Indecisive brides: listen up! Heba Adat, founder of The Bridal Room, is one woman you’re going to want on your side come dress shopping day. Her eye for flawless and flattering gowns is practically unmatched, and she’s helped more than a few blushing brides find their way to “the dress.”
Oh, and small business owners? We’ve got a little something for you in today’s interview, too. Read on to learn how (and why!) this minority businesswoman is making a name for herself in the bridal industry.
First of all, tell us how and why you decided to launch your business! What were you doing before opening the store?
When I was a little girl. I spent long hours watching two of my aunties sketching and designing bridal gowns out of their own home, and I just fell in love with bridal gowns. I dreamed of owning a bridal boutique that offered an intimate experience and beautiful gowns.
Two and a half years ago, I decided to start chasing that dream, and The Bridal Room was born. I began by working on my business plan, then I started looking for a retail space with a convenient location for brides. Once the space was secured, I started the search for unique designers who offered an exquisite selection of bridal gowns and accessories to fit every bride’s style and budget.
While working on my business, I also worked as a sales manager at Hyatt. I started my career right after college in airline customer service. Then, I was quickly promoted to customer service manager.
Why bridal? What is it about this industry that fuels your passion?
I love everything about weddings, especially bridal gowns. Being a part of a bride’s wedding journey is what fuels my passion.
What are a few of the major challenges you face running a small business? How do you conquer those challenges?
Running a small business is extremely challenging, especially while trying to keep a handle on work/life balance. Overall, the struggle of learning how a small business is run and not having enough time in the day to do all the things that need to be done is hard. Yet, so far, with the support of family and friends, I have been able to overcome all of these challenges.
Give us a rundown of your day-to-day duties.
I help brides find their dream gowns, place gown orders, follow up with brides and take appointments.
What are some of the barriers you’ve come up against as a minority female business owner? How have these moments defined your career as a business owner?
As a minority female business owner, I have faced situations where I wasn’t taken seriously because I am a women. These moments made me stronger and they even made me work harder to follow my dreams.
Can you tell us your favorite client story?
My favorite story is the first bride who came into our boutique on the first day we opened. It was her first time trying on gowns and she was my very first bride. Incredibly, she said ‘yes’ to the very first dress she tried on! We both were emotional and we started crying and hugging each other. Then she gave me a big hug and said, “Your boutique is beautiful and you will do amazing.”
What’s one customer experience that you’ll never forget?
When one of my brides came to the appointment with her grandmother who was dying. That day, she got to see her granddaughter say ‘yes’ to the dress. A few weeks later, I found out that the grandmother had passed away. We were very sad to hear the news, but we knew that she had been happy to be a part of that experience.
What are a few of the bridal fashion trends you love? Which do you hate?
I love, love, love bridal chokers and dresses with detachable trains. I also think that bridal jumpsuits are amazing because you can wear them after the wedding. I really hate ball gowns!
How do you manage to stay organized? What apps and systems do you rely on to keep things running smoothly?
I use a daily to-do list, journal and calendar. I use BridalLive to stay on top of our bridal appointments. I can access it from anywhere.
What’s one beauty product or fashion necessity that every bride needs to have within easy reach on her wedding day?
I think every bride needs to have an emergency kit that includes a small sewing kit, lipstick, wipes and hair pins.
If you could go back to before you took the leap into business ownership and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
Don’t rush yourself and never give up.
What drives you?
I have so many things that drive me. First, my family, seeing a bride’s face when she says ‘yes’ to the dress and seeing happy tears on the mother of the bride’s face.