Interview with Bridal Industry Power House Ashley Young, Co-founder and Lead Stylist of Bridal Babes
Meet Ashley Young, the co-founder and Lead Stylist of Bridal Babes. At Bridal Babes, Ashley heads up the marketing and production side of the business and taps into her 10+ years of marketing expertise to grow the business. Ashley has worked for notable CPG brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Nature Made Vitamins, and The Laughing Cow Cheese. Also, she has managed the federal government’s youth tobacco and vaping prevention campaigns.
Bridal Babes is the first size-inclusive bridesmaid gown line created as a solution to a common problem for brides and bridesmaids. Ashley tells us that Bridal Babes is the answer to what traditional bridal boutiques lack — curve-hugging, attractive bridesmaid dresses for women of all shades, shapes, and sizes.
Please enjoy our interview!
We understand that your personal experiences and struggles are part of the backstory that birthed Bridal Babes. What can you share with us about this?
Ashley: I struggled to find the perfect bridesmaid gowns for my bridal party and I noticed this huge gap in the bridal and bridesmaid market. Shortly after my wedding, my husband Charles and I launched Bridal Babes to create an easier way to find attractive and affordable bridesmaid gowns and bride-to-be attire (bridal showers, bachelorettes, rehearsal dinners and more!). Most importantly, by doing this, Bridal Babes created a space for women of color and plus-size women in the bridal industry that hadn’t existed previously.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Ashley: A typical day starts off with my husband and I getting our kids ready for school. Then, I head to the studio for client meetings, partnership updates, and team brainstorms. As CEO, I wear many hats including design director, marketing manager, partnership lead, and more! My favorite role is in marketing as that is my pre-Bridal Babes industry. I worked for tobacco prevention campaigns for youth as well as large CPG companies like Nature Made Vitamins, Neutrogena, and more. I love creating new and exciting content for our social media channels.
Have you ever had to pivot in business? If so how did you go about doing it?
Ashley: Yes, we pivoted drastically during the start of the pandemic which led us to two new and exciting product lines. Because people were no longer having large weddings, bridesmaids were not as much of a necessity. Our clients started asking us for outfits for bridal showers and micro weddings — smaller events that were still happening. They also want to come back and shop with us after the wedding so we started our t-shirt line that has blossomed to a full athleisure line refreshed annually.
Do you believe in work-life balance? If so how do you maintain it?
Ashley: Absolutely! Because our business is very seasonal, we can plan for slow periods and try to do family and couples activities then. That way, when we have to be very focused during the busy season (Q1 & Q3) we are refreshed and energized.
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs entering the wedding industry?
Ashley: Be prepared for intense wedding seasons but also the rewarding downtime during the slow season. Also, clients are very intense — this is the biggest and most wonderful day of their lives. We get it!
Connect on Instagram: @bridalbabes