Online Platform Saves Brides Money July 21, 2017 RICCentre By Rawan Disouky, Communications Intern at RIC Centre Weddings are a time to celebrate unity, love, and commitment. They are a time to create beautiful memories with friends and family and a time to remember forever. However, what happens prior is not always bliss. There is the stress, the arguments, the drama, the color matching, and the eyerolls. As a bridesmaid, your job is to be excited, helpful, and available for the bride-to-be. One way to do so, is to smile and nod during the daunting task of seeing what you will wear. It is the bride’s day, the bride’s vision, and the bride’s say. However, what do you do with the dress after the wedding? Assuming you like it (5% of the time), you’ll wear it again, but the remaining 95% of the time, it collects dust in your closet. This may not be an issue for some, however spending between $75 and $400 plus $30-$40 for alterations for a dress that you don’t even like takes away from the joyous event (Pous, 2015). Mallory McKewen, founder and CEO of BridesMade explains that “hearing friends complain instead of being excited and honored, I immediately realized there was a problem that needed to be addressed.” BridesMade is a site where brides and bridesmaids can search and choose to rent dresses for the big day! The dresses are all size-adjustable and thus can easily fit different body types without the need for alterations. Mallory explains that BridesMade “offers dresses that look better, fit better, and most importantly, are priced better. The dresses arrive 2 weeks before the wedding and come with a prepaid label to be returned after. We also offer overnight shipment in cases of emergency and provide sample size boxes if the bride wants to physically see the dress prior to making an order.” Being an online platform, BridesMade can be accessed anywhere across Canada. However, solving a massive need in the market means that the company has room to expand globally. Also, such unique dresses can be rented for other occasions such as prom, winter formals, engagements, and birthdays. Its rapid growth and success will allow it to bring in positive cashflows, continue production, expand geographically, and introduce new products to market. Mallory beautifully describes “Although there is not enough time in the day to accomplish more, by receiving positive testimonials and referrals, we feel like we are making a difference. We know we are not necessarily saving the world, but we are still making lives easier (while cutting down on wedding-associated waste) and that alone makes me excited to go to work every day.” Prior to inventing this masterpiece, Mallory worked in corporate finance with her MBA and didn’t have a particular interest in the fashion or retail industry. She fell in love with the problem her business was alleviating and stayed true to solving it. This allowed her to join us at RIC Centre where she received further help to succeed. Mallory reveals that “RIC Centre was a huge asset to BridesMade, for example, the Unlock Your Big Idea Pitch Competition, where we won second place, was extremely rewarding and eye-opening. The opportunity to access early capital, be matched with an advisor such as Paul Barter who was phenomenally helpful, learning about sharing economy, strategic advisory, and networking all guided us in the right direction. We had the opportunity to give free pitches to practice, receive feedback, and gain confidence which helped us meet a lot of important people who now play a role in the company.” Mallory advises to not be discouraged if you lack the experience, stay true to yourself and strive to learn as much as possible along the way. You will succeed as long as you persevere and love what you do. *** The RIC Centre wishes BridesMade all the best in their future endeavors! You can stay updated with all BridesMade’s latest news on their Website and Twitter. Looking for expert advice for your startup business? Take the first step with us. Sign up for our Startup Boot Camp on July 12th to learn foundational legal, IP and financial basics for your business. Don’t forget to become a RIC Centre client today and gain access to all our resources and professionals!