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BID Q&A: Running your business is a dream worth fighting for, says Inverness fashion supremo

By Features Reporter

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Marian Grant, owner of La-Di-Da Fashion. Picture: Callum Mackay
Marian Grant, owner of La-Di-Da Fashion. Picture: Callum Mackay

Person Behind the Business in association with Inverness BID

Q How would you describe your business?

A La-Di-Da Fashion is a stockist of ladies occasion wear, accessories and day wear.

It’s a family-run business owned by myself that I opened in March 2016, offering our customers a personal head-to-toe service. We specialise in the mother of the bride or groom. We run a diary to ensure customers do not get the same outfit for the same event, that’s quite unique. As the mother of the bride or groom, you don’t want someone else coming in your outfit! After they get their outfit we ask them to send us a wee photograph or pop back in to show us their photos and that’s lovely, it makes you feel part of their special day. A lot of customers do that and it’s lovely to be part of that. We love helping our customers to find their perfect outfit for their special day. There is nothing more satisfying than a happy customer leaving the shop delighted with their new outfit!

Q What led you into the business?

A I’ve loved working in retail for more than 25 years; working up from a sales assistant, trainer assessor and internal verifier to management and delivering modern apprenticeships within retail businesses throughout the Highlands and Islands, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. I always dreamed of owning and managing a unique and stylish ladies fashion shop.

My dreams have come true in being able to own and manage La-Di-Da Fashion.

Q What is your greatest achievement?

A Opening La-Di-Da Fashion has been a great personal achievement that has allowed me to work for myself and be my own boss while having many roles and responsibilities to fulfil including shop manager, buyer, bookkeeper, press and advertising officer, window dresser, fashion show events co-ordinator – all of which give me great satisfaction and fulfilment, all while being a wife and mother. I was into fashion since I was a young girl, I used to do designs myself. I love my job and what I do. I love working with people. This is me living my dream to have my own shop. We are also winners of the Scottish Wedding Awards wedding boutique of the year (occasion wear) 2019 and 2022.

Q Who do you admire in business?

A I admire all businesses small and large that are working so hard to survive in these very challenging times through the Covid lockdowns and now the cost of living crisis.

Q What’s your advice to budding entrepreneurs?

A Keep your dream alive and never forget it’s your dream and that it’s worth fighting for.

Take time to build a business plan, review it with someone you can trust and remember it takes time but your dream will come true. Working with other retailers and from my own experience I’ve learned a lot before I opened my own shop. But once you open your own shop it’s totally different! It’s a learning curve every day. You have to plan it. You can’t just open a business without knowing what you’re doing. I had to get all my suppliers approval first before I could get them – it’s not just a matter of going to a show and buying things. Most of my products are Spanish so I go to Barcelona every year. I have two daughters in their 30s and they’re supportive so they come out with me to help me pick. They can look at the younger side of it.

Q Can you tell us more about yourself?

A Free time is in short supply when you run a small business on your own, so any free time that I do have I spend it with my family and friends.

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