So, you’ve got a ring on your finger and a wedding to plan. But where do you look for jewellery and accessories? Instead of visiting the same old stores and flicking through the same old magazines, why not turn to Etsy instead? The bridal market is burgeoning with talented designers selling everything from garters and veils to necklaces and headpieces. The drawcard? You’ll know that no other bride will be waltzing down the aisle wearing the same thing.
After struggling to find an elegant and unique garter for her own wedding back in 2010, Natalie didn’t want other brides to have the same problem. Within a few months, her Etsy store was born. Briggs sells luxury handmade garters that are modern, sexy and elegant — and don’t have the price tag of the standard ones you’ll find in stores. To make brides’ lives easier, she also makes and sells garter sets, ring pillows and baskets, and will happily do a custom order — just say the word!
SheKnows: Why are your garters unique from the thousands of others on Etsy?
Natalie: I pride myself in my unique modern yet vintage style of garters. I believe my garters bring a breath of fresh air to the modern bride and I offer a range of designs to suit everyone. I add unique finishing touches with a little blue bow in the inside for that “something blue”. Interestingly, my most popular garter is the “Sexy Black Lace Ivory Satin Set” and most brides order it in ivory. I rarely sell a white garter. That way, the garters look like part of your bridal lingerie, but with a hint of sexiness thanks to the black lace.
SK: What inspires you?
Natalie: I am inspired every day with new ideas, whether it be a new wedding dress I have seen or simply a vintage necklace from a second-hand boutique. Often I just see something that sparks an idea for a new and unique garter. I love making custom designs because having something that’s “one of a kind” makes it all the more special for my clients.
Coralie from Velvet Teacup is the master of headpieces. Brides flock to her shop to admire the assortment of bridal hairpieces, flower crowns, fascinators, wreaths, combs and bobby pins. If you can wear it on your head, she will have it in her store. While there are tons of bridal accessories on Etsy, Coralie’s stand out for a few reasons. Firstly, she uses only high-quality materials. Secondly, she tries to add an Aussie touch to each item through themes and flowers. And lastly, she’s so creative, she comes up with a new range of pieces every few months. So if you see something you like, snap it up!
SheKnows: What prompted you to open an Etsy store?
Coralie: My daughter found Etsy in 2010 and couldn’t wait to show it to me as she knew how I would embrace the potential. She was right! Within 10 minutes, I had decided to open my own shop with a range of hair accessories. My background as a wedding seamstress had evolved into making matching headpieces for brides, and this, coupled with my enduring passion for flowers and nature, brought it all together. Also, I live in a rural area, so Etsy made my accessories available to shoppers around the country.
SK: What goes on behind the scenes when you’re creating?
Coralie: The “bowerbird” in me is attracted to pretty, shiny things and, as a result, I love to work with rhinestones, laces and bright materials. I particularly love making wedding combs, which are made up of a mixture of textiles, laces, silks and organza and regularly feature vintage rhinestone pieces and beading. These are very detailed and require lots of patience and sometimes a little bit of “arguing with myself” until I find just the right placement for everything. My creative process depends a bit on the present trends and a bit on my experience in making headpieces over the years. I sew everything together and I do not use glue for my flower crowns. I tend to use traditional florist techniques to ensure the crowns are secure and can be passed on if the bride wishes to do so.
A Vintage Castle
This store is a hair accessory heaven. The designer behind A Vintage Castle, Maz, clearly loves to give shoppers options. There are headbands, pins, clips and fascinators — and even the odd garter — all with some sort of floral or lace detailing. Though she has a few pages of products to browse through, every item is unique and made with the kind of attention to detail that not many people possess. If you’re looking for a nature-inspired headpiece for your big day, you’ll find it here.
SheKnows: What inspires you?
Maz: I am inspired by everything around me, and especially by nature, fashion and colour. Each individual has different ideas, creativities and preferences. When I design an item, I put a bit of myself in it — it’s my way of opening up and communicating with my customers.
SK: What do you love most about designing?
