Company: BleuBelle Bridal & BleuBelle Boutique
Savannah neighborhood: Richmond Hill
• Grown BleuBelle Bridal by 30 percent each year through the recession
• Celebrated 10 years in business for BleuBelle Boutique
• Founded a consulting company in 2013, The H Factor.
• Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, 2007
• 40 under 40 from the University of Georgia Alumni Association, 2012
• Voted Best Women’s Store from Savannah Magazine for eight years, Best Bridal Salon for six years
• President of Savannah Fashion Week
• Founder of the Happily Ever After Ball to benefit The Next Generation for Memorial Children’s Hospital
• Juror to select students shown in the Savannah College of Art & Design senior fashion show, 2006-2013
Questions for BiS
Q: As a proven local leader, please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenge do you foresee by the end of 2014?
A: I’d love for Savannah Fashion Week to garner lots of attention on a regional and national level to highlight the successful businesses involved in all aspects of fashion, beauty and style in our area.
Q: By the year 2020?
A: I anticipate that downtown Savannah will be booming by 2020 as more and more national attention is brought to our city through local events, films and SCAD’s growth and support for our city.
Q: By the year 2030?
A: Breaking the stigma of a sleepy, southern town, I think Savannah has an opportunity to become a sophisticated destination and retreat for stylish, successful people across the country.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: I want to focus on my strengths and passions, and use those to share with others in a small part in helping the bigger picture of retail, fashion and weddings in Savannah to grow as much as possible.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: Technology is changing everything about the way we get information, and the top methods of communication and marketing are shifting rapidly. I am looking forward to what is yet to come, and I’m enjoying the challenge of staying on top of those changes for my businesses and lifestyle.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: The fact that we have so many incredible local, independent success stories will help to inspire others to do the same, and letting that independent spirit set our city apart from others is already an asset that can drive the economy in Savannah.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: This difficult economy that still plagues many businesses is creating a sort of survival of the fittest scenario, and businesses are set to thrive or fail depending on how they can set themselves apart from the masses.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: From Savannah Arts Academy to the Savannah College of Art and Design, I think people will find that they can thrive in our creative city with a degree in the arts, whether it’s interior design, graphic design, or a degree in visual arts.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade?
A: Focus on what your strengths and passions can contribute to an existing company that is doing great things for our city or take a leap of faith to use those talents to make your own contribution with a business that focuses on the voids within a particular market.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I hope that my stores leave a legacy focused on our exceptional customer relationships.