Wedding Supplier Spotlight: Sarah Beresford
One for all the dapper folks out there today who love a suit or two - we have the perfect accessory to finish off that stellar style you're showcasing after all a suit without a tie or bow tie is simply incomplete.
Sarah Beresford specialises in creating beautiful hand appliquéed ties and bowties that add that something extra to your final look. Not just for weddings, her designs make fantastic gifts as well!
We chat to Sarah more about her life, the process behind her final products and she also announces a couple of exclusive offers to help you save a little during your wedding planning.
Hello Sarah, we would love it if you could give us a bit of background about yourself and your work.
Sure thing! I graduated from Loughborough with a BA in Textiles and Fashion (a fair few years ago now) and after graduation, I gained a place on a business enterprise programme at Cranfield Business School. On completion of the programme, I set up my business designing and making embroidered fashion accessories for menswear and womenswear for fashion and weddings. My collections have included scarves, hats, ties and waistcoats that have sold around the world with some notable stockists that included Harrods, Liberty, Selfridges and Barneys New York and Japan. I have also previously been commissioned to design two exclusive embroidered tie collections for the menswear designer Paul Smith - a huge personal highlight!
After a break, to bring up a family, I have recently re-launched with a new tie and bow tie collection. On return, I wanted to create a collection that stood out for their design and were not only stylish but also had a twist and have a 'Made in England' pedigree.
Nowadays I design and make embroidered ties and bow ties for weddings although they can be worn for any occasion. Each tie is beautifully crafted using traditional methods and are all made in England. The silk is woven in Suffolk in one of the oldest silk mills in England renowned for creating luxurious silks for the fashion industry. Each tie is then embroidered in my Oxfordshire studio using free machine embroidery and appliqué techniques, my designs are unique and the quirky embroidery and beautiful appliquéed velvet's stripes add depth and texture to each tie.
My tie and bow tie collections have a wide variety of silks from rich golds to blush pinks and soft silver. Whether it is a classic design with a velvet stripe matching your wedding colour scheme or a quirky heart or daisy design our ties will add elegant style with a contemporary twist to your wedding day.
Having had a number of years away it is lovely to be back designing and embroidering but also meeting and working with clients. Every day, I am amazed by the beautiful designs from all the wedding creatives that come up on my Instagram feed, it is such a creative, progressive and inspiring industry to be part of.
When I am not designing and working you will find me walking my collie-lab dog called Mabel, gardening or renovating my house.
Can you tell us more about your designs please.
My tie collection is beautifully crafted to combine elegance with a quirky twist. It is the individual embroidery contrasting with the beautiful English spun silk that sets each tie apart. Sometimes, the groom can find their attire can be a little overlooked with the budget heading towards the cake! However, it is the small details like the groom’s accessories that can add individuality to his look.
A well-designed tie (or bow tie) with beautiful silk and embroidery paired with a sharp suit can create the perfect look alongside the bride. Similarly, for LGBTQ+ couples the grooms or brides might want to strike a balance between their own individual style and creating a cohesive look with ties, bow ties and pocket squares. For example, two grooms might choose the same silk and embroidered design but select a bow tie and tie combination or alternatively select the same embroidered design but have it embroidered on contrasting silk.
As the ties in my collections are unique and individually embroidered using appliqué and free machine techniques we only create small runs of each design. All the ties come beautifully presented in either a gift bag or box making a fantastic and original keepsake for the groom and groomsmen for many years after the wedding. My husband still has his wedding tie and it still comes out for special occasions!
So what is the process when it comes to clients wanting your designs for their special day?
My business is primarily website based with a collection of ties held in stock that can be ordered online with free delivery. If a couple would like to see samples before they buy I am always happy to post silk or an embroidery sample to them. We can also provide a bespoke service. I am often asked whether I can make a one-off design or add some bespoke embroidery to a tie. For example, I have been asked to embroider ties that reflect tones in the bridesmaids’ dresses or incorporates the couples initials or the date of their wedding discreetly within a bespoke design. Our bespoke service costs more but I particularly enjoy working with customers to create a design that is unique and special to them. Exhibiting at Chosen Wedding Fairs is a great way to get out of the studio and meet the wedding couples. ‘Chosen’ enables my clients to see for themselves the quality of my ties and appreciate the colours and texture in their true entirety as photography sometimes does not capture the delicate colours and embroidered details. Of course, if the couples are not able to get to the shows, I am more than happy to post fabric swatches and discuss ideas on the phone about any specific requirements that they might like.
Accessories can set your look apart, whether it is the groom’s tie or the bride’s headpiece. However, an easy mistake is to initially concentrate on the bridal dress or the groom's suit and leave the wedding accessories to the last minute and end up with a compromise or a panic buy.
My advice would be to consider these at the same time as your suit or dress and gather ideas of colours and styles. Pinterest is fantastic for this. It is also particularly important to allow extra time if you would like a bespoke and original design as these typically take longer than off the shelf accessories.
Also and more importantly, try to visit the independent wedding fairs especially Chosen Wedding Fair! They are awash with creative, quirky and very talented designers and suppliers and it is a fantastic opportunity to kick start your wedding plans.
How have you been personally effected by the recent COVID-19 situation?
I am lucky that I work from my home studio and I use established UK suppliers for the manufacturing of the actual ties so we have been able to adhere to social distancing and ship my customer orders safely.
Of course, it isn’t business as usual and we have been much quieter. For the first month of lockdown like many designers, I used the spare time to cut fabric for NHS scrubs for a collective effort by ‘For the Love of Scrubs’. It gave me a focus when the world was going through the stage of shock and disbelief and I was able to feel like I was helping in a small way. I have now turned my hand to making face masks and currently making masks for our local health centre’s. However, for friends and family, I have been upcycling all the fabulous silks I have acquired over the years and I have even thrown in a few embroidered mask designs!
I think we all appreciate that the next year is going to be a little tricky for everyone’s finances. From now to Chosen Spring 2021 fairs* I am offering 15% off all online ties and bow ties and 10% off all bespoke orders to all Chosen followers who quote ‘Chosen21’ on the discount code and it would be great if they could also follow me on Instagram too!
*Offers expire on 31st March 2021. Don’t forget my ties are not just for weddings, they also make great Birthday and Christmas gifts and come beautifully presented with free delivery.
If you are attending the Chosen London Fair in October, please come and say hello. I will have new designs on show and would love to hear about couples wedding plans and ideas. You can find more about Sarah at the following channels via:
- Website: www.sarahberesford.co.uk
- Instagram: @sarahberesfordties
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sarahberesfordties
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