Marking a special occasion

Kim Lord, outside her shop Always and Forever on Highfield Road, South Shore, Blackpool
Kim Lord, outside her shop Always and Forever on Highfield Road, South Shore, Blackpool
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Young Blackpool woman Kim Lord is celebrating her first year in business – helping couples enjoy the perfect wedding day.

Kim Lord, 22, opened the ‘Always and Forever’ shop on Highfield Road in 2015, selling bridal dresses and offering wedding planning services.

After deciding to become her own boss, Kim sought support from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service. She was able to get advice on creating a business plan and doing financial forecasting.

The shop has gone from strength-to-strength over the last 12 months – selling a range of packages for weddings and events, from organising the stationery to picking up thank you gifts.

Kim said: “I feel like I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride in the middle of a whirlwind. It has been so busy we didn’t have time to launch – we are thinking about a belated first birthday party.

“I have learnt so much – I love this work even more than I thought I would. I planned to create a job that would fit around my life, but it’s so much fun it’s taken over my life.

“There have been a few moments where I nearly panicked, but I’ve held my nerve and the business is really settling in.

“My favourite part of running the business is seeing people so happy, finding out about people’s fabulous love stories and opening the parcels containing gorgeous new dresses. Starting a business was definitely the right move for me.”

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for business and economic development, said: “Kim is a great example of another young person who has taken their career into their own hands and decided to set up on their own.

“It’s a bold step to make a decision like this at a young age, but I’m delighted our help could give her the support she needed to make her dream a reality. It just goes to show, anybody can become their own boss, as long as you have the enthusiasm to get started and the drive to make it a success.”

Contact Get Started on (01253) 477147 or search www.blackpool.gov.uk/getstarted