Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannelle Armstrong Fowler.
Shannelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I saw the struggle a friend was having buying her wedding gown. She was discouraged from making bridal appointments at certain wedding boutiques because she was a plus size bride. I never wanted another bride to endure that humiliation on what is suppose to be one of the happiest moments of her life. My background was in retail – marketing and public relations – I knew I could create an experience that would allow a curvy bride to be seen, heard and valued. Ultimately, providing the best selection of wedding gowns, an enchanting experience, and a stress-free final delivery. It became my mission.
Has it been a smooth road?
Retail is evolving every day. The business plan I developed five years ago, does not look anything like the business we have today. For example, there were designers that we loved but did not work well with our customer. We had to remain focused on creating an authentic experience for the bride to support her need to purchase a wedding gown. Whether we are leveraging technology, social media or email, we needed to stay nimble and open to what she needs and wants and how she is willing to have it delivered.
The most important advice is to pick your “squad” carefully. Entrepreneurship can be a difficult and sometimes lonely journey. It is important to surround yourself with the “right” people. Everyone may not share your vision, however, they can be a resource and a source of support for you.
We’d love to hear more about Haute & Co. Bridal.
Haute & Co. Bridal is dedicated to curvy and plus size brides — sizes 14 to 32. Created when I saw the struggle of a friend who was curvy, struggle with finding a wedding gown during her journey.
At Haute & Co. Bridal, we promise:
We carry the best selection of wedding gowns for the discerning bride. Most of our brides find their gown on their first visit with us!
Our intimate and inviting environment is designed to help you relax and enjoy an enchanting wedding gown shopping experience. Our professionals are specifically trained to style curvy brides with sensitivity and will work hard to bring your vision to life.
From selection to purchase through alterations and final pickup we want you to have a stress-free final delivery. And after your wedding, she will touch base to arrange your wedding gown preservation.
Our team is known for listening and catering to each bride’s unique vision, in addition to helping them build confidence, redefine their perspectives on beauty, and spread body-positivity.
Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to speak for those who could not speak for themselves. So essentially, I became that person. I speak for the curvy women who cannot or do not know how to advocate for themselves and their visions on their wedding day and beyond.
- Our wedding gowns start at $2,000 – $7,500.
- Address: 1760 N. Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
- Website: www.hauteandco.com
- Phone: 312-344-1625
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @hauteandco
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HauteandCo/
- Twitter: @hauteandco
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