When Covid-19 shut down cities and locked up bridal boutiques around the world, CEO/designer Kelly Faetanini focused on finding new ways to fulfill br
When Covid-19 shut down cities and locked up bridal boutiques around the world, CEO/designer Kelly Faetanini focused on finding new ways to fulfill brides’ dreams. After Faetanini’s team pivoted to making masks for area hospitals, they quickly pivoted again. In just ten days, they launched an entire Try At Home program and shifted their internal structure to support the new business model. While e-commerce is booming in many retail sectors, it is still an emerging concept for the bridal industry. Kelly Faetanini LLC had never sold wedding gowns directly to consumers, so it took a leap by introducing Try At Home directly to brides, who start the process at its website.
The Try At Home service allows future brides to remain safely at home and yet enables family members and friends to participate in the gown selection at home or virtually across the globe. It also provides availability to brides who do not live near a salon that carries the Kelly Faetanini brand, thus fulfilling many previous requests for access by brides, especially in suburban and nonmetropolitan areas. The service also appeals to brides with busy work schedules or caretaking, enabling them to try on gowns at their convenience during evening hours and weekends. Many brides stress over the amount of time and effort it takes to shop around visiting boutique after boutique to try countless gowns on. With the service, a team of experts curates the perfect assortment of styles to match the bride’s vision and body type.
To begin the process, a bride will go to Kelly Faetanini website’s “Try At Home” section to complete a form and to “See the Collection” of more than 50 of the latest styles, ranging from $2,300 to $5,000. A bride can click on the photo of each favorite gown and indicate that she is ready to try it on. Then a team member will contact the bride to schedule a free initial video consultation via Zoom. During the consultation, the bride will finalize her choice of 2-5 gowns and book a one-hour video appointment for while she tries on the gowns. Samples of those gowns are shipped to the bride, along with a veil, measuring tape, and gown clips to momentarily tighten the gown for photos. The Try At Home program costs $50 per gown for a two-day loan, with two-way Federal Express shipping included.
During the try on video consultation, the Kelly Faetanini consultant guides the bride how to precisely take her measurements and help the bride select the style that best represents her. They also discuss customization options. In another pivot, the designer will provide complimentary rush options based on the bride’s wedding date. Before Covid, a rush order would incur a significant fee based on the lead time.
So how has the experiment gone, and what has Faetanini learned? She said, “Our biggest takeaway as a leadership team is acknowledging our strengths as a creative, ethical, and agile business. What we did was disruptive in our space and we broke a very traditional business model in bridal fashion–it was a big risk. As difficult as the Covid impacts were, we are proud of our choice to take action to solve the problem instead of waiting for outcomes to dictate themselves. Because we had our partners’ best interest at the forefront along with our own, the long-term impacts have been nothing but positive and have set us up for exponential future growth with the expansion of B2C in a way that can live harmoniously with our retail partners.”
Life has been extraordinarily hard lately, but the Kelly Faetanini Try At Home service made at least one thing easier – for brides, and for her business: shopping for a wedding gown!
This article is from Inc.com