When I was a teenager growing up, dreaming dreams about my ‘one day’ wedding, as only teenage girls can do, a new bridal gown shop opened in town which completely caught my eye & my imagination.
It was one of those beautiful, boutique, one of a kind shops, with the most beautiful gowns in the windows, and an air of sophisticated charm about it which made you just long for your ‘one day’ wedding so you could have the excuse to go in and try on those beautiful dresses that appeared in the window every week.
Some years later when, finally, my ‘one day’ wedding was about to become a reality, it was the first shop I went to in search of my wedding dress, and the shop which fulfilled every wish in my heart. Not only did they have the dress of my dreams, but everything about the experience was, well, just ‘special’. They had the most amazing customer service, and made every moment of every visit feel special, like I was the only customer in the world, and they had all the time in the world, just for me.
When I went into the Crystal Fairy Company, in Birchington, I was taken right back to that time & those memories. Here is a shop with that same air of elegance and charm, and that same dedication to customer service. From the moment you enter the shop you are made to feel that you matter, and that nothing is too much trouble.
I turned up, unannounced, with my idea for researching articles about bridal related shops & services for my blog buzzing in my head, and wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d been met with polite scepticism, instead I was met with enthusiasm & a relaxed helpfulness that seems to typify everything that they do. I have witnessed Jane & her staff deal with a variety of customers & requests for advice, and can say, with conviction, that this is a place you will want to visit when searching for your wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, tiara’s or alice bands!
Jane & Helen first started the business in 2006, when they decided to expand what had previously been a bespoke bridal tiara & jewellery business, into one that also sold bridal gowns. At the time they were working out of a home set up, & their lack of shop premises almost meant that they were unable to realise their dream, with most dress designers being unwilling to even consider them carrying their designs. Fortunately these ladies are nothing if not determined & persistent, and they managed to persuade one company to take a chance with them. Two years later they were expanding so much that they were able to move into their first retail shop, on Canterbury Road in Birchington. Just two years later and they were on the move again, to a bigger shop, the current one on Station Road in Birchington. They now carry gowns from four bridal designers, Ellis, St Patrick, Veromia & Phoenix, and plan to add a new designer to their range shortly. They have also continued to offer a range of tiaras, fascinators & jewellery by Ivory & Co, and Twilight Designs, as well as bespoke, made to order pieces, designed & handmade by the very talented Helen.
If you are about to embark on a search for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dresses, then this is a shop that I am sure you won’t want to miss. It’s totally gorgeous. They clearly have a lot of knowledge & experience, but even more importantly I got a sense that this is not just a job for them, instead it is a passion – and when you are planning the most important day of your life, any girl will tell you, it really makes a difference to feel that the people around you care as much about your special day as you do, and Jane & Helen clearly do.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am more likely to get excited about buying a new lens for my camera than I am about buying a new dress or jewellery, but I have to say that this shop had enough sparkle in it’s jewellery & elegance in it’s dresses to make even my heart get a little jealous of all those of you who will be lucky enough to be shopping here in the future!
Here are a few photos to give you a little flavour of the shop. Be sure to check them out for yourself, either on their website (which is packed full of useful information and advice) : www.thecrystalfairycompany.co.uk or, even better, in person.