Periodically, Bexbrides of Hurworth, near Darlington, has surplus stock and rather than stick it on eBay or into the trade, owner Rebecca Lombard-Earl donates it to a worthy cause.
St T’s is the chain of charity shops and a superstore operated by St Teresa’s Hospice, which provides services to patients and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
“St Teresa’s is very close to our hearts as a team as we have many friends and clients who have needed their services,” says Bex. “So we were thrilled that St T’s was happy to take our donation and able to use them to generate much-needed funds for such a worthwhile cause, while also enabling many brides to find their dream dress at a fantastic price.”
Bexbrides specialises in quirky, individual boho, vintage and retro designs. It also offers a huge choice of designer samples.
“I have been fascinated by vintage clothes and period styling since I was a small child when my grandmother worked in a department store in Derby which reminded me of the TV comedy series ‘Are you being served’,” says Bex, who has been in the bridal industry for 10 years and won Dress Designer of the North-East several years running.
“As we offer a diverse selection of gowns, both new and vintage, to our brides we are constantly sourcing and buying samples from designers. We inevitably end up with a surplus which we could sell off cheaply ourselves to other dealers, or on line, but instead we prefer to donate them to charity, this time St Teresa’s.”
With a huge stock of dresses available for the community St T’s turned to Darlington College to help produce marketing material for the collection.
Staff volunteered for a photoshoot in the college’s media centre while hair and beauty students transformed the models into blushing brides in order to show off the dresses in their full wedding day glory.
St T’s superstore floor manager Rose Wills says: “We are so grateful to Bex for her unbelievable donation but also to Darlington College staff and students who organised the video/photoshoot for our social media pages.”
Darlington College’s marketing manager Claire Turner adds: “It has been a fantastic community effort to help a very good cause. It also provided our students with an amazing opportunity to be involved in a professional brief that will really help their portfolios.”