Connect
To Top

Exploring Life & Business with Julie Fisher of Julie Harris Designs Bridal Veils and Accessories

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Fisher. 

Hi Julie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I think designing and creating was always in me. 

Some of my earliest memories are of making evening clothes for my dolls and begging my mother to teach me to sew. By the time I was 10, I made my first dress for myself and I‘ve been at it ever since. 

Growing up I had to wear a boring plaid uniform to school so in my free time I was constantly sewing and teaching myself about design and construction. I had already started reading my mother’s Vogue magazines when I was only eight years old. 

I loved seeing all the pretty clothes and fabrics and imaginings myself wearing them ‘when I grew up!’ Creating new outfits allowed me to express my creativity. As a teen and all through college and beyond I made all my clothes, even some of my jewelry too. 

When I was a UCLA, I wasn’t really happy. I wanted to leave and enroll in design school, 

I truly loved clothes and fashion but I’m from a serious-minded family that insisted I pursue a real career. My parents paid my tuition and wouldn’t hear of it! 

So, I followed a conventional path to graduation and got a teaching credential. I had a great job and was successful. 

After a few years of teaching, I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled. 

One summer I learned that the design school here in LA, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), was starting a 2-year night program. I signed up for it immediately! I was so excited to attend. 

It was a lot of work and stress but I really enjoyed it. 

When people found out that I was going to fashion school they scoffed and thought it was ridiculous and that I would never ‘make it.’ 

After finishing the program there, I took some time off of teaching and worked as a pattern maker for a clothing company that made lots of denim pieces and maxi dresses. It was an interesting learning experience but the wages were not what I was accustomed to earning. Eventually, I had to return to teaching because I needed the income in order to purchase my townhouse. 

When I returned to teaching, I was a subject of gossip. I got snide comments from the other teachers and they viewed me as a designer failure. 

Yes, I was back in the classroom but I was just preparing the next steps to achieve my goals of becoming a designer and working from my new home. 

I continued my design education -taking a millinery class – and that’s when the idea of bridal accessories came to me. It was perfect. I could work with some of my favorite elements-lace, silk flowers, and beads and I didn’t have to worry too much about sizing. Not only does a bridal veil always fit, I knew that I could create a fun shopping experience for my clients. 

A veil is an accessory that truly makes people happy. Mom’s cry tears of joy, brides feel giddy with delight at finding something more beautiful than they had ever imagined and as I always say, “The veil creates the magic” 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The toughest part was definitely at the beginning. I had to figure out every single thing myself. Running a business while having a full-time job was no joke. First and foremost, you have to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. You need to do so much research to find supplies and figure out the best way to do things and a lot of it was by trial and error. I had no mentor or business coach. 

It took a lot of stamina to keep things going and often I was really, really tired. I had to source all the laces suppliers, trim the lace, make the veils, schedule appointments and see the clients in person, pack up for and set up for weekend bridal shows and then follow up on potential clients with emails. Having the ability to multi-task and work on several things at once did help. I’d check and recheck details so I wouldn’t make foolish errors due to exhaustion. 

I used to teach all day and spend all the rest of my time after school pursuing my design business goals. I placed a small ad in a magazine that was available at bridal salons. I started exhibiting at bridal shows and slowly built my business by word of mouth and referrals. Then one fantastic summer day I got a call from the local boutique! 

Nicole Miller had added a bridal line and they asked me to provide some sample veils for brides to try on in the dressing room of the salon to help sell the bridal gowns. 

I could leave my cards and brochure in the dressing rooms so brides could contact me! After that, I was busy with clients every weekend! The beautiful thing about my business is that I could book appointments for late afternoons, evenings or weekends and anytime in the summer. 

A couple of years later while shopping at J.Crew, I saw a salesperson walk by with an armload of wedding gowns. I made some inquiries, told them I made veils for the Nicole Miller Bridal Boutique and left my card for the manager. 

Sure enough, I received a callback and within a couple of weeks, my sample veils were also in the J Crew bridal salon at The Grove. 

My clients had no idea that I had another career. I had changed schools and never spoke about it at my teaching job. 

I was very careful to keep the two endeavors completely separate. 

Both stores were wonderful partnerships. Business went smoothly for several years but eventually, things began to change. Management changed, companies got bought out and some started to sell their own veils that were mass-produced in overseas factories. 

I got married and cut way back on my business for well over a year. Then I decided to start selling online through Etsy. 

I’ve been back up and running ever since. Five years ago, I left teaching for good in order to focus on my bridal veil business full time. It was another goal achieved at last! 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My business is Julie Harris Designs Bridal Veils and Accessories. It’s a black-owned, female-owned wedding business. 

We create classic, romantic, and dramatic bridal veils, wedding capes, and hair accessories for modern marriers. 

We bring your wedding-style vision to life. We are LGBT friendly and work with both brides and grooms.

JHD brings joy to wedding couples who what to express their personal style. 

Our creations help create beautiful memories that modern marries treasure for a lifetime. 

In my business, I can create unique styles for my clients like lavender 

or red veils, sheer black capes, or tuxedo capes that attach on one shoulder. 

I also use top-quality materials. Many laces are imported from France. I use American-made bridal illusion as well as English Net and tulles imported from the UK. Using the best materials helps to ensure a luxury creation. 

Creating this business has definitely been an experience of trial, error, a few steps backward, more steps forward, some big disappointments, readjusting, and never giving up. 

I feel so happy to say after all these years of hard work the smoothest part is now. My business is thriving and I’m happy to be part of a wedding business community. I am on the board of WIPA/ Weddings International Professional Association, Southern California Chapter as the Director of Communications. I have wonderful clients that really appreciate my creativity and expertise and I am free to pursue any business ideas that come to me. 

Hopefully, soon I’ll hire some support staff so I can continue to grow. 

Truthfully, it’s not always fun and glamorous. The responsibilities are endless, but it’s what I’ve always wanted. 

I feel so fortunate and grateful to be having my designer dreams come true! 

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
I’m easy to find! JulieHarris Designs – 

My website is: www.julieharrisdesigns.com 

I’m in the process of an update but it has all the info you need to get started 

Follow me on social media -Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, even Yelp.

I’m on all the channels as @Julieharrisdesigns-The Los Angeles Bridal Veil Expert. 

Also feel free to email me at: julieharrisdesigns@gmail.com. 

Email is my preferred method of communication because it’s the easiest to keep track of. 

Of course, you can always grab your phone and simply give me a call. 

818-308-5743 

I even have clients that I’ve never met, we did all our communication via text. 

I also have my Etsy Shop which does go by a different name. It’s https://www.etsy.com/shop/bridalandbeyond

For those people who are not in need of a wedding accessory or bridal veil you can always just show some love and support by spreading the word about my services. 

Like my Instagram posts and leave a comment. Tag a relative, friend, or coworker who may need my services in the future. Word of mouth and personal recommendations are priceless. 

Pricing:

  • Short Veils $275-$550
  • Long Veils $350-$1200
  • Wedding Capes $350- $1250
  • Hair Accessories $50-$395
  • Restyling/ Refurbishing starts at $150

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Julie harris Designs
@mollyandcophto
@damorewed
@mikiandsonja
@whiterabbitphotoboutique
@katejacksonphotography
@elizajanephoto
@johnandjoseph
@peterson.design.photo

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories