Wed & Prosper has stood as a prominent figure in the Isle of Wight wedding scene for over five years. Yet, their collective experience stretches far beyond, encompassing over 30 years of combined work within the events industry worldwide. The business has also grown over that time, and now Carrie from Wed & Prosper with her business partner Tash Elliott are excited to announce that with the help of an Isle of Wight Lottery loan, they are opening a dedicated bridal shop, 1840 by Wed & Prosper, to complement it.
“The lottery money will help this new business to get up and running,” explains Carrie Almond. “We have invested into it heavily ourselves; Tash Elliott and I are the directors and we have employed a shop manager as well as a PA to the directors to provide admin support so there are four of us benefitting already from the loan. There is already a waiting list of brides ready to try dresses on and Tash has done all of the interior design in the shop which opens on 18th September at Osborne Stables in East Cowes. We have six designers that we’ll be working with, five of which are UK designers, and one is Australian; these are designers who have never been in any Island bridal shops before, so they are all new to the Isle of Wight. On top of this, we will be stocking the Isle of Wight-based brand Mint & Wight, offering an exclusive range of Wight Bride sweatshirts.”
As well as the current employees, there will also be two freelance seamstresses onboard, not just to make dress adjustments, but to provide a service called ‘Reimagine’. “So many brides wear their dresses once and put them away in the loft, so with this service, you can bring your dress back to us, and we can style it into something different. The dress can be cut up, redesigned, and reused which underpins our commitment to sustainability.”
The name 1840 comes after having researched the history of the wedding dress and discovering that Queen Victoria got married in that year and started the revolution of the white wedding dress. This seemed fitting given the location of the new shop on the Osborne estate and the Queen’s Isle of Wight links.
“This money has enabled us to start this business, without it we couldn’t have done it. We’ve had lots of support from our couples, our Facebook and Instagram are live, as is our website. I’ve run Wed & Prosper for five years and this idea developed from that. Couples were telling us that they wanted a greater choice of dresses that just weren’t on the Island and so one of my many 3 a.m. thoughts came to life. Tash had been working freelance for me as my business consultant and we went on a little trip to London to research what bridal looks like. Within an hour of meeting the designers, they were messaging us wanting to be on the Isle of Wight. It was after this that Tash decided to invest in the business and come on board as an equal partner.”
2023 has been a great year for Wed & Prosper, not just with the setting up of this new business, but also winning the Micro Business of the Year award at the recent Chamber Awards. “That was quite a shock as there were some amazing businesses in what is a difficult category, and yes, we cried when we won it. We’ve been a member of the Chamber for many years, and in fact, I used to work for the Chamber so am very familiar with the lottery, and my dad has won on it a few times! The whole loan process was easy and quick from when we sent the original application in, and the communication was very clear. We’re very passionate about our business and are looking forward to seeing where this next step takes us.”