As part of a new feature on The Bride's Diary Blog, we will be introducing you to individuals who work in the wedding industry... giving you an insight into who they are and why they love weddings!
This week we have been chatting with Melina from Stellina Cute Couture for Children about the inspiration for her business, some of her favourite experiences in business and how she spends her downtime...
• Tell us a little about your business…
My business aims to offer personalised service to brides to assist them with the selection of fashion for their wedding day juniors. The collection brings together an extensive range of the ‘best of the best’ in children’s special occasion wear labels and complementing accessories. From classic styles to detailed designs, we are committed to providing brides-to-be with stylish, modern pieces from current trends while also preserving a sweet note of elegance and innocence in the range.
I hope to offer a fresh approach to children’s special occasion wear online shopping. The online element of the business was developed from a recognition of how difficult it was to find modern, stylish children’s formal wear websites as I found many of them to be outdated. I wanted to create an online platform for the business without compromising the level of personalised service available to brides. I also wanted to have a ‘real life’ element to the e-boutique with the establishment of a showroom which has every online item on display. Complimentary consultations are offered at this boutique showroom in North Balgowlah (15-20 minute drive from the Sydney CBD). Brides who can’t make it to the showroom can still be assured of receiving extra attention with complimentary phone and e-mail consultations offered to ensure selections are 100% perfect.
Brides-to-be can enjoy browsing the e-boutique to view the designs in fine detail with the use of the lifelike zoom-in function. They can also shortlist their favourite designs and save them in their personal ‘dressing room’ for review at a later time.
• What is your role in the business and why are you passionate about it?
I am the business owner - my desire to launch my business was instilled from wonderful childhood experiences of being taken shopping by my mother to her favourite children’s wear boutique and I wanted to re-create those positive experiences through my own business. I am passionate about creating a reassuring online shopping experience for brides by offering personalised service to them to ensure they are 100% impressed with their purchases by assisting with design, sizing or any other queries they may have. I enjoy creating the perfect look across each bride’s entire bridal party by taking a wholistic approach to assist them with the selection of junior attendant outfits to complement their entire wedding style and theme.
• How long have you been working in the industry?
Stellina Cute Couture For Children launched earlier this year, although background research and planning was actually underway after the birth of my first daughter in 2003!
• What are some of your past business experiences?
Having spent the majority of my working life in Publishing, I was constantly exposed to key consumer trends and keenly observed them. I also very much enjoyed being able to keep up to date with the fashion world. During my Publishing career, I worked with many online business partners and gained valuable insight into the workings of their businesses and keys to their success so I can now apply these same principles to my business.
• What is one of your favourite recollections from your business?
I never tire of watching the faces of little ones as they step into my showroom- their look of wonder is as though they have been transported to a fairytale land! I have also had a few brides loving some flower girl dress designs so much they have asked (very seriously) if they come in their wedding dress size!
• Tell us a bit about your family and home life…
My husband, Gerry and I have an 11 year old son, Domenico, 7 year old daughter Elliana and an 18 month old daughter, Alessia. With the vast age differences, you can imagine things are pretty busy in our household. While one’s off to Cricket practice, the other’s off to ballet and the toddler tries to catch a nap in between!
• How do you enjoy spending your spare time?
When I am not searching the pages of bridal publications and fashion blogs for updates on the latest news and trends, I love to spend my time cooking. Coming from a big Italian family I love trying out all my mum’s home-made Italian recipes, much to my children’s delight!
• What is your most memorable life experience?
Undoubtedly the birth of our children, but before then, my wedding day!
• What are your plans for the future?
There will be exciting expansions to my collection with upcoming additions of beautiful new labels from London and New York. I’m also currently working in consultation with business partners to range some exclusive designs which will only be available through the e-boutique.