Owning a small business is all about balance. Whether it’s about juggling demands from work and family, or finding time to devote to all the different parts of your business, a sense of balance is something we all strive for. In today’s HiveTribe member profile, we chat to King’s Lynn bridal boutique owner, Victoria Arndt. Since opening her gorgeous boutique, The Bottom Drawer Bridal, Victoria has learned valuable lessons about how to split her time, and balance taking risks with building confidence. We asked her about her challenges and successes, as well as how community has played a role.
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
Since leaving school, I had worked in hospitality, with the last ten years before opening the boutique spent working in wedding planning. After struggling to find my own wedding dress way back in 2011, and then eventually travelling many miles to get one made for me, I was inspired to one day open my own bridal boutique. After having my two gorgeous children, it seemed there was no better time to finally get the ball rolling and follow my dream. With the help of my mum and family, I was so pleased and proud to bring my dream of The Bottom Drawer Bridal to life.
I fell in love with wanting to make sure brides have the most wonderful day and having a part to play in it! Having that ‘proud mum’ feeling when seeing the smiles on brides’ faces will forever be my favourite thing about working in this industry.
What mistakes have you made, and what did you learn from them?
Having worked in hospitality all my working life, which meant working long and unsociable hours for the majority of the time, I naively believed that running the boutique and working for myself would be a better working life for me and my young family. My one wish, were I able to go back in time, would be to spend more time researching and spending time with someone else that was self-employed. Then, when I fully entered self-employment, I would have been more prepared. Now, after three years, I am able to split my time more effectively and understand better what works best for me and my business. My tip for success would be to surround yourself with like-minded people that you can work with and support and in return support you.
What advice would you give someone about to make the leap to being a full-time wedding pro?
Research! Make sure you’ve done all the research you can and be confident in your choices and decisions!
What support and advice have you discovered, and how has it changed your business?
Joining the B.LOVED Hive has helped me with the way in which I structure my business, and having a group of like-minded ladies on hand to sound off is like having a gang of work mates in the sometimes lonely world of self-employment.
Do you think women can ‘have it all’ when it comes to running a successful business and having a fulfilling personal life?
I definitely think women can, and it’s about finding that balance. My balance is having a husband who supports me and my business and who has been the sole earner for the last few years while I build up the business.
How do you find a work/life balance?
I think I’m still finding the balance, which sometimes means working into the evening so that I can switch off from business mode between school pick-up time and bed time, but as time moves on I am finding it easier to put away the guilt of working when I should be home and being home when I could be working!
What’s your definition of success?
Success for me last year was happy brides and feeling more confident in myself and my business; success for 2020 is going to be an abundance of brides, sales and importantly profit!
What’s your number one tip for new wedding pros?
Don’t get sucked into the ‘glamour’ where there are amazing moments; there is also a lot of hard work required!
What’s next for you and your business?
The last three months have been about building my confidence and where I think I’m making progress. This is what I want for 2020: to be more confident in myself and my business.
Want to find the tribe that supports YOU as you work to grow your business and strike that elusive balance? We’ve got you. HiveTribe membership gives you all the advice, and community you need. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Images: Darina Stoda