This week’s High Flyer is Rebecca Bryson, owner of Curvy Chic Bridal
What was your first job?
My mum owned an interior designer business in Auckland in New Zealand and I worked there every Saturday. That is where I found my love for all things creative – my passions being fashion, beauty and interiors
What qualifications do you have?
A Bachelor in Music with a major in Jazz. I also have a certificate in Fashion Make-up and Design.
What do you attribute your success to?
Brute strength and determination. I didn’t have a choice. My parents owned a business here, but when my mum got ill, my dad was looking after her and we ended up losing everything. One of us had to make money and it fell on me. I put my head down and worked as hard as I could. It really is amazing what you can achieve when you are put in the situation and put your mind to it.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Hardworking and determined. I’m also laid back which I think enables me to evolve in whatever situation I am in. I don’t dwell on things and if something doesn’t work out then I’ll move on. I’m really positive, personable and comfortable talking to anyone.
Who do you look up to in business?
Shannelle Armstrong Fowler who owns Haute & Co Bridal Boutique in America. She’s been in business for over 10 years and has done really well and is very knowledgeable about her customer base. She has been a great support to me and is more than happy to share her valuable knowledge.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I value their opinion. When I’m making decisions I always ask for their feedback and I know they appreciate being involved. We’ve just opened Curvy Chic Bridal on the Holywood Road and my team spend so much time with our customers and they have so much knowledge from the appointments and the feedback they receive. I take their opinions very seriously when we are buying and I think it makes them feel more invested in wanting to help grow the business.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
The lack of women leaders in Northern Ireland. There’s a lot more respect and admiration for men leaders. We so many amazing females in business and I don’t understand why they are being overlooked. I’m so proud to have been included in the recent 40 Under 40 along with a host of other amazing women doing so well in their respective industries here.
What website or app could you not do without?
Calm – it’s the best app in the world and I use it every day. I’m afraid of flying so I use it for that and I listen to the sleep stories every night.
What was the last book you read?
Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee. I’m fascinated by how people’s brains can get from one place to another.
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
People are surprised when I tell them I’m classically trained as well as a trained singing teacher.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Animals. My dream is to live in the countryside and have lots of animals.