Grace Creaner is the brainchild behind Hermia Bridal, a bridal destination that has been created with love at its core.
Looking back over her life, with grief thrown in to the mix after losing her father, her mum has been her biggest inspiration. Everything that Grace embodies is what we stand for here at House of Coco.
She is passionate, creative and destined to make a name for herself in the wedding industry. We are so excited to follow her journey so we spent some time with her to find out more…
Tell us the journey that led you to launching your brand, Hermia Bridal…
Hermia has been alive in my mind for a very long time. I always knew that I wanted my own store and I knew I wanted it to be a new take on bridal. I always felt our area was lacking when it came to having access to more modern bridal designers. And I knew that because those very brides were people like myself and my friends. But for me, I also always place a great deal on timing and strongly believe that our pathway is guided without us knowing. So, when I finished my masters in fashion retailing, I placed everything in the hands of the universe and knew Hermia would come into fruition when it was supposed to if I put the hard work in to it.
I worked in luxury retail before becoming a product content writer for womenswear. I have no doubt in my mind that without this background, I wouldn’t have been able to shape Hermia into what I wanted it to be. Likewise, it wasn’t until I got growing pains in my writing role that the space for the store came up for lease. So, the journey for me really has been all about timing and having faith that what I wanted to create was both important and needed.
Fierce, fearless and free is your ethos. Why was this important to you?
The idea of brides feeling totally empowered is what grounds everything at Hermia. I often allude to the history of marriage when talking about our ethos, because I think it is important to recognise marriage as the institution it once was. We have the privilege of living in a time where marriage is simply about love. And with that comes the autonomy for brides to tell their story through their own style identity.
In the same way marriage isn’t shackled by shadows of the past, bridal styling shouldn’t be either. We’re blessed to work with an amazing portfolio of designers who retain traditional touches, paired with much more elevated design sentiments. It’s all about capturing that classic bridal essence but through designs that have been considered with a dynamic and a trend-driven feel to them.
Your brand story is empowering, can you tell us more about the story behind the brand?
Hermia is very much a love letter to the powerful women in my life, in particular my mum. It all comes back round to our ethos really. I’m inspired by every woman who comes through our door. Hermia lends her name from a character from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. She famously defied patriarchal order by fleeing to marry for love, rather than marrying the man society intended.
My mum has been the strongest pillar in my life, and she also happens to be a huge adorer of Shakespeare’s work. So, the name made perfect sense really. My mum raised me single-handedly after the death of my father, but then went on to teach me what love is when she met her now husband later on in life. It’s a bit of a cliché, but she really has taught me what it means to be strong and in love all at once. And that’s exactly what Hermia is all about.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
An average day in my life consists heavily of love and caffeine. I have the privilege of meeting so many amazing people every day, which is definitely the best part of the job. The store maintenance aspect is huge to me, as I have worked really hard to create a space which feels both elevated and like home all at the same time. So that does take up a great deal of my time (which is where the caffeine comes in). Outside of appointments, I’m always online touching base with brides who we may have met already and brides who we’re yet to meet.
Visiting a bridal store can be daunting and intimidating, what message would you give to anyone who was worried about visiting your store?
Our store has been really carefully considered to be as relaxed as possible. I consciously chose quite a small space, to take out that overwhelming aspect of feeling like you have so many options to consider. Our curated collection of gowns and separates means you can see absolutely everything without feeling bombarded or like you’ve missed anything either. Each style has also been chosen because they explore entirely different styling options, so you have the room to play around and really dig deep into what it is you’re searching for.
How do you want people to feel when they visit your store?
All I want for the brides visiting us is to feel at home. We’re entirely at your disposal to help navigate your search with you and offer as much or as little guidance as you feel you may need. Every dress-fitting is a lesson, whether you find the dress or not. So, all I want for our brides is to leave us feeling like they’ve delved a little deeper into finding what they want and had a gorgeous time whilst doing so.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
I think I would have a lot more faith in my convictions. Starting out in a new industry is incredibly daunting, but it shouldn’t be a point for you to doubt your own ability and worth.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Travel is honestly one of my greatest joys in life. For me, it has to be Costa Rica.
Running a business can be non-stop, what do you do to switch off?
It’s a bit of a wild card, but I love going to the cinema. I’m a huge movie buff as it is, but being in the cinema removes any ability for me to go on my phone or pull out my laptop. Even if I dedicate a night off at home, you can guarantee I’ll have a sneaky peek at my emails. So, if I need a second, you’ll find me at the cinema.
What does self care mean to you?
Self care is so multi-faceted because it really does extend across mind, body and soul. Pause is hugely important to me, but can be quite difficult to define and execute. On a basic level, it’s taking the time to reset and rest. So that can be just an early night, a comfort movie and a face mask. On a deeper level, it’s thinking about long term changes to preserve my peace independent of work and my relationship with others.
In five years from now, where do you see the brand?
In five years from now, I’d love to be able to draw on a portfolio of brides who celebrated their love all over the world. I hope we’ll be in the position to grow, continuing to work with our beautiful designers and having gained some new, exciting additions on the way.