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

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: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

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:

Web videos strike chord with customers

Oxford Mail:

12:47pm Thursday 21st May 2015

GOOFING about on the internet has sent sales at an independent music store soaring and transformed its staff into YouTube stars.

County firms at forefront of UK export drive, survey finds

Oxford Mail:

12:46pm Thursday 21st May 2015

THE chief executive of Cobalt Lights Systems, Paul Loeffen, does not distinguish between domestic and export sales, which helped make the Milton Park-based company one of the most successful exporters among Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

Businesses list their concerns

Oxford Mail:

1:53pm Thursday 14th May 2015

Ben Holgate finds that congested roads and lack of affordable housing are big issues

Beauty firm advances in contest

Oxford Mail:

12:21pm Thursday 14th May 2015

A BEAUTY business has beaten thousands of other firms to reach the final cut of a national business competition.

Scientist plotting to combat disease is up for a top award

Oxford Mail:

12:20pm Thursday 14th May 2015

A DIDCOT scientist who found a way to wipe out dengue fever by manufacturing malfunctioning mosquitoes is shortlisted for an international award.

Charities are firm opportunity

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 7th May 2015

Gill Oliver discovers why more business are taking social responsibilities seriously

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