It all started with a few scraps of fabric and a childhood dream, but now Nelson woman Bobby-Lee Wadsworth is dressing brides all over the world.
The solo mum’s bridal gown label ‘Wild and White’, launched late last year, and has caught the eye of brides-to-be everywhere.
Born and bred in Nelson, Bobby-Lee lived in Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland to earn her qualifications and start her career in designing bespoke bridal gowns.
But after having her now three-year-old son and moving back home, she was unsure what to do.
“Then one day I just started playing with leftover lace, chiffon, satin and scraps of old dresses and combined them together to make gowns, and then did some sneak peeks on social media to spark some interest.”
Nearly a year later those sneak peeks have earned her more than 6000 followers on Instagram and orders from all over the country – and the world.
In fact, she now has so many orders she has had to get help with making the dresses, with each taking between 120 and 150 hours.
“What was a little idea has sparked a huge interest.”
Bobby-Lee has also had enquiries from photographers in Australia, Spain and the USA all wanting to use her gowns for photo shoots.
The 30-year-old says she draws her inspiration from a bride’s personality and describes her style as catering for “the modern bride who still likes the idea of a classic wedding”.
“There is nothing more magical then seeing a bride try on a dress for the first time,” says Bobby-Lee.
“Designing dresses is more about being part of making a difference in someone’s life, even if for just one day. It really is more than just the dress – it’s the relationship that is built throughout the process.”
Bobby-Lee will be opening a boutique from her home, where she also does alterations, at the end of April with over 30 gowns on display. She will also be donating five per cent of all her profits to Women’s Refuge.
She says it’s a dream come true.
“I’ve wanted to do this since I was little” she says.
“My grandma taught me to sew and helped me make my first dress when I was seven. And now I’ve gone from having a little studio doing alternations at the back of Fabric Barn, to this.
“It has been incredibly scary, but I have the love and drive to do it.”
To contact Bobby-Lee, email [email protected]