AN ENTERPRISING young businesswoman from is taking over one of Chester’s best known bridal shops.
Stephanie Wainwright, 27, has swapped her role as assistant operations manager at Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port to run Aristocrats of Chester in the shadow of the cathedral on Godstall Lane.
The former Whitby High pupil from Little Sutton said her experiences helping run the Blue Planet’s shop and its customer services department inspired her to set up in business.
“Eight years at Blue Planet taught me a lot about hard work, organisation, marketing and customer service,” she said.
“I feel ready to put that into action with my own venture. Aristocrats is a well established business with a great reputation and real potential for the future.”
Stephanie said Aristocrats, which celebrated 30 years of trading last year, has built its name on the charm of its buying experience, the quality of its garments and the calibre of its customer relations.
“Buying a wedding dress has to be a special experience,” she said.
“One of the reasons Aristocrats has done so well, and why I was attracted to the business, is the fact it is based in Chester.
“Chester as a pretty and historic city is an ideal location for a bridal shop.
“Aristocrats is well known for its lovely setting next to the cathedral where brides and their family and friends can choose their dresses often with the church bells ringing close by.
“My ethos for Aristocrats is to make the experience from fitting to take away as easy and enjoyable as possible.”
Stephanie said she intends to modernise the shop working closely with six staff, keeping a sharp eye on the latest wedding trends and fashions.
“We are already looking at becoming the exclusive seller in Chester of new ranges like White Rose to complement our existing exclusive brands like Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley and Lou Lou,” she said.
“We will continue to focus on our core product ranges of dresses, accessories, shoes and jewellery for brides, bridesmaids, mother of the bride and also high school prom wear.
“We also want to set our prices at the right level with a range of dresses to suit all budgets.”
Stephanie said she is grateful to her dad Paul, a partner at Chester accountants Mitchell Charlesworth, and his colleagues for providing advice on funding and the structure of the deal to buy the business.
Mr Wainwright said Mitchell Charlesworth specialises in small business finance and will provide accountancy services together with payroll, taxation and general insurance advice to Aristocrats.
Mr Wainwright also provided accountancy advice to Aristocrats when it first opened in 1982.