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13-01-2006
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Wedding Veil Salon - will it work?
Hello everyone. Glad to be a part of this fashion community. Does anyone have any tips about an online wedding veil salon? Nothing is selling and I don't know if it's my prices, my designs, my photos or my webmaster. If someone wants to give their opinion, I'll post the URL to my website. Thanks!

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14-01-2006
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Beata's Avatar
 
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hi faitha and welcome to tfs! whats ur website address? i'd be willing to check it out and see if i can help you out some. also maybe things arent selling so well is because when brides go to buy their dresses and veils i'd think that they usually want to try them on... and that is harder to choose when you can't actually try them on before purchasing... either that or they get special deals on the veil/the veils come with certain dresses at the stores they shop at... hope that helps a little

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14-01-2006
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Hi Beata. Thanks for being willing to share your advice and opinions. My wedding veil website is www.longlivethemarriage.com. I've only just begun, so I know it needs a lot of work! What do you think I should work on first? I agree, most brides need to see the product with their dress (I know I would!). Maybe I should change my shipping policy so they feel better about ordering and returning? Or would I do better to get my stuff in a consignment shop somewhere? Any suggestions you have will be appreciated. Don't hold back -- I need all the help I can get!

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14-01-2006
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I'm no expert on e-tailing .... but I do styling work for some web reatailers at photo shoots for their catalogs. So I've been privy to their planning and the results they get and have seen what has worked for them over a period of several years.

Your pictures don't do the headpieces justice ... the images seem dark and fuzzy and hard to see. Details must by clear, they must sparkle ... so I'd suggest much sharper, larger photos, an extreme closeup view of the details, maybe adding a side view of every one, as well. Taking pictures of these headpieces is about that same as taking pictures of jewelry. It takes a photgrapher who specialzes in it (or at least, is an accomplished product shooter) who knows how to present and light everything properly. Jewelry is the hardest thing to shoot well and most photographers do not know how.

Secondly ... there's nothing to really see when selecting the veils so that needs to be beefed way up, too ... including closeups of the the fabric and perhaps showing each length on a real model ... it has to be professionally done, with a real model or it will look very amateurish. I know that I would not buy anything that I couldn't see every deatail on ... especially something as important as a wedding veil. Most people cannot visualize from written descriptions ... they need to SEE!

Your site just needs a good graphic (web or otherwise) designer to give it more punch, make it look like something more high end. The graphics and type choices on this is not the best ... hard to see, hard to read and nothing interesting to look at ... like a great opening photo of a bride in full regaillia or something. The name of your company, should be boldly placed so I know what site I'm at. Right now the company name looks like regular copy or a blurb for the photo. No product branding here ... just ordinary copy and ordinary photos. You don't need to go to fancy Flash and stuff ... in fact I'm too impatient to go through all that ... but a beautiful opening page with a killer photo would draw viewers in to the catalog. Then everything should stay simple and easy to use ... make sure you have a page about returns, payment, shipping, etc.

The impression the site is giving now is that it just looks like you are working out of you home ... which is OK, but your site must not look like this. Brides want the very best and must have confidence that what they are getting is high quality. How your site looks will set an impression in the mind of the viewer ... it's your advertising and as such, must be the best you can possibly afford.

Lastly, a good web master knows how to drive viewers to your site ... so that might be the problem. There may be thousands of competing sites out there. If people don't know you are there, they won't buy anything. Of course, paying for ads in bridal magazines and well known sites like The Knott would probably drive the most traffic to you. It takes money to produce a great, eye catching ad too ... so if you hire the right photgraphers for your site and the right graphic designer to help you develop your look/brand all that would be incorporated into some ads with a consistent look.

Everything that I've mentioned takes a lot of money ... but it's absolutely necessary to get viewers to your site, to convince them that your product is more attractive and to make them feel that buying from you will be a good experience. It's marketing and adverstising ... and it's expensive. But it is where your money needs to be invested, if you expect to succeed.

Food for thought ... hope it helps some.

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14-01-2006
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Thanks very much BetteT! I appreciate your suggestions more than you know. (My family and friends all want to be encouraging by saying the site looks great as is, so I knew I had to go elsewhere for real help.) Your ideas are very encouraing to me because I know they're all do-able. I'm anxious to get started on them as well as add more one of a kind designs.

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14-01-2006
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Luna's Avatar
 
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Eh.. overall I think the website looks fairly boring.

