Ashley Young discovered there was a large untapped market in the bridal industry when she was planning her own wedding. She wanted her bridesmaids to look sensational, but found traditional bridal shops did not typically have styles that flatter curvy women nor colors that complement brown and black skin tones.
Ashley was primed to start her own business after 10 years in marketing and in working with the New York ad agency, Universal McCann, and public relations firm, Porter Novelli, where she collaborated with global brands and corporate clients. Mix in her high standard of creative execution, and she had everything she needed to construct her strategic vision and bring it to life.
In 2019, Ashley and her husband Charles co-founded Bridal Babes with Ashley as CEO and Lead Stylist and Charles as President and COO. They complement each other very nicely. Ashley takes care of marketing, production and design, and Charles manages inventory, logistics and operations.
Their efforts quickly paid off, not only because they were creating a space for groups of women but they were also changing the way women shop for wedding clothes through their innovative virtual consultation services and remote online showcases. Unwittingly, Bridal Babes was in the virtual vanguard—they were up and running before the pandemic.
Why Bridal Babes Succeeds
- Bridal Babes provides its customers with a personalized experience as well as a very large inventory of high-quality designer wedding and bridesmaids dresses at affordable prices. Also, the inventory is replenished regularly as thousands of dresses arrive from the production facility for an endless supply of styles and colors.
- Wedding dresses are all less than $500, bridesmaid dresses are less than $300. In addition, there is a clearance collection at deep discounts. Ashley can price the dresses more competitively than other bridal salons due to not having the overhead of a brick-and-mortar location (though they do have a warehouse and a showroom). They also do not have the expense of having bridal consultants standing around idle as they wait for customers to walk in the door.
- The dresses are also divided into time of the garment’s arrival. At least six months is recommended to receive a dress, but Bridal Babes also has a “quick ship” collection that they can have for you in three months, sometimes less.
- Each dress has a specific size chart listed on its product page. Sizes go up to 24 and custom sizes are available. Models are plus sized so shoppers can see how the dress will look on them. It doesn’t help when dresses are all modeled by waif-like women.
- Bridal Babes is a full-service operation. In addition to dresses for the bride and bridesmaids, there are dresses for flower girls, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom. And there is an ever-growing inventory of accessories, such as bedazzled belts, shoes, clutch bags, jewelry and hair ornaments.
How Bridal Babes Works
- Browse the Bridal Babes website at your leisure, without a salesperson talking at you or pulling you toward styles that do not work for you. From the earliest feedback, customers were relieved they did not have to start out by going into stores where they felt overwhelmed and/or dismayed because there was nothing in their size.
- Order swatches after you browse or after the consultation.
- Make an appointment for the virtual consultation, which includes a 30-minute styling session; advice on selecting a style; a discussion on the shades, shapes and sizes of your bridal party; recommendations for the proper undergarment for a particular dress, e.g. plunging back, split, strapless, etc.; and the proper way to take your measurements.
- Order from among the fashionable, flattering dresses. It won’t be easy—you need to select from possibly the most beautiful array of wedding wear anywhere. Ashley or one of her stylists will answer any question and any concern, because you have become part of a sisterhood that celebrates diversity, not only in ethnicity, but also in body type and shape.