After spending most of her 20s working in Marketing & Creative Services at J.Crew and then Madewell, Alix Childs moved to Boston and opened Ceremony, a modern bridal shop (but not before tying the knot herself at New York City Hall in 2010, and further celebrating the next year with a ceremony on Martha's Vineyard). Alix also has a one-year-old daughter named Beckett who is her biggest inspiration. "Whenever I'm tired, frustrated or overwhelmed, thinking of being a strong role model for her drives me to keep working to make my business a success," she says. We asked Alix about her biggest challenges and successes of being the owner/creative director of Ceremony.Ceremony was founded on the principle that the modern bride wants to shop for her wedding gown much in the same way that she does everything else—at a boutique that reflects her personal style (and not at a clearing house for white dresses). We've brought together an amazing line-up of indie and designer collections, plus a hand-picked selection of one-of-a-kind vintage items. The space, located in an airy loft in Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, is laid-back and inspiring (kind of like walking into your best friend's amazing loft or the pages of your favorite wedding blog). We also offer invitation and day-of design services.
Curating our bridal collections. The most challenging part of the start-up process was bringing together a compelling and unique assortment of designers. In part, this was identifying who those designers would be, but then also creating a relationship with them and communicating my vision of how it all fit together. In the end, I couldn't be happier with the mix—it's a special kind of chemistry that makes me happy when I walk in the door every morning.
Finding my space was a major moment for me. This was crucial to making my concept come to life, but I had very nearly given-up after seven months of looking. I went through about a dozen different commercial realtors, which took me to the same ho-hum spaces on the main commercial street in Boston next to all the other bridal shops. After explaining again and again the type of location, character, and neighborhood feel that I was looking for and coming-up empty-handed, it started to feel like it just didn't exist. Then, when I least expected it, a last-ditch Craigslist search unearthed the answer to my dreams: 13-foot tall ceilings, white brick, exposed beams and two skylights to boot. I called on the spot and signed the lease the next day.
Being a working mom. Seriously, the hardest (and most rewarding) job on the planet.
My successes and challenges have been pretty much one and the same. I guess the things that make us struggle and work for it bring the biggest rewards...What advice would you give to others just starting out as entrepreneurs?
Ask yourself what you would do if there was no possibility of failure—the risks you would take, and the decisions you would make without thinking twice. There's a time and a place for being cautious and realistic, but to get your dreams off the ground, the first step is all about taking that leap of faith!
Alix shares her ideas for unique wedding gifts, favours & accessories!