Just seven months’ ago, former NHS nurse Ashley Dawson became the new owner of wedding boutique Proposals, in Chichester. While she had to close the boutique’s doors for those important spring months (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), Ashley’s still been on-hand to help brides choose their dream dresses for upcoming weddings, while also making a return to nursing to help during the pandemic.
Spotlight on Ashley Dawson
In the latest in our Wedding Supplier Spotlight series (created to highlight amazing local wedding suppliers), we chat to Ashley to hear about her whirlwind last few months and helping her brides find ‘the dress’…
Hi Ashley! Tell us about how you became owner of Proposals and your last few months…
I took over Proposals from 2 sisters who had set up the shop and ran it for 33 years years in December 2019. Before this I was a Senior Practice nurse/manager and had worked at the same GP surgery for 23 years, having been a nurse for 29 years. Other than good people skills and an ability to cope with difficult situations it was not really anything related to the bridal industry.
During the pandemic I went back to nursing in elderly care but am very excited to have reopened the shop on 15th June.
What can people expect from Proposals’ service?
I have tried to maintain the USP of Proposals in the way we help brides – giving each of them individual care and an ability to make their experience a truly wonderful one. I have three fantastic seamstress who can individually customise gowns to make each bride the dress of her dreams.
What do you enjoy most about running a wedding boutique?
The thing I love most is watching brides try on gowns and the wonderful moment they find ‘the one’. Having only been part of the bridal world since December it is the highlight of a day each time it happens.
What’s your highlight so far?
My highlight so far is the first bride I assisted finding her dress. Having observed my staff doing this I was finally brave enough to consult with a bride myself and helping her try different gowns until she got the’ This is the one moment’ was magical.
What is your number one tip for helping a bride find ‘the’ all-important dress?
Try on different styles and be open with your consultant. Brides quite often leave with a very different gown to the idea they had when they come into the shop.
‘5 second questions’
The song I love to dance to most is…
It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls. Can’t help dance to this even if I ever hear it on the radio!
What biscuits would you like to see most in the biscuit tin, and why?
Chocolate digestives. Feeds my chocolate addiction but not too naughty.
What bit of advice would you give to your younger self?
You can’t be everything to everyone, only be true to yourself and kind to everyone.
Who is your secret celebrity crush?
Secret celebrity crush is Cain Dingle from Emmerdale.
If you were to host the ultimate dinner party what four guests would you invite and why?
I don’t do dinner parties as I’m not that good a cook! My ideal guests would be my 3 great friends and their husbands, as they are funny, supportive and crazy!
Cats or dogs?
Dogs and Cats… I have both.
Tea or coffee?
Tea.. all day long.
Thank you for chatting to us, Ashley! Find Proposals at 1 St Martin’s St, Chichester and online at https://proposals.co.uk/.
Many thanks to the lovely Shelley Welti for the help in putting this feature together for me.