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: 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:

Roadworks, congestion and lack of modern offices driving businesses from city centre

Oxford Mail:

8:09am Friday 24th April 2015

ONLY one in 10 business bosses would choose to base their operation in Oxford, according to a new survey.

High house prices are limiting growth of county’s economy

Oxford Mail:

1:06pm Thursday 23rd April 2015

In crisis: Chamber of Commerce chief says businesses find it difficult to recruit staff

More rural homes to receive superfast broadband

Oxford Mail:

1:03pm Thursday 23rd April 2015

An extra 260 households in West Oxfordshire will not be missing out on high-speed broadband thanks to a new deal...

Business first for Queen's Awards haul

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 22nd April 2015

BUSINESS leaders have hailed Oxfordshire as an international hotspot after seven firms won Queen’s Awards for overseas trading.

Abingdon & Witney College tops country for apprentices

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Wednesday 22nd April 2015

AN Oxfordshire college has topped the league for the success of its students on apprenticeship schemes.

Seven Oxfordshire firms receive Queen's Award for overseas success

Oxford Mail: Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark's new coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II at the National Portrait Gallery, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday March 2, 2015. See PA story  . Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
 (19673586)

6:40am Tuesday 21st April 2015

SEVEN firms have received a Queen's Award to recognise overseas success.

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