We have recently been nominated in the category 'Best Bridal Retailer' in The Wedding Industry Awards...which in itself is uber exciting :-), but during the process I had to write a little about us for the judges. We have no idea if we've made the final yet by the way, the closing date is 9Th October, so we'll know soon enough after that I guess! Anyway, one of this area I had to write about was what makes Pure different, what is our USP...and that, believe it or not, is actually so tricky to actually articulate. I started by thinking about what we do and why we do it and that in turn led me to realise that there is no one single, significant thing that sets us apart, but a number of small things that all add up and I thought you may like to see what I think those are... It starts with a heap of passion, drive, determination and resilience…and probably my love for gadgets! After 14 years in the business I love it as much today as I ever have and I genuinely feel that that does set me apart. It’s not just a business to me, it’s my life and my love. Energy and enthusiasm is infectious and I always try to lead by example, I have the most brilliant team and they all love it too! That’s why when you walk into my shop you can really feel the difference. Another point of difference is that we are the only bridal store in our area to offer our brides their own private bridal rooms which they and their guests have exclusive use of. It means they can relax and enjoy their visit whilst building a personal bond and trust with their stylist as there are no interruptions or onlookers. This is something I'm especially proud of as it took several years trading before I was able to move to a premises that would allow me to create this vision and it gives my brides exactly what I'd hoped it would. They feel valued, special and at the centre of our world. I also totally love tech and am a bit of a geek, and so I embrace technology. Communicating with our brides is vitally important to us and so we use a software programme that allows us to text or email our brides easily and efficiently. We also keep a record of their visits and their favourite dresses and keep touch with our brides throughout the process from start to finish. We love a bit of social media and work hard to engage with our brides in that way, giving them insights into what we do, and why we do it, sharing news and events and general life at Pure! I also developed and built an App for use by our customers, which we launched earlier this year. To my knowledge we are the only store in our region to have done this. It’s another way for us to stay in touch with our brides and gives them handy wedding planning hints and tips, a wedding planner, a trusted supplier directory, an alternative way to contact us, the ability to view all of our gowns in a different format, to book appointments, to find out more about us and much more. It’s called Pure Weddings and you can download it for iOs or Android if you wanted to take a look. We’re also aiming to go paperless in the new year too, which I’m really excited about. I believe it’s important for our brides to know that we are a forward thinking, innovative company and not one that can’t move with the times and so all of these things combine to keep us fresh and relevant. Of course our one true USP has to be Coco 😊 (there’s a pic of her in our images) She’s our resident pooch and is loved by all of us and all those who meet her in the shop, she even has her own hashtag! It was so lovely to have to actually just sit down and think about all the things we do and why we do them, and I really enjoyed the process...what i won't enjoy is the nail biting bit between now and when the finalists are announced!! Wish us luck!