Providing high quality business support and advice

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Providing high quality business support and advice across York and North Yorkshire



Dreams Come True

We are pleased to hear that business is growing year on year for clients Rachel Davis and Samantha Rowley of Once Upon a Dress. The seamstress team are specialists in bridal gown fitting, occasional and prom wear alterations, garment remodelling and bespoke made-to-measure dressmaking. Their bespoke wedding dress business has grown year on year, they have taken on staff and they will soon be expanding their premises to include a room devoted to working on bespoke gowns. 


The bride's experience is paramount at Once Upon a Dress. They offer to discuss requirements in detail through an initial consultation over the phone, by email or, uniquely, via Skype prior to an appointment being made. When clients visit the premises the atmosphere that Rachel and Samantha create is relaxed and enthusiastic. The pair are perfectionists who take pride in their work, Rachel explains, "we don't let a dress go out of our door until we are sure the bride is completely happy". Samantha adds, "it doesn't matter whether a bride has bought a designer gown that they have asked us to fit or whether they need a second-hand gown remodelling, it's about them enjoying the experience of preparing for their special day, we spoil our brides".

“Our work is of the highest standard. We take pride in the knowledge that brides who come to us are confident that we have the necessary experience and skill.”

Rachel Davis and Samantha Rowley

After undertaking degrees in Fashion Design and gaining over 17 years’ experience combined, most recently working as in-house seamstresses employed by a bridal shop in York, Rachel Davis and Samantha Rowley say they "were ready for a new challenge”. This prompted them to seek fulfilment by establishing their own business. They explain the real benefit of self-employment for them: “We are a business in our own right and doing jobs that we love without the constraints of being employees.”

"We come to work every day doing what we love. It is everything we trained to do and dreamt of doing."

Rachel Davis

Rachel and Samantha explain that they didn't know where to start to set up their own business before they were referred to Business Support York and North Yorkshire. It was "a complete minefield". Samantha says "We were looking for guidance through the whole process and that's exactly what Mike Everitt gave us. His advice went beyond our expectations. We would have gone ahead on our own but the business wouldn't have been what it is today without him. It was Mike's advice and all the work we put in prior to the launch of our business assured us that the idea was viable.” Rachel and Samantha point out that they received early advice on their business plan, Terms & Conditions and other legal documents and gaining customers as well as support in growing their confidence and understanding the importance of the financials. Rachel added "It's advice that's always there, having someone on the end of the phone that would know the answer and could help with anything - apart from sewing that is! He went into such great depth about what we needed to cover, things that we would never have thought of.

 “The attention to detail and high quality workmanship by the owners has already paid dividends with individual and trade client orders. I am pleased to have supported the business through its early development and growth.”

Mike Everitt, Business Specialist

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Team Once Upon A Dress