Big days for bridalwear firm as profits soar

RACHEL Scott Couture, the Edinburgh bridalwear firm set up by young entrepreneur Rachel Snedden with a Princes Trust loan, has seen an 85 per cent increase in annual profit despite couples cutting back on their wedding costs.

The firm, which Snedden set up in 2004 at the age of just 25, has also seen turnover jump by more than 75 per cent as brides to refuse to compromise on their ideal dress. The boost has allowed the firm to expand to larger premises in Dundas Street from Snedden's first shop near Haymarket.

Despite the economic downturn, Snedden said the average spend of customers has risen to between 2,500 and 3,000 as brides cut back on the frivolities and concentrate more of their limited budgets on their clothing.

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The surprise change in brides' spending habits has also allowed Snedden to employ her first staff at the business she set up six years ago with just a 5,000 interest-free loan from the Princes Trust, plus 20,000 of family money.

The business was previously manned by family members.

"We've seen changes during the recession but not the ones you'd expect," Snedden said. "People have been prepared to spend more. Clients have been a bit more determined about finding exactly what they want."

Despite bucking the trend over the past year, Snedden admitted that small firms such as her own are still keeping costs tight in the event of a double dip.

"I'm not prepared to take excessive risks in the current climate," she said. "Everything will remain very calculated."

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