Meet the Guest List: Hugo and Elliot
Meet the Guest List: Hugo and Elliot
A Haven of Bridal Luxury...
Formerly Christian Alexander, Hugo and Elliot is beautiful newly-renovated boutique embodying luxury with lush interiors, eminent bridal labels and an owner with a real passion for pleasing brides.
We sat down with Sean, the man responsible for transforming this boutique into a real destination for luxury-seeking brides, to find out what makes him tick.
Tell us how your love of bridal started and your journey to opening your boutique…
I sort of fell into the bridal industry. I had always had a passion for event planning and after attending a dress fitting with one of my girl friends, I loved the boutique experience – the atmosphere was so happy. A few years ago a friend asked if I wanted to invest in her bridal store as a silent partner.
I began attending appointments and taking more of an active role in the store, and the brides were really receptive to me. I found myself wanting to implement changes and make store improvements! It was all very exciting.
How have you been impacted by the pandemic?
COVID hit us hard. It did every store. Towards the end of last year my business partner decided she needed a more stable career to support her family and asked if I wanted to take the store full time. So, 'Hugo and Elliot' was established!
Over lockdown I have put my own stamp on the place and changed the aesthetic to make it my own. My family and friends rallied around me and all helped to make the Salon what it is at the moment...something I am extremely proud of and CANNOT wait to open!
I'm so excited to meet the new brides and show off my store. It's something really personal and I'm so proud of it! I really hope they fall in love with it like I have. – Sean
Tell us about the gowns you stock.
We already stocked the Italian Eddy K, and were initially the first UK stockists of Australia's Moonlight Bridal. Both of these designers provide effortlessly beautiful dresses. We also stocked British Brands True Brides and Ellis Bridals. Both of these solid UK designers use exquisite materials and create timeless wedding gowns.
I decided I wanted to work with the very fashion forward Eva Lendel and Ria Tener (Of whom again we are the first UK stockist). These designers push boundaries and mix classic and modern styles for a unique take on the bridal gown. I have my eye on two more designers that I'm currently in talks with and after that I think I'll be happy...but we'll see!
Three words to describe your collections.
Classical, daring and desirable.
Brides love your boutique because...
Well, my mum always told me that atmosphere is everything. It has to be warm, inviting and well thought out. It has to be somewhere people WANT to be and offer an experience they DO NOT forget. I think it's all those things. I've thought long and hard about the colour schemes, the music, the scent and of course the gowns.
I think if you start by just caring about your bride, the rest falls into place.
Why did you decide to re-brand?
I wanted to make the salon personal to myself, just as my business partner had. She had taken it to where she wanted. You're always prouder of your own achievement so it was time to take the salon on a new journey! I'm totally in love with the place now and that's what I want for my brides.
What’s new for 2021?
What isn’t? New designers, new faces, new website, new gowns, new brides. Exciting times are ahead!
Tell us a little about the service a bride receives from you?
In a word, personal. I like to think I'm good at recognising what makes you unique and finding a dress that accentuates that! Sometimes they don't know themselves, but picking up on the things a bride says and their body language can teach you a great deal about what they desire.
What inspires you every day?
My parents and family have taught me an incredible work ethic and every day I aspire to be more like them. My boyfriend also inspires me. He is a neonatal nurse and overcomes great sadness everyday helping parents in the last hours they have with their children. He still comes home to me with a smile on his face. I just have a passion for life and a desire to make people happy."