Maz: I love the design process. For each piece, I have an idea in mind in terms of the colour scheme or design elements. I enjoy putting the pieces together like a puzzle, and I try to make sure everything “fits” nicely. For some accessories, I aim to have one or two colour schemes and work with different fabrics or textures to create the final product. I also like the three-dimensional element of some of my pieces, whereby they can be admired from all angles like a sculpture.
There Once was a Girl
If you’re looking for a handmade headpiece, veil, or piece of jewellery, do yourself a favour and check out this store. It’s whimsical and beautiful, and a bridal mecca. The owner, Selena, loves nothing more than creating something that a bride will cherish long after her wedding day. While she has a range of accessories ready to go, most of Selena’s work comes from custom orders. All you need to do is let her know what you want and she’ll take care of the rest.
SheKnows: What is the secret to your Etsy success?
Selena: I think diversity is the key. I’ve also built a store around something that I enjoy — in my opinion, if you do something you love, buyers will respond to your enthusiasm and energy. I try not to pigeonhole myself into just “bridal fascinators”, and I make jewellery and vintage dresses as well (the Art Deco and 1950s eras are my favourites). With that in mind, my store incorporates my two passions: creating and history. I think there is something special about wearing a beautiful vintage dress that no-one is ever going to have. It’s a little bit of something old and something new. As weddings are expensive, I really enjoy doing custom orders for brides and bringing out their personal style.
SK: Where do you find inspiration?
Selena: I find inspiration everywhere! A lot of my ideas come from vintage fashion and books. I strive to create pieces that will become heirlooms in years to come, and I hope my clients pass their pieces on to the next generation. I’m also hugely inspired by nature. My favourite medium to work with is freshwater pearls. I think there is something magical about opening a sharp, jagged oyster only to find a perfect pearl inside. Freshwater pearls are so unique that no two are the same. They come in all shapes and sizes, so when you receive one of my pearl pieces, you know it is truly one-of-a-kind. My customers also inspire me. I love receiving thank you emails and photos of them on their wedding day.
This Victorian lady knows a thing or two about making an impression. Kirsty’s store, KirstenAnn, sells some of the most gorgeous statement necklaces on Etsy. While she doesn’t cater exclusively to the bridal market, she has plenty of pieces that would suit the most discerning bride. Best of all, you’re guaranteed that people will remember your bridal accessories forever. If pearls, lace, jewels and high fashion are your thing, add this store to your “to browse” list — you won’t be disappointed.
SheKnows: What makes your store so special?
Kirsty: I think my store is unique because it is based around what I like to create and what I think would be fun to wear. I like to mix my pieces up with items that can easily transition from day to evening. I believe that the secret to style is putting your own twist on something: When you wear a piece, make it your own.
SK: What is your most popular item?
Kirsty: My number one item is the “Beauty Of The Night” black lace necklace. It’s made from a rayon lace motif with a black chain attached. It’s classic and timeless, and a true statement piece, which is why I think it has been so popular. Because it’s light and easy to wear, it can take you from the day through to a night out. My lace statement necklaces and bronze chain pieces are also really popular.
Forget conventional invites and name cards, Ashlea is evolving the wedding stationery market, one sale at a time! Her store, StationeryPolkadot, houses a range of pretty and quirky stationery for that special day. Since they are the furthest thing from boring, we bet you’ll want to keep them afterwards. All of the designs are what Ashlea calls “DIY printable” — in other words, she designs them and you take them to the printers. Too easy.
SheKnows: What sets your store apart?
Ashlea: When searching online for wedding invitations, I have found that most designs are very traditional. But what about the couple that wants a design that is modern and quirky? Or something interactive and fun? I design for this niche market and my ideas are unique.
SK: What is the inspiration behind your designs?
Ashlea: Travel. My sole purpose in life is to explore the world! I have a vision board in my apartment that features a world map where I’ve coloured the places I’ve visited, and surrounding it are images of the places I would like to go. I think travel opens your mind and gets you out of your comfort zone, so every time I travel, I find myself more inspired, creative and full of new ideas. My Travel Map invitation is my best-selling design and is also my favourite. The inspiration for this design came from the growing trend of destination weddings. I wanted to make an invitation that creates excitement about attending the wedding, so I tried to make it as interactive as possible. Having to open up the map to reveal the wedding details is a great way to intrigue guests!