19 March 2014
Bridalwear company Erica Stacey has expanded at Bizspace Manchester Old Trafford instead of renting a shop because we are flexible, affordable and secure.
Expanding bridalwear company Erica Stacey has moved into its third Bizspace unit in three years.
Erica Stacey first started her own business designing and making dresses in her spare bedroom when the company she was working for went bust in 2011. She quickly realised she needed a professional workspace and moved into one of the smallest units available at our Empress Business Centre in Manchester.
After a year the business moved into second business unit double the size and over Christmas 2013 and New Year, it moved into a 1,000 square foot workspace in the centre.
Erica, who runs the company with her business partner Terry Keane, says: “We make bespoke bridal, evening and prom wear. We have more customers now so we needed more space.
“We needed more room to use as storage for our fabrics and we wanted a changing room for customers and a bigger showroom as we have more dresses to show off.”
She says she had considered leaving the Empress Business Centre to move into a shop, but soon realised she wanted to stay with Bizspace.
I work very long hours so I am usually the last person to leave the centre at night. I always feel safe at the centre because there is security.
She adds: "We also need a lot of space as we manufacture all our dresses ourselves, so a shop would have been ridiculously expensive."
She says the flexibility Bizspace offers was another reason she decided to expand at the centre, as our terms allow customers to move easily to larger or smaller units as their needs change, whereas taking on a shop would mean committing to a long-term fixed lease. Erica says:
We are really happy here. We have pretty much filled the space already so I am starting to wonder how we managed before.
Erica makes and designs dresses for her customers after holding a consultation to find out exactly what they are looking for.
“People seem to really enjoy it and we are building up a base of regular customers. The business has grown organically and we are now getting lots of enquiries.”
This year has heralded a major change for the business and Erica. As well as moving to the larger business unit, Erica gave up a part-time job as a womenswear designer in January so she could commit more time to the company.
She says: “This year has been a massive turning point and really exciting. It’s a nice space with a good energy and really great light.”
Before starting Erica Stacey Bridalwear, Erica had worked in the clothing industry for 13 years. She had made dresses for friends and family in her spare time and when she lost her job, she saw it as an opportunity to start her own business.
Two years ago she joined forces with Terry, who she had worked with in the past for Marks and Spencer. She says:
I always wanted to work for myself and now it has happened. It has been hard, but it is going really well.
Erica and Terry have even started up another business, which they are running alongside Erica Stacey, offering a consultancy service so they can pass on their wisdom to other clothing companies. They help firms create patterns for their fashion lines and give them assistance with sizing and pricing, as well as technical support.
Based in the former Empress Brewery, the Empress Business Centre is now a modern collection of professional workspaces in a building which still retains elements of its Victorian charm and character.
To find out more, contact Business Centre Manager Ian Walker on 0161 877 5579.