From Franchisee to Franchisor
How a mother daughter duo used Radial Studios to make a big business move
It is one of the most complicated and stressful aspects of planning a wedding – choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses. Not only do you have to find the perfect style that will fit and flatter a host of different sizes and shapes, but you also need to make the dresses available to a group of people likely scattered across the country.
And there’s another wrinkle – giving your bridesmaids numerous options to pay for the dresses, including the ability to subsidize the cost, if necessary, without making a fuss about it.
Bella Bridesmaids, a national chain that focuses on the bridesmaid experience, has these issues all figured out.
“We have spent a ton of time working on infrastructure, including software development,” says Erin Casey Wolf, the daughter in the mother-daughter team who owns Bella Bridesmaids. She and her mother, Kathleen Casey, opened their first Bella Bridesmaids shop in Chicago in 2007 as franchisees, opened another in Milwaukee in 2008 and eventually acquired the overall business in 2012. Since then, they have grown to 51 franchise stores from 37.
Pushing business forward
“We partnered with Radial Studios to figure out how to work smarter and more efficiently to save ourselves time on the backend by integrating and connecting all of our various digital systems,” says Kathleen.
That improved efficiency allows Bella Bridesmaids to stay laser-focused on what’s most important to their business – customer service. “We’re there to create experiences and celebrate this special time,” says Kathleen. To accomplish that, they can’t afford to spend their time troubleshooting their software system.
Radial Studios integrated Vantiv, Now Worldpay’s payment processing solution into Bella Bridesmaids’ software, allowing all technology to work smarter on a daily basis. “Now our franchisees are able to focus more on what they’re most passionate about, and able to grow their business rather than keying in credit cards and taking payment information over the phone. We used to be backlogged for weeks, charging credit cards. Now all of those pain points have utterly gone away,” says Erin.
Fewer headaches, more dress details
And when the pain is gone, the passion of being a thriving independent business and celebrating the bridal party has room to flourish. “We’ve come a long way,” says Kathleen. “The amount of time we spend processing cards has become minimal, compared to when employees had to key everything in themselves. It’s made our lives so much easier, I can’t even tell you.”
Radial Studios owner George Faerber appreciates the positive impact his services have for busy entrepreneurs, such as offering integrated payments from Worldpay. “Business owners really want to get back to doing what it is that drew them into their business in the first place,” he says. “They don’t want to be on the phone for hours setting up an e-comm account or troubleshooting a payment system. We make the experience really pain-free for them so they can get back to doing what they love.”
Location: Columbus, OH
eCommerce & technology consulting
Location: Chicago, IL
Independent since 2007
Retail and eCommerce