Sandra Nicole occupies a special niche in the wedding industry. Not only do they offer styling services for brides and members of their wedding party, they craft and design one-of-a-kind wedding accessories. Their products and services are truly unique. Weddings of Distinction is honored to have Sandra Nicole part of our group. Our next new-member interview shares their story. I spoke with Sandra and learned how this mother (Sandra) | daughter (Nicole) duo found their place in the industry.
> Tell us about your business background? How did Sandra Nicole come into existence?
I am a very creative person. I have always painted, designed, and crafted. Yet, it was actually my daughter’s idea to start Sandra Nicole. Nicole is a graduate from UC Davis (Managerial + Economics degree), but when she graduated, she, like many, couldn’t find a career in her field.
What’s interesting, as a little girl Nicole had always said she wanted to be in the wedding industry, so when she left school, she got a job in a prestigious bridal boutique in Beverly Hills. That job revived her childhood interest. Also, around the same time, my sister, her aunt, got engaged, and Nicole began helping her plan. When her aunt purchased a headpiece, Nicole got the idea that we, too, could make and design bridal headpieces. Just like that; the seed was planted.
That was just about 2 years ago. We started making bridal headpieces on my kitchen table. We started small, and the rest is history.
> What services or products do you now offer?
Sandra Nicole satisfies a special niche in the wedding industry: accessories and styling. Our focus is helping brides complete their look, as well as the look of those in the bridal party (if they so desire). We want to make everyone (brides, bridesmaids, etc.) completely shine, and the accessories and styling we offer compliment, rather than detract from, the total look.
Many of our pieces are custom-made; we sew everything ourselves. We also offer brides pieces from other vendors. Whatever the bride chooses, we can then add and/or take away detail to turn the piece into their liking. Whether it is a headpiece, a sash, or a veil, Sandra Nicole can help brides with any detail(s). We ask for at least 30 days to make our custom pieces, but we can rush, if need be!
> What is your business “mantra” or philosophy?
Nicole and I realize that everybody’s budget is different, and for those brides whose budget is limited, we offer the same quality and service. Our approach is to make all brides feel beautiful, regardless of budget. Each bride deserves to have that exquisite look she wishes for; it’s her red-carpet day!
We believe that we have been given a gift when it comes to styling and accessorizing, so we operate our business by sharing our knowledge with our brides and their families. If they’re willing, we encourage brides to try new and different looks. We’re always sensitive to what they want, and no matter what, the focus is always the client and the look she’s trying to achieve.
> How do brides meet with you?
Depending on what is easiest for the bride, we can come to them, or they can come to us. We do business all over southern California, so we are very flexible. All of our materials and samples travel easily, so all we need is for the bride to have her dress handy. No matter where the meetings take place, they’re like an accessories party where the bride gets to play “dress up!”
Brides can also meet us at various bridal fairs in Southern California. This avenue may pose a problem. Brides sometimes like to buy accessory items on the spot, but we always encourage them to wait, to let us meet with them, with their dress, and a mirror; this way we can put stuff on and sample all things together.
>Do you sell on-line?
We’re contemplating this option, but again, like the bridal fairs, we prefer that a bride see the material and piece in person. You just never know how an item will look with a dress until you put them next to one another.
> What separates Sandra Nicole from competitors in the industry?
We are not just an accessories company; we’re stylists as well. We love accessorizing; we love fashion and trends, and it is our belief that the accessories one chooses can make (or break) an outfit. So, we work with our clients; we use our gift to help them. Our pieces are not one-size-fits-all. They’re unique, a reflection of the bride’s taste and personality.
>Have any of your pieces been featured anywhere?
Yes! We have been so blessed with the growth we’ve experienced over the past couple of years. We have taken part in several special events as well as many editorial/T.V. features (all over southern California)! A handful of stores also carry our pieces. Please visit our press page as well as our blog for detailed information on each event/showcase.
> What does being a member of Weddings of Distinction mean to you?
Nicole and I want to create the right reputation, and in being a member of this group, we’re doing just that. We work very hard and take a lot of pride in our work, so it’s great to be a part of group of like-minded people.
Also, being a WOD member means that Sandra Nicole is validated. All the members in the group have been in business for some time, and it was an honor to be asked to join. It means, to us, that the group sees our potential, our value, and we’re so appreciative of that! Sandra Nicole is a newer company, so it is a great feeling to be a part of the real thing, so to speak. We’re very excited about the direction we’re heading.
> What advice would you give those planning a wedding?
Use vendors that are reliable and a pleasure to work with; that’s when the magic happens. Do not be around people that are negative or not open to suggestions. That will only make your process stressful and unmemorable.
Also, and most importantly, give yourself plenty of time. The process can seem stressful, but it really is so much fun and exciting. Take the time to enjoy the entire process!