I think to better display your merchandise, you might show the veils ON SOMEONE instead of just sitting there.

that's just my .02

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Last edited by Luna; 14-01-2006 at 09:28 PM.
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14-01-2006
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Take a look at this web site
Maybe it's going to help you
http://bridalstylesboutique.com/main/gallery.php

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14-01-2006
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I hope it's not against the rools!!!

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14-01-2006
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Thanks, Luna, for your opinion. Yeah, I want to get the headpieces and veils on actual women but that opens up lots of questions then like who will model for me, what should they wear, what should the background be, props, photographer, etc. I agree it will make it look more professional and inspiring, but I wasn't in a place where I could handle all of that and still go online when I wanted. I have to figure out all of the above before I can get the website to look good. Any suggestions? I appreciate any and all help!

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14-01-2006
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Am I crazy for thinking an online wedding veil shop will work? Should I be peddling my stuff at consignment shops, too? I don't have the money to get a booth at any of the bridal expos right now. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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15-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faitha
Thanks, Luna, for your opinion. Yeah, I want to get the headpieces and veils on actual women but that opens up lots of questions then like who will model for me, what should they wear, what should the background be, props, photographer, etc. I agree it will make it look more professional and inspiring, but I wasn't in a place where I could handle all of that and still go online when I wanted. I have to figure out all of the above before I can get the website to look good. Any suggestions? I appreciate any and all help!
Find ood photogapher who specialiced on bridal stuff
You can get one model with just long hair , so with good hair dresser you can get a lot a nice pic

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15-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faitha
Am I crazy for thinking an online wedding veil shop will work? Should I be peddling my stuff at consignment shops, too? I don't have the money to get a booth at any of the bridal expos right now. Does anyone have any other ideas?
I agree that the photos need more contrast. Also, I'm not a big fan of "Things" lurking in the background (in this case the flowers). They're cluttering up the images and confusing the detail. Although the shot at the top of the page with the calla lillies is pretty, I'd leave out the flowers in the product identification photos. (Some "still-life with veil" shots like that might be nice to add variety to the main page) I'd really prefer that the front page be just some lovely photos of your veils (on models, in still-life-type shots, whatever) with text about the philosophy and quality of the business; then have the actual order info on the next page.
Also, in my opinion, there's not enough contrast between the white text and the main background. It makes it hard to read, and I had to try really hard to make myself bother.

As far as photos, I'd contact photographers first--see if they have any models they use for bridal/fashion projects.
Also, see if the photographer you use has any publication connections--can you get the photographer to feature your veils in any publicity photos (like for their studio, if they also shoot weddings) or if they do bridal fashion spreads.
Are there any local (especially small-budget) publications that do special bridal issues in your area? Talk to them, see if they'll use your stuff, or do an article on your business (Even the paper in the tiny town I'm from does a bridal supplement yearly. And if you're local to them, you'll have that interest, and a reason for them to do an article). Then link/scan in the article and have it available in the publicity section of your page. This will provide "objective" evidence that you're not a "Becky Home-Ecky" hobbyist; you're a legitimate business that the press has taken the time to write articles about.

Also, think about creative ways to get publicity--call the historical society, see if they have any plans for a fashion show of antique gowns for a fundraiser (I know of one historical society that has done this and it was quite popular. If they aren't having one, suggest that they consider it.) See if they have veils to go with all the gowns (Especially if you do antique-style or historical reproductions) Loan them some to go with the gowns. If nothing else, you could get some cool pictures for your site.

Sorry, that's all I can think of. Good luck.

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15-01-2006
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Fabulous ideas, sinople! Thanks a million. I'm so excited to get started on all of these suggestions. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Question: do the shadows in the current tiara pictures on the site add interest or do they make the pictures look even more amateur? Also, how do I get good, sharp pictures to load quickly on a web page? Thanks!

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16-01-2006
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I think that the shadows are distracting. The shadows are clearer than the actual tiara in the pics. I can't make out very much detail on the tiara and I think the flower and setting looks amateurish.

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16-01-2006
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Thanks Snickerdoodles. I've heard both good and bad things about the shadows. I do see what you mean about there being more details in the shadows, though. I'm not selling shadows, I'm selling headpieces so I better work on new photos!

Good news, Sinople.....turns out my own hometown historical society is having a traveling exhibit on bridal clothes starting next month! I offered my grandmother's wedding dress, veil and portrait from 1936 for display as well as my current stuff. I also offered to make a veil for a period dress if they needed one. Thanks again for that suggestion! Not sure what will come of it but it was a great idea, nonetheless. I'm going to keep looking for other exhibits in my area. If I get in one, I'm gonig to write that article, per your suggestion.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Keep them coming.

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