Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie-Lee Braunack of Toronto’s Luxe Shopping Experiences, a company that provides, well, luxe shopping experiences for special occasions and weddings. From picking out the perfect wedding dress to the ultimate girls’ night out, Jamie and her team craft one-of-a-kind experiences for the girl who wants to go the extra mile. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already perusing the website to craft your perfect luxe shopping experience. If you need more convincing, read on.
Stephanie Fusco: It’s great to finally chat, Jamie! This sounds like such a fun and unique business – why did you decide to start it up?
Jamie-Lee Braunack: I worked as an event manager myself and have worked on many weddings & events. I found that people are so stressed out, especially with weddings. It becomes about everyone else and not themselves in the end. I wanted to create something for them – something memorable where they were treated like the centre of attention, something that wasn’t stressful. There’s also a need for this kind of experience – some people don’t know where to shop or where to find the things they’re looking for. There are so many amazing businesses that people don’t know about, so it’s great to support smaller boutiques as well.
SF: This sounds like a great idea, but why should a bride book your experience? What really makes it unique?
JB: There are so many services available to brides, but nothing focuses on helping you to look your best. We do an initial consult where we talk about your preferences, budget, what you’ve got planned so far and your idea/vision. Based on this style consultation, we make recommendations for boutiques to take the bride to during her experience. We then work with the boutiques to pre-select garments and put everything together before the big day. Basically, we take away the overwhelm. We add the pampering on top of all of that and introduce you to great vendors you might decide to use for the day of, along with facilitating the booking of future appointments (like follow-up facials and treatments).
“I want to give brides a day they’ll always remember. The day they get the dress shouldn’t be stressful even if the rest of the process is”
SF: You have a lot of options in terms of experiences on your roster. What is your favourite experience and why?
JB: It’s hard to pick a favourite because everything is customized, but I’m a social person so my favourite experience would have to be the soiree. There’s nothing better than hanging out with your close friends, getting a stylist, shopping together, doing the pampering, wining & dining together – maybe experiencing a wine & chocolate pairing – then going for a night on the town.
SF: I’m sure a lot of women would see the value in this, but who is the ideal Luxe Shopping Experiences bride?
JB: Our ideal bride is probably extremely busy and works full-time but really appreciates the journey of planning a wedding & wants to make it incredibly special. She could be someone who would really appreciate some extra guidance in looking their best or she might be really comfortable with herself but would value the whole experience.
SF: You’ve mentioned that you were work preferred vendors where possible, although you will take requests from brides. How do you choose these people & what exactly makes the experience different?
JB: We always work with preferred vendors where possible, although it does depend on the client. The people we’ve chosen to work with offer exceptional customer service and have really high-quality products & services. We do have special arrangements with vendors, including exclusive discounts and added on services (white-glove service at no charge, delivering your wedding dress, etc).
SF: This all sounds wonderful, but what does it cost?
JB: Experiences can range from $1,400 – $7,500 depending on the type of experience and the number of people involved.
Are these experiences as luxe as they sound?
Thanks to Luxe Shopping Experiences, I’m going to find out! Jamie is graciously putting together a package for me so I can experience it and report back. I can’t wait to share my day of wedding dress shopping along with Luxe Shopping Experiences with you.