Bridal Times had the pleasure to go behind the scenes with COSMOPOLKA wedding | fashion in Hanover to speak with bridal shop owner and managing director Magdalena Mzyk.
What inspired you to open your bridal shop and how long have you been in business?
I was inspired when shopping for my own wedding dress four years ago. At that time I noticed that what was offered in bridal fashion shops was very similar to each other and not very high quality. Finally, I found my wedding dress at a small label in Poland. Everything was handcrafted and sewn on site using the best materials. I thought that was great and wanted to offer something in Hanover. Gradually, I made contacts with other designers and labels in Poland, Germany and France, who produce exclusively on site and in their studios. One year after my wedding, the time had come and in April 2017, I opened my own shop. That’s over two years ago.
Tell us what a “Bride’s to Be” can discover in your bridal shop?
First and foremost, of course, wonderful bridal gown collections by great designers that are very different in the cuts and the choice of fabric! What unites them is this incredible love of all our designers for details and the high quality of workmanship. Some creations are romantic to playful, others are feminine and very sexy.
As a finishing touch, we also offer handmade bridal jewelry which can be made individually according to the wishes of the bride. And very important for all women and not just “Brides to Be”, we also have great shoes!
What makes your business unique?
We only work with designers who produce their creations on site and in own studios. All of our gowns and accessories are made in Europe – e.g. in Berlin, Warsaw, Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt am Main or Colmar in Alsace. For me it is important that all wedding dresses go through the hands of designers and not anywhere else in the world made of cheap fabrics and produced on the assembly line. I have personal contact with every designer know the working conditions on site. This is my contribution to sustainability and fairness and an important quality feature of our collections. With this knowledge, brides can act consciously and responsibly for the environment when choosing their wedding dress. This is very well received by our customers.
I am also particularly happy that there are some collections that we offer exclusively in Germany. This does not only apply to the wedding dresses. Our shoes, for example, are also handcrafted by a traditional family business near Krakow. The brand is hardly available in Germany. But you can get the shoes in many boutiques in Rome, Milan or Genoa. We don’t want to deprive German women what Italians love!
Many of my clients also tell me that they like the special atmosphere, the service and feel they are in good hands. These are of course great compliments that fill me with pride, because that’s exactly what I want to achieve – that my brides like to come to me and feel good here. Some even regret that they only marry once and can’t come back. I always say: “Come over for a coffee after your wedding!” Many do that too. I think that’s great!
Have you noticed any preferred styles and trends from your brides?
Many customers usually “want” what they know from the media, or what the media is currently offering as trends. Most of the time the wishes are limited to “a bit of lace and a flowing skirt” or “a simple dress”. Many use terms like “boho” or “vintage,” but do not know exactly what’s behind it. That’s why I listen carefully to the ideas and wishes of the brides and show them all sorts, options and variants of different dresses. Every woman is different. And so I also advise everyone individually and ignore the so-called “trends” a bit. It is important that the bride can identify with her dress and feel comfortable in it. The dress should also match the location and a chosen wedding motto.
I also have a lot of brides who have no idea of what kind of bridal gown but are looking for something special and fancy. I’m especially looking forward to that, because I can let my ideas run wild with them! Lastly, there are also creations that are rare. This year, for example, many pantsuits and jumpsuits were announced. Mostly in combination with a skirt or cape, which makes things even more exciting.
I also think that even a wedding dress should be timeless. It is absolutely neat when the bride can wear her own wedding dress for special occasions, such as her own wedding day, cocktail parties or opera visits.
If you could give advice to a bride before looking for a wedding dress, what would that be?
I think I have already advised a dozen times, but I’ll still say it again: Take the most important and closest people to you on your bridal gown search. They should know you well, your taste well and their opinion should be important to you. Even if it is difficult, limit your loved ones from 1-3 people. Or ask other ex-brides about their experiences. Most say that if they had the opportunity, they would go alone.
Several fittings in a day, I consider to be very strenuous. Both for the bride, those accompanying her and the bridal stylist. The brides usually arrive tired after the first fitting, can’t concentrate properly and or really enjoy the fitting.
Tell us about a typical challenge and how to master it.
I can relate this answer very well to the previous question. Most of the time, the biggest challenge for me is to experience the real wishes and imaginations of the bride. The brides are unfortunately often unsettled by their companions. They forget that the bride should be the focus and not the wishes of the friends. I use the time in the changing room when I’m alone with the bride to calm her down a bit. In case of uncertainty, I also advise to sleep things over.
In a job with emotions running high, how do you keep the stress level down?
It’s really hard to switch off completely. This makes my work really fun. I try to create a balance through my family life, through reading or, unfortunately very irregular – through sport.
What’s the best part of your day?
There are many beautiful parts of the day and wonderful moments! That starts with the morning coffee in my shop or with the selection of flowers that I always buy fresh and put up in the store!
But the most beautiful part of the day is always when I have made my customer happy and together we have found the right wedding dress for her.
I’m always excited before every fitting, because of course I never know in advance how the customer looks, what style she has and what she prefers. Only when I get to know them, I know which cuts and shapes could highlight their personality. I let the customers choose their favorites first. Parallel or only at the end I get my suggestions out. It may sound a bit presumptuous now, but mostly the clothes I choose are the direct hit. It fills me with great joy to see when a bride has found her dream dress and I was able to support her.
What was the best piece of advice you got as a bridal shop owner?
Especially at the beginning when I started my business, there was a lot of advice and not all was helpful or productive. As a founder, you have to learn to filter and really only heed the advice that will help you to progress. The best advice was, “Keep on going and stay true to your ideas!”
We would like to thank Magdalena Mzyk from COSMOPOLKA wedding | fashion for this interview
Photo Source: Diana Frohmüller