The IMAGE Boutique Awards: The bridal bling of Kerry

Hazel Comyn, multi-award winning Irish designer and owner of Hazel Comyn Bridal and Lace in Kerry, is helping to set the standard for bridal boutiques on Ireland's west coast, with an exciting and modern bridal edit. Hazel's selection of bridal-wear represents the modern woman, with a traditional, heritage-driven charm. She travels all over Munster, taking inspiration from the beauty in nature and the clean lines of modern architecture. Hazel, who is nominated in our Best Bridal Boutique category, graduated from Mallow College of Design and Tailoring and won Designer of the Year with her graduate collection. She most recently won Brides of Kerry Wedding Dress Designer of the Year 2018. Here, we get to know a bit more about this budding designer and entrepreneur.

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How long have you been in the business?

I have been designing for around four years and I have my own studio/boutique for around a year and a half.

If you could start again, what would you do differently and why?

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Nothing! It has been really hard to start and grow a business, but it has been an amazing journey so far. I'm discovering who I am as a designer and learning how to be a better businesswoman and entrepreneur.

What has been your career highlight to date?

There have been so many. Watching my little studio/boutique continue to grow and getting my online shop bridalandlace.com up and running has been great. Winning Connect Kerry Woman in Business Award for Fashion Design 2017, New Yorker Hi-Style Award Fashion Designer of the Year 2017, Brides of Kerry Bridal Designer of the Year 2018. Mostly, I love seeing my customers leaving happy with my designs.

Flower and pearl crown, €155 at bridalandlace.com

Flower and pearl crown, €155 at bridalandlace.com

Do you use social media for your business? What importance does social media play for modern entrepreneurs?

I mostly use Facebook and Instagram. Social media is great as it gives you an opportunity to let people know about what you do. You can reach a lot of people with your posts and pictures.

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What has been your biggest challenge?

Like most businesses, funding growth is always a challenge. Another big challenge is running a boutique, finding time to design and make everything, looking after the business side of things and being a mom to five. My days are a little crazy sometimes but I’m loving every minute.

How do you think you got to where you are today?

Hard work, determination, believing in myself and keeping a positive attitude. I’ve been very lucky to have support from a lot of amazing people along the way, especially my husband. He keeps me motivated.

Lauryn dress, €1,450.00 – €1,750.00, at bridalandlace.com

Lauryn dress, 1,450.00 – 1,750.00, at bridalandlace.com

What is your boutique's USP?

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Being a Designer allows me to offer so much more choice to my customers. I get to take a bride’s ideas and make something unique and amazing. It allows me to bring their personality out in their bridal wear. I also make handmade lace and I can incorporate a part of a brides story into an original design for them.

What does your daily routine look like?

Every day is different. Some days I spend the entire day meeting with customers doing fittings or first-time consultations. Other days it’s a mixture of designing, researching, creating and business planning.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I love making people happy. When I know a customer is happy walking out the door, then I know I’ve done my job right. I also love hand sewing; whether it's handmade lace or beading, I just love detailed work with my hands.

What’s your least favourite part of the job?

The long hours. In busy periods, I sometimes work 7 days a week, 12+ hours a day. It can be really difficult to get work/life balance right.

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CLICK HERE to vote for Hazel Comyn Bridal and Lace and all our other nominees

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