Weddings are one of the things that have been severely affected by Covid-19.
After its grand opening The Silver Sixpence Curvy Bridal Boutique has not only had to deal with the usual difficulties of opening a new business, but it also had to contend with a pandemic.
Mother and daughter team, Wendy and Eleanor Paylor, opened the Brotton shop in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland, after finding a lack of bridal boutiques which catered for curvy women.
TUXtra visited the store when they opened to take a look around.
After a successful first month of helping brides say yes to the dress, lockdown hit and the shop had to temporarily close its doors.
Since then the business has suffered due to the uncertainty surrounding the wedding industry.
Wendy said: “Weddings had become huge. That’s why I thought this was a really fantastic idea because the demand was getting better and better.
“Things at the moment just aren’t and it’s a real shame.”
The shop was able to claim the £10,000 small business grant from the government but unfortunately is not eligible for any additional help through furlough schemes or loans.
Wendy said: “Everything is down to us and the money we had saved. The gowns that are coming in next, I’ll be looking at putting them on the credit card.
“My business plan was really strong, the forecast was really strong. However it hasn’t come to fruition, what I was hoping was going to happen.”
Wendy is also keeping in touch with her local MP for updates on the discussions which are taking place.
She said: “I think the government are going to have to take a long, hard look at the whole of the events industry.”
“It’s about getting things up and running again and making something that is sustainable. It needs to be manageable and at the moment it’s not.”
The shop has all of the safety measures necessary in place, including cleaning regimes, social distancing and using track and trace.
But Wendy is looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel and pushing on through the pandemic.
She said: “I try and look on the positive side and think about the girls we’ve had coming in and how good they’ve felt, and I hang onto that.
“We’ve got to look on the bright side and we’ve got to think about where we want to be and try to adapt.
“That’s all we can do. There’s got to be a light at the end of the tunnel.”
TUXtra reporter, Lauren Heslop, returned to The Silver Sixpence to see how they were coping through the pandemic.