Exhibitor Insights: W Collective
I don't know about you, but I can't help but love a veil!
One of the most traditional elements of a wedding day can sometimes be dismissed as an option for todays more contemporary bride but wait until you see the fab work of Jess Willis of W Collective. Her modern take on veils and capes are bound to get you excited about this tradition once more. Today we chat to Jess and get to know more about her work and what makes her tick.
Firstly can you tell us more about hat do you do and why do you do it and what makes it so special to you?
Simply put I make veils and other bridal accessories! I have always made jewellery and headpieces, but when I got engaged and started to look at what was on offer in the veil department I felt so uninspired. I decided to start making veils that redefined tradition, playing with colour and texture to create modern, fun and alternative veils for offbeat brides. Alongside this, I'm studying my Masters at the moment and decided to focus on bridal wear. I've done research projects around weddings, tradition and bridal wear. I really am a wedding geek!
What makes you stand out from the crowd and why do you think brides find that so special?
Weddings are incredibly personal, and there has been a huge rise in having many elements of the wedding day customised to celebrate the couple. The veil is a part of that. It makes the bride feel like a bride, allows her to put her personality into her wedding day look through accessorising, and it looks great in photos!
Although my veils aren't traditional as such, the tradition of the veil is still incredibly important to a lot of brides, even those who may not see themselves as conventional. It's a nice way to give a nod to tradition, but doing it in your own way. Each piece I produce is completely bespoke, every veil is customisable from the length, to the colour, to the embellishment - so you can be sure each veil is as individual as the bride who is wearing it.
Doe you have any questions you are often asked by brides to be and what is the response you give them?
Most questions begin with 'would it be possible to...' and the answer I give is YES! A lot of brides are timid about asking for exactly what they want, but I've never turned a veil down. The samples on my website and at the fair are purely for examples sake, if there's something I haven't done before with a veil and you have an idea, I'm more than willing to give it a go. I love a challenge.
As a bride to be yourself what's the biggest piece of advice you could give others starting their planning journey?
I think the logistics of it all is the hardest part so ensuring everything is co-ordinated and that you are on the ball is going to be key. Get yourself a notebook and make lots of lists to ensure you know where you're at. There's a lot to remember so having a spread sheet or notebook makes it feel much less daunting (and helps you keep track of the budget too).
My top tip is to have a strong team of bridesmaids/groomsmen/in-laws around you and utilise their strengths! You don't have to carry everything on your shoulders, put some faith in your most trusted friends to share the stress.
Tell us a little about the process you go through with brides - how do you start? why do you feel that makes for a great partnership?
I have a range of sample veils on my website in a whole array of colours and fabrics, with different trim options. Usually brides get in touch with an idea and we go from there. I don't think I've ever recreated an exact veil from my samples, each bride brings fresh ideas and details to make their veil unique to them. I am a bride-to-be myself, so I completely understand the stresses of the planning process. I stay in touch often, post lots of updates and send colour and fabric samples to give my brides complete confidence every step of the way.
And finally what's the highlight of your job?
Getting feedback from brides who adore their veils is just so exciting. Each veil is a truly collaborative process between the bride and myself so seeing the final outcome and the photos of the bride beaming is the cherry on top!
Take a look at some of her fab creations below and show some love! xxx