INTERVIEW: Get to know the wedding Pro | Katerina at the Vanila Boutique, Dubai
Get To Know The Wedding Pro
Each week, we shine the spot light on Bride Club ME vendor club members, allowing you, our reader, to get up close and personal with some of the best wedding vendors in town. Here, you can learn more about the people behind some of the businesses you may be using to make your wedding day perfect!
This week we have the privilege of showcasing Katerina, General Manager of the recently opened Vanila Wedding Boutique. Below, Katerina provides us with an exclusive insight into the company and Vanila’s exclusive range of wedding gowns, as well as sharing with us what she loves the most about her job.
When was Vanila established, and what do you do?
Dear BMCE readers! We are really happy to be onboard with Bride Club ME and to be a part of this beautiful and rapidly growing wedding community.
Vanila is a newly established boutique in the UAE, but we have actually been in business since 2008 with our sister boutique in Russia. We are now bringing all of our experience and new brands and styles to the region, and are extremely excited to be serving the brides of the Middle East and satisfying their needs.
What do you love most about your job?
You know, it is an amazing business, albeit a very delicate one. It is great when your work and everyday effort makes somebody so happy. Mothers of the brides cry tears of happiness when they see their daughters in the wedding dress, because they have found it… The Dress! A wedding is such a big occasion in everyone’s life, yet at the same time it is such an intimate thing, and we are glad to be a part of our bride’s event of a lifetime. You cannot get tired of this.
What makes Vanila unique, and why might a bride-to-be choose to purchase her dress from you?
Having studied the Middle Eastern market, we know for sure that we are bringing a lot of new styles and providing brides-to-be in the UAE with even more variety. Apart from the brands that are already represented in the GCC, we are the first boutique to bring three world renowned designers to the Middle East; the luxurious Spanish brand Jesus Peiro, the amazing and stylish Dutch designer Helen Miller, and the regal Ronald Joyce from the UK. We represent two of these brands exclusively within the region.
The authentic look of our boutique and the concept behind it is also worth mentioning. We have more than a hundred models on display. This gives brides an opportunity to see and feel the dress, not just browsing through catalogues or viewing them on a tablet. Even the lights in the boutique have some science behind them, giving 95% of the true colour of the fabric. Then of course, there is always a stylist available to help brides out.
We listen to what our brides want, and we have great experience in bridal fashion, trends and styling, because in the end it is not only about the dress, it is about the whole bridal look and the whole experience that you get with it. It is very important to follow your heart. It is not just about the brands or the collection, about the body type or size…one has to fall in love with the dress, and have the “it’s mine!” moment which leaves no space for doubt. We believe that there is this magic that can happen.
And by the way, we also spoil our clients with the finest vanilla cappuccino in town!
Tell us all about your stunning collection of bridal gowns. Which designers do you stock and what style of dresses do you offer?
We have six dress designer brands at the moment. These are Spain’s San Patrick, the US’s Allure Bridals, the UK’s Ronald Joyce, Turkey’s Ozlem Suer and two represented exclusively in the MEA region – Jesus Peiro and Helen Miller. These are all great brands that we have worked with for quite a few years now and each of the brands presents its own vivid bridal trend, whether it is boho chic (Ozlem Suer), classic lace (San Patrick), great work with beaded corsets and beading in general (Allure Bridals and Ronald Joyce), stylish-chic (Jesus Peiro) or amazing work with delicate fabrics (Helen Miller).
Accessories are an integral part of the big day. What sort of accessories does Vanila offer?
Yes, you’re right, accessories can play a more prominent role in the look than the dress itself. We stock almost all bridal accessories, and have a huge variety of veils, boleros, petticoats for different models (which might seem like no big deal, but is actually a very important supporting accessory!), shoes, tiaras, jewelry sets, garters, hair-combs and brooches, bridal gloves and mittens, embroidered sashes and ring-pillows.
I would say that the most important out of all of these are veils and petticoats. The veil gives a complete bridal look and is a must-have at any wedding. I know brides who don’t want veils at all, but we also propose veils that look more like headbands with loose ribbons, such as the vintage creations from Jesus Peiro. You cannot go wrong with this.
The petticoat is a bride’s main ‘bridesmaid’; it will not only hold the form of the dress the way the bride wants it to be, but it will also help her to walk easily during the big day. To look fabulous one needs this tiny secret support.
Vanila also have a range of bridal shoes. Please tell us all about these!
Yes, we do have a range of shoes. The company who produce them initially focused on the production of dancing shoes, and as a result the instep is extremely comfortable. The wedding doesn’t last for an hour, so the bride has to be sure that she can rely on the heel and comfort of the shoes. We have a great article about our shoes on our website.I wore these shoes for my wedding a few years ago and then wore them many times for other weddings, anniversaries and parties, and they are still extremely comfortable!
We hear that Vanila’s sister boutique, in Moscow, has won lots of awards! Congratulations…
Yes, thank you. We are so proud that brides chose Vanila Wedding Boutique as the best Bridal Boutique in 2013 and that we got into the top three in 2014, as well as receiving the Best Accessories Offer award. Now our success is officially proven and supported by our dearest clients – our brides – and we are extremely pleased about that.
What budgets do Vanila cater for?
We cater for all budgets and all types of weddings; from light bridal gowns and short cocktail dresses suitable for the beach, to modern European-style models and heavily embroidered couture and hand-made lines.
Finally, why did you decide to list with BCME?
We know that BCME is doing a very good job in supporting brides to-be in the Middle East. It is always a pleasure to be a part of a rapidly developing and modern team of wedding media professionals. We are happy to work with you guys.