An industry so large and yet relatively unchanged in years, bridal retail had become stale. That was until a perceptive and driven bride-to-be saw an opportunity to turn things on their head and Southern Shire local, Melanie gave the status quo a thoroughly modern shakeup.
Mel’s store The Barefaced Bride is a refreshing and welcome disruptor to wedding retail. Here, the environmentally-conscious bride or those with a more realistic budget no longer have to sacrifice their dream gowns. Read on to learn how they do just that with The Barefaced Bride owner, Melanie Bowman.
Can you explain how the store works? The Barefaced Bride is a specialised consignment store located in Kurnell, Southern Sydney. Our boutique offers off-the-rack designer sample gowns, preloved designer gowns and new ready-to-wear dresses.
We understand that no two brides are the same, and thus our exclusive collection is ever-evolving. Whether it’s a wedding gown from a top bridal designers’ current collection or a carefully curated vintage dress that holds a unique story that our brides give new life to, we strive to give our bride the option to take home a dress that speaks to them.
What drove the concept? After forking out a small fortune on my wedding gown, I didn’t want it to face the same sad fate as many other wedding dresses – thrown in a box never to be seen again.
After spending hours online searching for a way to trade in my prized possession I realised what was lacking was a bridal service that offered off-the-rack designer gowns – all in one beautiful location. I also believe that in today’s fast-paced over consumed digital world brides are longing for that memorable and personable shopping experience like no other.
What can brides expect when visiting? Our boutique showcases all of our gowns, veils and bridal accessories and offers brides-to-be a unique and personal experience, where you can sit-down, relax and try on the many gowns we have available from lots of renowned and sought-after Australian and International designers.
We understand that searching for your dream dress can be a stressful, time-consuming and often overwhelming process, which is why we offer a one-on-one private appointment, exceptional customer service and guidance on selecting a gown right for you.
We provide a quiet and welcoming oasis, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Sydney city streets while close friends and family members can simply enjoy the experience and be treated to tea, coffee and champagne.
-What are the requirements for a dress to be accepted for consignment?
The Barefaced Bride’s conditions for selling:
- Wedding gowns must arrive dry-cleaned and in a garment bag.
- Wedding gowns must be a designer or a recognised couturier label.
- The original purchase receipt should be shown or some other proof of purchase.
- Wedding gowns must be in excellent condition. The Barefaced Bride will examine the gown on arrival and may refuse to accept the gown if there are any rips, tears or stains.
- Weddings gowns are sold on a consignment basis, which means we will agree on a price together and when the gown is sold The Barefaced Bride will transfer the money to the Client by direct deposit.
- Once sold, the Client will receive 60% of the selling price and The Barefaced Bride will obtain 40% commission. There is a $60 Seller Fee charged which is reimbursed if your gown has a selling price of $5,000 or more.
- Please note that we only accept wedding gowns less than 3 years old and with an original purchase price of $1200 or more.
- A photo of the wedding gown should be provided (preferably high quality) which The Barefaced Bride will use to advertise the gown online and social media, etc. We are able to crop out the bride’s face if desired.
- Brides are required to be ‘barefaced’ for their private appointment (i.e. no makeup or fake tan to be worn).
- All wedding gowns are treated with the utmost care and are viewed by private appointment only.
- If you’re located outside of Sydney – no problem! We have gowns sent interstate to us all the time. Contact us directly should you have any questions about this.
- We are always on the lookout for gowns sizes 12 and up, so if you’re considering consigning with us your dress may be snapped up sooner than you think!
- Brides who have changed their mind and are left stuck with a brand new dress, we’ll happily take it off your hands. These dresses literally fly out the door!
- We make consigning your gown hassle-free. Once you hand over your dress, we literally take care of the rest!
Is there a touching mother/daughter moment you could share with us? Oh gosh, so many! And it never gets old. It really is the best work environment to be in. Brides are almost always excited to be here with close friends and family members to share in such a special experience. I must say it’s usually the mothers or friends that tear up first!
Do you only sell wedding dresses and would you ever consider Mother of the Bride wear? We have such a unique collection, including shorter dresses, separates (skirts and tops) and coloured gowns too. So there really is something for everyone, if you’re not a traditional wedding party. In saying that, Mother of the bride gowns specifically is something we get asked about a lot – as most find it’s so hard to source a beautiful frock for their daughter’s big day. So who knows, watch this space!