Today we introduce you to female owned business RUBY PROM! Designing, making and supplying the best dresses and accessories for your prom, from prom dresses to long dresses, and short dresses to accessories. Everything you need for your forthcoming prom can be purchased from Ruby Prom!
Check below for an amazing interview with the two women behind this fabulous company - a family business run by mother and daughter!
Ruby Prom was started up by a mother and daughter team based in Sheffield. Michele O’Neill, the mother of this great team comes from a background of being a Fashion and Textiles graduate. Michele has had her own bridal business for 20 years and started this journey in 1980, making couture and special bespoke bridal gowns for celebrities. Her pieces have sold via wholesale through independent bridal boutiques including Harrods Bridal Department and own retail boutiques ‘Fiorito Bridal Designs’ - Impressive stuff!
Amanda O’Neill, the daughter who completes this business partnership is a Business and Marketing graduate. Born into the bridal industry, with a very keen interest in fashion and design, Amanda wanted to bring something more youthful in terms of design to market.
We interviewed this amazing and inspiring mother daughter team to find out more! Here's what we found out for our readers!
So we see your backgrounds above, so how did you make the decision to go forward and move into the prom industry?
After spotting a gap in the market about 4 years ago for a British Prom brand, we set up the Ruby Prom business, 3 years ago. We focus on Traditional prom styling as well as dresses with a modern fashion twist!
So seeing a gap in the market triggered you into action, that's great! Does your age gap ever get in the way vision and decision making on direction for your pieces?
The age gap of approx 25 years is not a hindrance on style as we have a similar taste in dresses, although we are inspired and influenced by different things; fabrics, colours, jewellery, celebrity style, wallpaper etc. Bringing together different style ideas, technical expertises to create a modern collection for Prom and formal events.
So Michelle, who's Idea was it to come together as mother and daughter and collaborate in business?
Michelle: It was a joint decision as I was already a manufacturer of bridal gowns for many years and Amanda had always shown a keen interest in design, fashion and making dresses from a young age.
I see, so did you go to prom when you were in school and if so what was the experience like for you back then, what did you wear?
There was no prom at my school. At the end of term we always sat down in the big hall and watch a ‘Carry on’ film.
Wow! So Amanda, What key skills do you bring to the table for the business and what areas of your course were valuable in terms of your use of them now?
I hope I bring a younger more fashion design element to the business, I love designing the shoes and bags as well as the fun short dresses. From my Business course at university I have been able to put into use some of the skills with coordinating activities within the business, help streamline some of the processes within the business regarding the shipping and sales activities. But have also found some elements of understanding supply chains within an organisation as well as some elements of international business.
Fantastic so it was worth studying! So how about you, did you go to Prom? If yes, how was it, what did you wear?
I actually had three proms from Year 11 –Year 13. Each year I wore a different dress and different style of dress, all of which mum and I made together at home. My first Prom at Y11 was my most favourite where I wore a black satin corset with a large back and red 50’s style skirt and bolero jacket.
Sounds amazing! Wish I had you ladies there for mine! So what advice do you have for other mother and daughters out there who are thinking about joining forces like you did?
It can be really rewarding working together but it is not without its additional stresses of being family. We have had a positive experience overall we have already built up trust and respect on a personal level which works in business as you are both working towards the same goals and have each other’s interests at heart. You must find areas of the business where you can specialise and grow into as it can cause conflict both trying to do the same task especially as we do have very different methods of working. There can be the negatives where if something goes wrong, you have a disagreement or believe the other is to blame for a fault then you tend not to hold back in saying so as you may with another colleague. Which sometimes may end in a stand-off, although after a while you have to try and learn to leave work at works door and carry on as family at home.
So overall its been rewarding and a great decision from both of you to pursue this family business together! Congratulations!
Michelle: Ultimately it has been really rewarding for us, we get to spend time together doing something we both love and I feel we have a stronger relationship from all the hard times as well as the good!!
Well it has been a pleasure interviewing these inspirational ladies who are showing that a gap in the market and the right experience and passion - can take you a long way to fulfilling a dream! We wish these ladies all the best in the future.
Check out Ruby Prom's 2012 COLLECTION Today! CLICK HERE!