From Reality Show Viewer to Living Her Dream Reality
When Marina moved to the U.S. from Ukraine, she wasn’t expecting to make her mark as the owner of an exclusive bridal business. But after long days in the tech field, Marina made time to unwind in front of the TV, watching hours of popular reality shows about finding the perfect bridal gown.
Later, Marina accompanied a friend on her own quest to find the right dress. She found the experience stressful, uncomfortable, and impersonal. Besides that, she wasn’t a fan of the limited selection of designers and styles.
Marina’s dream was starting to evolve into reality — an even brighter and more fulfilling one than she saw reflected on her TV screen. “We meet brides in a very special moment of their lives,” she says, “when they are ready to commit and when they are in love. So I feel like this experience should be special as well.”
Making the Bridal Journey a Breeze
Marina’s goal was clear — she wanted to simplify and personalize the process brides take when making one of the most important decisions around their wedding day. Originally, she planned a modern take on dress shopping, with the entire journey taking place online. She quickly realized though that even the most modern bride wanted something more — they wanted an experience.
And so, with just 10 dresses and a tiny space rented by the day, Bridal Breeze was born. Soon, Marina knew she had something that customers wanted, and she began to look for a permanent location.
“Bridal fashion was always my passion,” Marina says. And her customers could feel the difference. Marina’s gowns were designed by European dress-makers, first in her home country of Ukraine, then expanding throughout the EU. Marina made sure she established a personal relationship with her designers, just as she did with her customers, to ensure the perfect match between gown and bride.
Due to her careful curation, Marina was able to offer brides a completely customizable experience with gowns they weren’t likely to see anywhere else.
Bridal Breeze Gets a Glow-Up
Marina knew she had a great product and a fantastic and desirable service, but she needed the right location. However, just days after she signed the lease, COVID-19 hit the U.S., and it seemed her plans were derailed.
But instead of giving up, Marina used the time to prepare. She found second-hand decor, painted the space herself, and put a lot of elbow grease into getting it ready for its eventual opening. Fortunately, as Marina shares, even a pandemic can’t stop true love.
And as those customers showed up, Marina showed up for them. She grew her inventory of dresses from 10 to 80 and continued to provide an incomparable experience.
With every success, Marina reinvested in her business, which resulted in more organic growth. It took longer, but because she was building on what previously worked, she found it presented less risk. Eventually, she was able to quit her 9-to-5 and invest herself fully in Bridal Breeze.
Marina’s Top Business Tips
So how did Marina know it was time to “put a ring on it” and make her passion her full-time business? “I feel you will feel very uncomfortable if you quit your job, invest all your money in this new business, and you don't even know whether it will take off,” she says. “So, at the beginning, I felt really comfortable that I was supported by my full-time job. But once I started to get some results, I understood that it's time to move 100% into my business.”
The timeline, Marina says, will be different for everyone, but she offers these tips to business owners just getting started:
Don’t invest until you know the product works.
While Marina says doing your research is important, she cautions business owners not to overthink it. At the same time, she says it’s important to test your product early and often and not to invest more until you’re sure it’s viable.
Be flexible with marketing channels.
You might think you know what will work to get the word out about your business, but being too rigid will only end in failure. Test, experiment, and adapt until you find what works for you.
Don’t be afraid to take a day off.
As the sole founder of Bridal Breeze, Marina wanted all her time to go into making it a success. Now she understands the importance of rest and recovery so she’s able to do her best work. She also now knows how critical it is to delegate responsibilities to those she trusts.
What’s Next for Marina and Bridal Breeze?
Marina is ready for the next stage of her journey, and she’s confident that Bridal Breeze is going to be an even bigger success. Now that the honeymoon phase is over, here’s how she’s expecting it to go:
Why Marina Chose Incfile
Marina says starting a business in the U.S. was an intimidating prospect, and she had originally planned on going to consult with an attorney. She was anticipating an expensive and difficult process. But then a friend told her about Incfile, and, as Marina says, that changed everything.
“Being from a different country,” she says, “I didn't know how I could start my business here, in terms of how to make all the documents and how to register your business. A friend of mine, he said, ‘It’s so easy. You don’t need to hire anyone. You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars. You can do it yourself.’”
And so, Marina said “I do” to Incfile.
It was a match made in heaven for Marina — and for Incfile, too.
Marina’s Top 3 Business Tools
And Marina says you can take it from her — these tools have been lifesavers:
Marina’s journey has taken her from the competitive world of Silicon Valley to the glitz and glamor of bridal fashion. Now she’s not watching on the small screen — she’s living her dreams and saying “YES” to success!