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It's a family affair as Maria joins business

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

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BRIDAL shop owner Josephine Kuzniarski is welcoming her daughter to the business as they expand the boutique.

Bridal Couture by Josephine, in Cheadle, now boasts an additional floor offering private lounges, extra dressing areas and a range of exclusive gowns.

Josephine's daughter Maria Preston is now joining the team, enabling the shop to extend its opening hours.

Josephine, of Newcastle, launched the business in 2010 after many years of working in health and social care.

She said: "I was inspired by Maria's wedding really. When we were looking for her dress, I just felt running a boutique was something I could do.

"I love it when you see a bride who has found 'her dress'. It's very rewarding and nice to be able to be part of their day.

"We do everything we can to make the girls who come here feel like they are in a fairy tale – it's about the whole experience, from offering them a glass of sparkling wine to giving them their own private space to view and try on the dresses."

An open day to celebrate the shop's expansion was held at the weekend after Josephine invested in the premises at Cross Street.

It marked the start of a new chapter for the boutique after 2013 was topped off with a short listing in The Wedding Industry Awards.

Its range of designers now includes Ian Stuart and Pronovias, while the shop's hours are being extended so it is open Monday to Saturday, with two late nights.

Maria, of Blurton, said: "When mum started this business I used to help out in my spare time. I've just had a baby and my maternity leave was coming to an end, and mum was feeling she had gone as far as she could on her own, so now seemed the right time to join her.

"We make a good team. Mum outgrew the shop after her first year really, so opening up the first floor is just helping the business go from strength to strength. The work carried out has been extensive, but it's an investment that we think will pay off."

Maria said one of the advantages of expanding the shop, which also employs two Saturday staff, was increasing the number of ranges in store.

She said: "We have recently taken on Ian Stuart which is very prestigious.

"He has won a number of design awards and we are the only boutique to feature his range in about a 25-mile radius, so it is exclusive.

"People have been asking us whether we will start to run mother-of-the-bride ranges as well as the bridal and bridesmaid dresses. Maybe that's something we will think about in the future."

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