“A passion project born out of lockdown and now I’m in business with my 80-year-old Granny Rae!”
Anna Rose Heaton from Ruddington and her Granny Rae from Willoughby-on-the-Wolds have teamed up during lockdown to launch a special independent pre-loved and upcycled Bridal-wear business.
Prior to the pandemic, Anna was a successful Nottinghamshire wedding photographer, but the lockdowns hit her business hard meaning that she needed to come up with another way to keep herself going. Alongside Granny Rae, who also needed a project to keep her busy during the ongoing months indoors, the pair came up with their new business – Anna Rae Bridalwear. Here is what Anna said:
“I teamed up with my Granny during lockdown as she really wanted a project to work on and keep her busy over the winter months. I’m a wedding photographer, so sadly my work has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Therefore, I was looking at other ways I can be creative while simultaneously diversifying my business in these ongoing challenging times.
“As a wedding photographer, I’m always very conscious of the amount of waste produced at weddings and how many new things are purchased for just one day of air-time.
“Personally, I’ve always loved thrifting clothes and I used to work in a local charity shop as a student (many moons ago) and always found some absolute gems! I’ve always been super inspired by the retro and rock ‘n’ roll styles of the 60’s & 70’s.“My Granny is a ‘war baby’ and was brought up having to reuse and repair everything as it was the only way when materials and food were so scarce. It’s great how she is able to make use of all the little bits of fabric and makes them go a long way.
“My Granny loves to sew and is super talented, so we decided to combine our skillset over lockdown to create a unique and upcycled bridal wear collection, all sustainably sourced and made with love in Nottingham. We are currently adding the finishing touches to our collection which we’re going to launch in the Spring.
“We are currently setting up an online Etsy shop where potential brides will be able to browse the reworked bridal wear. Alongside the sustainable wedding dresses, I will also be selling some preloved bridal accessories that I’ve collected over the years for styled shoots.
“While my days are currently full of worry about what lies ahead for my wedding photography business, I am trying to look at the positives. The lockdown has given me time to reflect and think about my business and the impact of the wedding industry in a wider context. Smaller and more intimate weddings might not be all bad and they could have a lot of positive factors, especially for the planet.
“Back in October 2020 I worked on a collaborative sustainable styled shoot to highlight that while ‘Micro weddings might be small in scale, they don’t have to be small in style!’. Couples will be able to take time deciding what is most important about their special day and ultimately have the day they want. So, remember #LoveIsNotCancelled and fingers crossed wedding ceremonies will be able to go ahead again soon.”
Visit their new Etsy page where they will be adding more handmade and upcyled items in the coming weeks, at: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AnnaRaeBridalwear