I met the wonderful Stephanie (@bythewaycreative) back in September through the Hampshire Wedding Club and was instantly drawn to her engaging, kind personality - we immediately clicked. Stephanie is an incredible wordsmith after lots of chatting and some wedding dress fun, she decided to do an interview with me for Winchesther Magazine for her GIRL BOSS blog.
As I'm not especially good at talking about myself, I hope this gives you a little insight into what I and Sophie Rose Bridal are all about. Fundamentally, this is all about women - celebrating them and helping them to see their beauty on the inside, equally much as the outside. Over to Stephanie to tell you more...
'Let me tell you about Sophie. Introduced to me by my good friend Tash (The Hampshire Wedding Club) as “someone you have to meet”…
Sophie Rose is a Hampshire born and bred wedding dress designer. She worked alongside Libelula for several years, before branching out on her own in 2018.
I went to visit Sophie in her rural studio to talk all about her new collection – as well as trying on a few for my own upcoming wedding. The first thing that struck me about the lovely Sophie was how smiley and fresh she is. Her warm nature makes for a totally relaxed and genuine experience. You can tell that she cares deeply about her art – but also about you and how you feel. Her rustic countryside roots ooze authenticity and character into every seam.
If you’re looking to be inspired by a creative maverick, dream BFF and Hampshire home-girl, look no further!
How did you find bridal design and fall in love with it?
For me, it felt like it was always meant to happen. I love weddings and I’m quite a sentimental person, the whole idea of it drew me in. When I was doing textiles at school my teacher actually told me I wasn’t allowed to use any more ivory fabric! It’s just what I was drawn to.
When I went to university I didn’t really have a plan of what I wanted to focus on. I ended up not really enjoying my fashion course and I deferred, ending up doing a mixture of things that were quite unintentionally bridal focused. A friend asked me to make her wedding dress, I worked at Brides magazine and I found a job with a bespoke dressmaker.
I sort of fell into it by accident – but an accident I loved!
Having my own business also really appealed, I just needed to figure out what it would it be!
What made you take the leap and launch your first collection?
I was working part-time with a fashion designer, part-time as a freelance dressmaker and I just felt like I was seeing the same wedding dresses all the time – nothing that I’d want to wear, nothing that I could see my friends wearing, nothing that felt like a woman could feel like herself.
In the wedding industry, there’s an assumption that you have to do certain things, follow certain rules and feel a certain way. This is a great time because we’re heading away from that – you don’t have to wear the strapless, embellished, big dress if you don’t want to.
I wanted to create dresses that made women feel great. I can’t pretend that a big part of it wasn’t the fact that I wanted to run my own business – turns out I don’t really like answering to other people!
Who is a Sophie Rose Bride?
She’s independent, relaxed and passionate. She knows what she wants and she’s ok with that. I see my friends in my brides – warm, kind-hearted and driven. Outdoorsy girls who love nothing more than a strong cup of tea, some wellies and a long dog walk. They embrace and love their quirks, they’re not materialistic but they value art, beauty and sentimentality.
A Sophie Rose bride is creative and kind – she’s the kind of girl you really want to get to know.
What inspires you?
Living in the countryside is definitely the main one. It’s hard to explain how that translates – but it’s surrounding the authenticity, the lack of fussiness and frills. My designs look right in a natural environment and so do the women I design them for.
I designed the dresses for women like me. Women who feel relaxed and inspired in the countryside, by the water. I imagine the types of weddings these women might have; in their parents garden, in a field, on the beach or in a barn. It’s so obvious when you see a dress that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the wedding – purely because that’s what they’ve been told they should wear.'
Thank so much to Stephanie and to Emma at Winchesther Magazine for including me in their Girl Boss blog, I am so honoured and so grateful. Head to the website to read more and find out if Stephanie chose a Sophie Rose dress later next year... Thank you so much for reading.