Getting to know Nora Eve owners Emma and Hollie
When our brides come in to find their perfect dresses, we love to get to know them better. Knowing what a bride loves, what their day-to-day style is and how they picture their dream day really helps us to find the one. We're turning the tables today on the blog and finding out more about Nora Eve Bridal owners Emma and Hollie. Read on to find out more about how this pair of besties met and how Nora Eve Bridal was born.
Q1. How did you two meet each other?
Hollie: We have always known each other from being very young through Wallace’s Dance Academy in our home town of Chesterfield.
Emma: Growing up I travelled the world with my dad being in the military. When I stayed with my Nanna Nora, I would take any opportunity I could get to go with her to dancing to watch. Nanna didn’t dance by the way - she took the money! Truth be told, I didn’t just watch, I hideously tried to copy at the back with my flash leg warmers on that Nora bought me, with two left feet, not having an actual clue! God loves a trier - my Nan thought I was great!
Hollie: I became a dance teacher at the school and when Emma moved back to Chesterfield in 2010, she brought her daughter to dance class. Thankfully she's a better dancer than Em!
Emma: Hollie gave me her number and said we should go out for a drink, I think she felt really sorry for me! I had one friend called Sophie, a beautiful daughter and was a high risk domestic violence victim. I really needed a friend! From that day on we became friends. Understatement of the year! We're not just friends, but the very best of friends - soul mates!
Q2. What inspired you to start a business together?
Emma: I was a single parent on benefits. I drove my mum's car (dad made her walk to work!), I couldn’t afford food shopping or my rent, things couldn’t get worse. I decided to follow my dreams and trained to be a wedding planner. I knew I loved this as I’d planned a few for myself! First there was Lee - my first love and a big white wedding at the Crooked Spire followed by traditional sit down meal and all the shenanigans. The dress Nora chose was from Chatsworth Road Bridal and was beautiful, I still remember it now! He cheated on me with my best friend, I was heart broken and obviously the wedding was cancelled! My second planned wedding was a smaller more intimate one in Mexico with close family and my one friend. Luckily this one didn’t happen either! I loved planning weddings but wasn’t so great at picking the groom! Life back on track, swiftly moving forward.
Hollie: Alongside being a dance teacher I also owned a dance shop. Every night I went to Emma’s house and we contemplated life, could it get any worse?! Or better?! Were we happy or not? We spoke about how we could help promote each other as I had my dance shop and Emma was starting out as a wedding planner but working for everyone for free - her business skills are clearly fabulous! The dream team right there, right?
Emma: One night we both had a dream. We dreamed we had opened a bridal shop. What did we have to lose? It was a sign! The next day we found 272 Chatsworth Road, a run down, awfully decorated, battered old building full of dead rats - perfect! After three months of renovating and a massive fall out over the N to Nora Eve not being capital but a big lower case n (that I loved!) we opened our doors on Friday 13th July 2012, lucky for some not for others and we gave away a £10k wedding to celebrate our success. We had made it to this point alive!
Q3. What was your vision for Nora Eve Bridal when you opened?
Emma: My vision was exactly what we have now - a beautiful non-traditional, open plan boutique with private fitting rooms providing an exclusive perfect experience but without having to spend thousands on a dream gown. Winging it every day, it's taken us six years to build up to this point and be able to afford our dream boutique.
Hollie: For me to be happy and enjoy working every day with my best friend in our bridal heaven offering the brides of Chesterfield something that was missing before, in our shabby chic quaint boutique.
Q4. How has Nora Eve changed since you first opened?
We started off as a small boutique selling off the peg discount designer dresses at number 272, after 18 months we extended into the building next door. This was due to demand for our customers wanting top designer current season gowns as well as the brand new one off collections that we already had. Our biggest change was earlier this year when we decided to move to our bigger show room on West Bars. We now have a fabulous team of seven in our un-traditional store. With lots more space we can not only offer quality to our brides but quantity too - our luxury boutique stocks over 500 beautiful gowns, available off the peg or to order, and we open seven days a week until 8pm. We love our new website with online booking, we love our new blog for brides and coming soon is our very own online fitting room and a sign up option to our monthly newsletter - every bride needs this in their life right?
Q5. What do you get up to when you're not busy running Nora Eve?
Emma: Even when I’m not at work, I’m thinking about it! Those late night social media posts will be me when I can’t sleep! I love seeing my friends, I have the best friends that complete my world, along with my daughter. I love going to the spa, I have no signal there so it helps me shut off and relax, that’s when I have the best ideas! We love our holidays too, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Hollie: We spend a lot of time at work, I guess the saying "love what you do and you won’t ever work a day in your life" is very true! I like to work hard and enjoy nice holidays. I like mini breaks away and spending time with my bestie on adventures.
Q6. What would you be doing if you weren't running Nora Eve?
Emma: I honestly don’t know. I was never a career girl, just to be happy every day was my dream. I live in a little bubble, loving my life just the way it is. I can’t see anything past Nora Eve - our business and my daughter are my world and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Hollie: I would have continued to run my dance shop and further my career as a dance teacher, like I was doing before we opened Nora Eve.
Now you know a little bit more about us, we want to know more about you! Book an appointment today and let us help you find your dream dress - we can't wait to welcome you to Nora Eve Bridal.