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“I knew that it was the time to create the business”

This story is about…

Name: Michelle Lee

Company: That Special Dress

Industry: Fashion & Style

Location: UK

She started her business because: “Post redundancy, having access to the latest designer brands and a variety of dresses was no longer an option, but my desire to look and feel good still remained!”

What motivated you to start your business?

I’m a real woman’s woman and like most of the women I know, looking good and feeling good is important to my confidence. However, late last year my personal situation changed when I accepted voluntary redundancy. Post redundancy, having access to the latest designer brands and a variety of dresses was no longer an option, but my desire to look and feel good still remained!

I knew then that it was the time to create the business I’d carried around in my heart and mind for so long and with a lot of hard work and determination I launched That Special Dress in March 2012.

Tell us about your business…, a brand new online designer dress hire website in the UK. We stock beautiful designer dresses from brands such as Matthew Williamson, Amanda Wakeley and Temperley London to name but a few. Our prices start from just £25, making designer dresses accessible for everyone.

What is a day in the life of you like?

Each day is different for me at That Special Dress, especially as the business is so new there isn’t a set pattern at the moment. My day usually consists of waking up, checking emails and orders for the day, going to the dry cleaners, sending out garments to customers. I try to be as active on social media sites as I possibly can throughout the day.

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?

From designing a website, learning how to use an SLR camera, using photoshop to design images for the website to marketing the business, everything was new and i’ve had to learn how to do things myself as my budget has been so tight!

Now the website is set up the hardest challenge I face right now getting the word out about the company! Much harder than I ever imagined.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Hard work and determination! As I didn’t have an unlimited budget I had to do the work myself, which was my driver to get things done!

What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?

This is something I’m still trying to master as we only launched a couple of months ago, so far social media has been effective.

What advice would you give to other business owners?

The most important thing you can do it believe in yourself. I cannot stress this enough!

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Sometimes it’s hard to always be motivated, especially when you work for yourself. I’ve found sometimes the guilt is unbearable if I don’t have a productive day, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t work 24/7.

When I do feel demotivated I use positive ‘self talk’ as a method to get back on track. I set myself specific goals (big or small) and I ask myself how it would feel if I succeeded and try to imagine what it would look like.

A spoon-full of optimism also helps!

What’s your favourite quote?

“Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.”

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible’!”

Who inspires you?

  • My boyfriend is incredibly supportive and has amazing drive and work ethic.
  •  My family who have all worked hard their whole lives.
  • My customers – Knowing that I was able to provide a service which helped them to feel great and make an event even more special.

Do you have a business philosophy?

Nothing worth having comes easy – work hard and always try your best.

Get in touch…


Twitter: @specialdress

Facebook Fanpage:

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