Not Your Usual Suspect…
It might seem unusual for someone who had never worked in a bridal salon to undertake a massive renovation of part of her home, invest heavily in wedding dresses for sale and begin booking appointments with excited brides-to-be, but that is exactly what Margaret Hewitt did when she made the decision to open Timeless Bridal, a new bridal boutique in Fort McMurray that is changing the game for brides in the Wood Buffalo region.
Margaret, a maintenance planner for Shell, is a natural entrepreneur with a keen interest in marketing and a strong focus on delivering a high level of customer service, key components in the competitive business of bridal salons. She was determined to open a business in the region, and she saw a niche that needed to be filled: “I have always wanted to own and operate a business. Being newly married and knowing how I felt looking for a dress led me down this path. An opportunity presented itself and although that opportunity fell through, I felt that a bridal boutique was one of the experiences that the community was missing,” says Hewitt.
Hewitt says: “I had just finished going through this myself recently and once we started brainstorming ideas for the business, my passion grew. It grew from my experience and what I would have liked when I was looking. Now as I see and spend time with the girls, I am further motivated to provide a once in a lifetime experience.”
A once in a lifetime experience is indeed what Margaret provides in her boutique, converted from the garage in her home into a retail location that rivals any found in other communities. The strong focus on customer experience includes devoting her time and energy to her brides-to-be, allowing them to enjoy the experience of “saying yes to the dress” in a low-pressure, friendly and yet professional environment able to cater to their every need.
Even the name of her business has been carefully selected by Hewitt to reflect her passion and commitment to the long-term success of the business. She says, “Weddings themselves are timeless, and although there are slight changes in fashions, the designs start with a “timeless” foundation. The word itself kind of denotes tradition, romance, and forever.”
Hewitt has combined her passion for business with her love of this community, too. “I love this community,” she says. “It has provided my family financial stability, excellent schools for our kids, community activities to help support raising a family - I could go on and on. This community is still growing and maturing, this is our home and I would recommend to anyone looking to relocate here to be prepared to stay and don’t make a five year plan.” And as for entrepreneurs she says: “Fort McMurray is a town full of opportunity. There is such a demand for amenities I think anyone brave enough to venture on their own can seek and find their niche. With programs like Community Futures Wood Buffalo, business seminars and local networking there is plenty to aid entrepreneurs.”
Margaret Hewitt has turned her passion for entrepreneurship, her keen attention to the needs of the market and her strong customer service ethic into a thriving young business ideally situated to serve the brides-to-be of this community. Her enthusiasm is clear to anyone who visits Timeless Bridal, and her customers are satisfied – and grateful.
“The ladies that visit get excited at the prospect of finding their wedding gown right here in town, and most usually have tons of compliments,” she says with a smile. It is obvious that she has excitement and genuine joy in her business and in giving her clients the kind of experience they will never forget as they prepare for the day they walk down the aisle in a dress they found right in their home community.
Photo: Margaret Hewitt is pictured here with Jess Rogers.