North East's first charity second-hand wedding boutique opens, selling designer gowns for under £150
The region’s first second-hand bridal boutique has opened in Horden selling wedding dresses, prom dresses, suits, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride outfits.
Alice House Hospice has opened the Bridal Loft on Blackhills Road in Horden less than two years after the charity shop was destroyed in an arson attack.
The fire destroyed all donated stock, and staff had to close down the shop for nine months while it was rebuilt and the store lost out on thousands of pounds that would have gone towards supporting people with terminal illnesses.
Retail manager Claire Taylor and a team of three volunteers have now opening the special bridal boutique in the building and say they have worked hard to create a shop that offers brides-to-be a magical shopping experience.
Claire said: “The showroom is beautiful, it is so overwhelming when you walk in.
“All the dresses are so beautiful – just stunning and there really is something for every bride.”
The Bridal Loft currently stocks wedding dresses ranging in price from £75 to £150, by designers such as Frank Usher, Maggie Sattero and Forever Yours which can cost thousands of pounds brand new. Prom dresses range from £20 to £45 and bridesmaids dresses range from £15 to £25.
Alice House Hospice staff believe the shop to be the first charity bridal boutique in the North East and the shop has some new with tags dresses for sale as well as pre-loved items donated to the shop for brides on a budget.
The Bridal Loft is also one of the only bridal shops in Horden. Claire said: “When we were first opening up we made a few sales, and we weren’t even set up yet!”
The shop is reached via a separate entrance to give brides the full boutique experience and brides-to-be and their families can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while browsing the racks for the perfect dress.
In the first week of opening Claire sold three prom dresses, she said: “It was just emotional, to be part of someone’s special day.”
The shop is located at 18 Blackhills Rd, Horden, Peterlee SR8 4LJ, and is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm.