Elegant, petite and quietly commanding, Terri Chan is very much like the shop Les Trois Soeurs Bridal she started in Canary Wharf six years ago.
The 40-something swapped a career in finance for the world of weddings in 2011 and has been steadily building up her brand ever since.
She rarely gives interviews but meets us in her small but pristine boutique, tucked in Canada Place’s quieter North Colonnade corridor, as this spring she has something to shout about.
The company, named for Terri and the two sisters she set it up with, is about to host its largest event – The Luxury Bridal Show – with renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo among the VIP guests.
The American is a rising star in the bridal industry and will be bringing over her fresh designs for the catwalk and a trunk show on May 6 and 7.
Terri said: “We were the first to bring Hayley over to the UK in 2011. I was just starting out and saw a show by JLM Couture – the group she is part of – and fell in love with her dresses because they are quite flamboyant and unique.”
Raised in Norfolk with a mother who was a pattern cutter and seamstress, Terri studied business law at university but never forgot her childhood dream of working in bridal fashion.
After a career break she started Les Trois Soeurs Bridal from an office complex in Beaufort Court – where she still has her bridesmaid boutique – and held her first show in a corporate space in Barclays.
She said: “I have always loved fashion and since I was young knew I wanted to own my own business. When I got married in 2005 it inspired me.
“I originally wanted to design dresses and that may be a project for the future now I know more about what brides are looking for.”
The former PR began with a few designs by Matthew Williamson and Amanda Wakeley and saw a handful of brides each week.
Today she sees upwards of 40 appointments a week, with brides flying in from Europe and America to peruse her collection of more than 70 dresses and accessories from designers including Temperley Bridal, Aruna Seth, Lazaro, Monique Lhuillier, Caroline Castiglianao and Badgley Mischka.
Terri said: “My vision has always been to get all the high-end designers on board.
“You do have to charm them because, in the beginning, no-one knows who you are and they are quite picky about who they work with. Being in Canary Wharf has helped.”
Dresses start at £1,800, with the most expensive costing up to £10,000, coming from trendy Israeli-born designer Alon Livne
The newest addition to the boutique is Greek designer Victoria Kyriakides.
Terri said: “We are always looking for new talent and fresh ideas and try to add new designers every year.
“That’s why we are doing the show because we are growing ever year.
“Planning it has taken about a year and Canary Wharf Group have been really supportive.”
She is hoping to have more than 300 people at the ticketed event, which will include a Ruinart Champagne reception, catwalk shows, goodie bags, a performance from singer Earl, groom style inspiration from Savillle Row’s Henry Poole And Co, a jewellery display from Tiffany And Co, hair and make-up tutorials from Bobbi Brown and Michael Van Clark, honeymoon ideas from Tamara Heber-Percy, founder of Mr And Mrs Smith and scents from Penhaligons.
Ticket sales will go to World Vision charity to support its fight to re-educate against forced and early marriages and ambassador Lady Louisa Collings will give a speech on the night.
“I’m excited but nervous as there is lots of pressure and a lot riding on it, “ said Terri, who hopes it will become an annual event and help lead to her opening a larger shop in Canary Wharf.
“Running the business is hard work but I have always had that self belief, which I think is important for success.
“Being calm is important when you are dealing with brides as they understandably get stressed.”
“The most important things for us is to make sure people to have fun when they come here.”
“The best moment for me is when is when they find the right dress and are happy and say ‘this is the one’.”
The Luxury Bridal Show presented by Les Trois Soeurs Bridal and Brides Magazine will be held on Thursday, May 4 from 7-10pm in East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf.
Standard Tickets £25 plus booking fee include catwalk shows and a goodie bag worth £100.
VIP Tickets £50 plus booking fee include catwalk shows and a goodie bag worth £150 +plus a free weekend Trunk Show appointment to meet Hayley Paige in person.Twitter and Instagram @thewharfnews
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