Well, this just makes me so proud... Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something, with determination, drive and passion anything is possible!! Thank you @startuploansuk I’m truly living my dream.
“Enough!” said Jane Palmer after being made redundant for the third time.
In 2015, she took out a #StartUpLoan to open @celebratingcurvesbridal, a bridal wear business for plus-size brides in Sheffield.
Jane Palmer, 53, took out a £25,000 Start Up Loan in 2015 to launch Celebrating Curves, a bridal wear business for plus-size brides based in Sheffield.
After being made redundant for the third time from the management training industry, Jane decided she needed to become her own boss and launch a business.
Jane had the idea for Celebrating Curves after struggling to find a retailer that offered plus-size dresses for her to try for her own wedding. Fifteen years later, she caters to 150 weddings on average a year, with customers visiting her from across the UK due to her popularity on plus-size forums.
While the pandemic meant the store was closed for eight months of 2020, Celebrating Curves had a waiting list of hundreds for its re-opening.
Thanks to great online reviews, she now has customers from across the UK, and although the pandemic forced her to close the shop for 8 months, she had a waiting list of hundreds for its reopening
“I relied completely on the £25,000 Start-Up Loan and mentoring support to launch Celebrating Curves and turn my situation around. Looking back, I will always be grateful I made that decision and now have autonomy over my own future” says Jane.
See how you can be your own boss. Start-Up Loans UK https://www.startuploans.co.uk
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Article originally from The Conversation by Marlise Schoeny
ABOVE: Wedding gown bodice, circa 1836. The Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection
“A wedding gown represents far more than just a dress. It is also the embodiment of a dream,” said Vera Wang.
For most brides, that dream is realised in a beautiful white wedding gown. It’s a seemingly timeless tradition that is often the centre point of little girls’ wedding fantasies. In 2018, about 83% of brides wore white dresses on their big day, according to a survey by Brides Magazine. Such an overwhelming statistic begs the question: Why do we associate white with wedding gowns? And how long has this tradition existed?
Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, a leading 19th-century women’s publication, addressed this in an article on the “Etiquette of Trousseau” in their August 1849 issue. “Custom, from time immemorial, has decided on white as [a wedding gown’s] proper hue, emblematic of the freshness and purity of girlhood,” they wrote.
While this implies a long history of bridal white, it is not true. At the time, white had only been a popular wedding dress fashion for about nine years – strictly among the well-to-do.
So when and where did the white wedding dress originate?
The practice likely traces back more than 2,000 years, with roots in the Roman Republic (509 B.C. - 27 B.C.) when brides wore a white tunic. The colour white represented purity, symbolizing both a woman’s chastity and her transition to a married Roman matron. It was also associated with Vesta, the virgin goddess of the hearth, home and family who was served by temple priestesses garbed in distinctive white clothing.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, white marriage attire fell out of fashion. From the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century, most brides simply wore their best dress or purchased a new gown that could be worn again. White was simply not a practical choice in a world without running water – or where laundry was hand-washed.
ABOVE: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on their return from their marriage service in 1840. Rischgitz/Getty Images
A royal wedding sparked the modern trend in white bridal wear. Queen Victoria chose to forgo the royal tradition of wearing coronation robes when she married Prince Albert on Feb. 10, 1840. Instead, she wore a fashionable white gown that was featured in newspapers and magazines around the world.
The style and colour of her gown were copied across continents as women aspired to look like the young, attractive queen – much like the public emulates celebrities today. Wearing a white wedding dress became a sign of wealth and status rather than virginity. Only wealthy brides could wear a white silk gown since they were wed in clean, elegant places that were removed from the muck and grime of life during the mid-19th century Industrial Age.
These gowns were actually cream or ivory, which was more flattering to the complexion. The brilliant white wedding dress would not become popular in Europe and North America until the 1930s, and would not truly become rooted in the public consciousness until World War II.
ABOVE: This classic 1950s-era gown, worn in 1957 by a bride named Rita Jane Elliott, is a typical example of the post-war style. It was bought at Madisons, a high-end women’s clothing store in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection
With wartime rations of fabric and a surge of weddings as soldiers returned from the front, the war sparked changes in the design of wedding dresses. In 1943, while the war was still raging in the U.S, the federal Limitation Order 85 dictated that only one and three-quarters yards of fabric could be used to create a dress.
The American Association of Bridal Manufacturers lobbied for an exemption, arguing that it was important to the overall morale of citizens. They asserted, after conducting a study of 2,000 brides that, “American boys are going off to war and what are they fighting for except the privilege of getting married in a traditional way? They’re fighting for our way of life, and this is part of our way of life.”
They were ultimately successful, and the limitation order exempted wedding gowns. But silk was difficult to find; the war with Japan had disrupted trade routes. Nylon was also in short supply, as it was being used in place of silk to manufacture parachutes. Most wedding gowns from those years were made from acetate – except for those worn in “parachute weddings.” Some soldiers, like B-29 pilot Major Claude Hensinger, kept the parachutes that saved their lives during the war and later gave the material to their betrothed to make a gown.
ABOVE: Close-up of Rita Jane Elliot’s white silk dress, which incorporated silk, taffeta, sequins and pearls. Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection
Although the first records of brides garbed in white reach far back into the annals of history, it only became standard fashion over the last 80 years. With the arrival of ready-to-wear clothing, brides could order affordable, mass-produced gowns based on sample sizes that were then fitted for them: a custom-made gown at a ready-to-wear price. A large, traditional wedding with the bride outfitted in a princess-style white wedding gown became a symbol of the American dream.
From WWII through the end of the 20th century, the white gown symbolized prosperity, virginity and a lifetime commitment to one person. For most people today, those meanings are gone.
White is now the overwhelming choice for most brides, with 4 out of 5 choosing to walk down the aisle in a white gown, a sort of bridal uniform. It has become an iconic symbol of weddings, an expected part of the celebration, and despite knowing the relatively short history of the tradition of a white wedding, it was my choice as well.
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