLive enhancements. Many of the features you see in BridalLive are a direct result of his feedback. We hope you enjoy the interview!

Tom: Tell us a little about your shop? How did you get into bridal, your location, how long in business, sq footage, etc.

Mike: Back in 2004, we made a decision to get out of the corporate world and start our own business. With the help of another couple, we launched Ella Park Bridal as a pure ecommerce system. Lisa and our 2 daughters are all 10 year members of the local 4H program and as kids earned many awards for sewing and creative projects. After establishing ourselves online, we moved to our present location (about 2800 sq ft) and opened our retail store. We are located in historic downtown Newburgh Indiana and are looking to expand into a new location within the next 12 months.

Tom: What made you choose BridalLive over the other bridal-specific software vendors?

Mike: I liked the ease of use, the constant willingness to add specific features for the bridal business and the program’s small footprint. It is intuitive, easy to understand and fast.

Tom: How long did it take to learn to use BridalLive? How long to train your staff?

Mike: Learning the software was simple because it works like the paper forms you used previously. We were using QuickBooks, which does a decent job, but there were issues with finding a customer, their orders, event date, etc…plus we had to have multiple licenses for each computer. The girls have found BridalLive to be easier to use and training them was simple because the system is intuitive.

Tom: Has BridalLive improved your bridal shops operations? How?

Mike: We are more organized, eliminated the paper contact forms, keep our customer file updated with each “touch” (phone call, email, visit to our store). The online marketing tools will prove to be a winner as we develop them into our marketing programs.

Tom: What is your favorite feature of BridalLive?

Mike: Too many to mention them all, but several include all the “bride” information on the contact center including event information, measurements, items tried on, orders and items purchased…the point of sale is easy to use and now features your own customizable “Terms and Conditions”; inventory look-up is very fast and there are a multitude of ways to find the item; and of course my latest favorite feature…the ability to not only import items but the ability to mass change items. This is an easy way to correct some of the implementation issues we had once we started using the system everyday.

Tom: Would you recommend BridalLive to other bridal shops? Why?

Mike: I would recommend BridalLive to any shop wanting to get a handle on their contacts, orders and inventory. The cost is minimal when compared to other systems…and the best part is you actually respond to questions and issues in a timely, efficient and effective manner. If it had not been for the overwhelming support, I would not have taken a chance on this system.

We want to thank Mike for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts and insights with everyone.

Mike: