Meet the Owner: Q&A with Manal Shteiwi
First question, back to the basics! What did you want to be when you grew up?
M: Honestly, I can’t remember that far back! I know that I have always wanted to be a business owner. I actually had a friend message me and tell me a story recently about how when we were younger we were on the school bus and we passed a boutique and I told him that I wanted to own a boutique one day. So I guess maybe always a boutique owner, I just didn’t know specifically what kind until later in life.
How long have you owned BoChic Bridal Boutique?
M: We will hit 5 years in business in November! Around this time five years ago I was already getting everything in order to do so. I then began remodeling and designing the boutique in September of 2017 and we opened our doors in November of that same year!
What were you doing prior to opening a bridal shop?
M: Right out of highschool I went to college for business and fashion marketing and management. While I was in school full time, I began working full time for a major fashion retailer and quickly worked my way up to eventually store manager before I left. I worked for the company for six years before deciding I wanted to pursue my dream of opening a boutique. I learned about the world of bridal, fell in love, and the rest is history.
What’s the best part of working in bridal specifically?
M: I’d have to break that up into two different parts, honestly, and even that is hard! Firstly, in terms of behind the scenes, my favorite part is going to the National Bridal Market and meeting with our designers. I love selecting gowns based on feedback from our brides, the latest trends and unique gowns that you won’t find at your average bridal shop! Secondly, to help a bride find a wedding dress for one of the single most special days of a person’s life, means so much! We get to work one on one with brides to prepare them for a new journey in life!
What’s the hardest part of working in bridal?
M: I will say the hardest part about bridal is that once I help a bride find her dream dress, she orders it and picks it up months later - that’s typically the last time you may see them. I’ve been able to see some of my brides again when they come in with family and friends that they refer to shop with us! The bridal industry isn’t necessarily a repeat client industry but I’m very thankful that social media keeps us connected!
What is your favorite wedding look or bridal theme?
M: Hmmm, I will say I LOVE a classic look with a mix of bohemian details!
Is it better to follow trends or stick to what you know?
M: If I can specify “sticking to what I know” as in the basics YES, absolutely. But I think it’s important to always keep an open mind and allow yourself to grow. Growth is constant and things are always changing. I wouldn't necessarily say to follow all trends but it is important to keep up with them. If you follow a trend, I think it’s important to make sure that it aligns with you and your business.
What is a piece of advice that you would give a bride prior to shopping with you?
M: I would encourage all brides to keep an open mind prior to their dress appointment! Most brides fall in love with something completely different than they imagined!
What is one thing you hope people feel when they shop with you?
M: I hope that every bride has an unforgettable wedding dress shopping experience! Also, I know that wedding planning can be very stressful and picking the perfect dress can make you nervous. We’ve created a smaller, more intimate space for brides to shop for a reason! So I hope that brides feel a sense of calmness and relief once walking in working one on one with our bridal stylists!
Do you see yourself in the bridal world indefinitely?
M: I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else! I love what I do despite the challenges that may come my way!