Banking on success for bridal business

SUPPORT: Lisa Robey, left, NatWest’s director of business banking for Oxfordshire, and Madelaine Orlando, from Bicester Bridal

SUPPORT: Lisa Robey, left, NatWest’s director of business banking for Oxfordshire, and Madelaine Orlando, from Bicester Bridal Buy this photo

First published in News

NOT being able to find a dress for her wedding prompted Madelaine Orlando to open a bridal boutique of her own.

Four years on, Bicester Bridal has proved such a hit, the former police officer has traded-up from her original shop to one three times the size.

But when Ms Orlando, 37, was starting up, she was turned down for a loan by the first bank she approached.

She managed to borrow £17,500 from NatWest, who asked her to match it with her own cash to reach the £35,000 needed, but has since paid it all back.

Her track record meant when she needed more cash for the new shop, the same bank was happy to lend her another £15,000.

She said: “My original lease was for 10 years but after three, we had no room left.

“We couldn’t get any more dresses on to the shop floor and the store room was bursting.

“Now, the brides have an enormous changing room and a podium with big mirrors and everyone who comes in is wowed.”

Ms Orlando’s experience of being refused a loan was typical in the years following the financial crash of 2008 but banks have started to lend again.

The Government has boosted loans by setting up the British Business Bank last year, which has handed out £782m in its first 12 months. It also launched the Business Banking Insight, an online survey where 5,000 small businesses rate banks by how much they lend.

NatWest’s director of business banking for Oxfordshire, Lisa Robey, who bought a dress from Ms Orlando’s shop for her own wedding last month, said: “Most of the cash we are being approached for is to fund expansion such as bigger premises, new members of staff or acquiring other businesses.

“Maddy has worked so hard to ensure the business is a success and I have seen how much effort she has put in to the new premises.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

  • Latest Business news:

Curzon cinema and Michael Kors fashion store unveiled for new Westgate

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 20th November 2014

A FIVE-screen cinema and designer fashion outlet have been revealed as the latest two big name tenants for the redeveloped Westgate Shopping Centre.

Specialist cycle clothes shop puts focus on female riders

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Thursday 20th November 2014

A MOTHER-of-one has opened a women's cycling gear showroom, after not being able to find the right kit.

Ex-Pizza Express boss joins menu booking site

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Thursday 20th November 2014

RESTAURANT and bar pre-ordering service TellTheChef has appointed former Pizza Express boss Luke Johnson as its chairman.

Businesses count cost of congestion caused by roadworks across Oxford

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 20th November 2014

TRAFFIC congestion caused by a series of roadworks has left Oxford businesses counting the cost.

West Oxfordshire broadband scheme secures £3.2m investment

Oxford Mail:

11:30am Wednesday 19th November 2014

PLANS to provide high-speed broadband Internet coverage for all homes and businesses in West Oxfordshire have taken a big step forward.

Morrisons to close Headington shop a year after opening

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 19th November 2014

ONLY a year after it opened its doors, Morrisons has announced that it will be closing its Headington shop on November 28.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree