Bridal Babes is an online bridal and bridesmaid boutique that caters to women of all colors and sizes. They sell stylish, form-fitting dresses that let women show off their curves and skin tone. Founders Charles and Ashley Young pitched their business on Shark Tank and got a deal with Emma Grede! As of 2023, Bridal Babes is worth $1.25 million.
About the Founders
Charles and Ashley Young are a married couple residing in Washington, DC. Not much is known about the husband’s background, but Ashley has a marketing degree from the University of Virginia.
After college, she became a marketing
expert, spending over a decade of her life managing half a billion dollars for a public education campaign. Previously Ashley lived in New York City and worked for Universal McCann and Porter Novelli. She later worked for the FDA as a health communications specialist for nine years.
Founding Bridal Babes
When Charles and Ashley’s wedding day was near, the bride called her bridesmaids to ask what kind of dress they’d like to wear. Because they were of different colors and shapes, they wanted to wear something to emphasize their distinctive beauty.
They looked at many bridal shops to find form-fitting dresses in striking hues but found none. This helped Ashley realize there was a gap in the bridal market for women of color and those with unique figures. A gap to be filled in the $61.9 billion US wedding industry.
Ashley and her hubby launched Bridal Babes in 2019 with their own savings. Charles quit his job as a detective to work full-time in the business. As president and COO, he mostly manages the logistics and operations. The brand’s virtual consultancy services and online showcases helped it stand out. By 2021, they were on track to make $1 million in sales.
Getting on Shark Tank
Charles and Ashley’s business became one of the most successful black and women-owned businesses in their area. Because of this, they were invited to join the 2021 Black Girl Magic Pitch Competition.
The event was funded by Capital One Business and Boss Women Media, who picked three out of 5,000 participants to receive the top awards. Ashley got second place and was awarded a $15,000 grant.
Shark Tank Pitch
Charles and Ashley made a confident pitch on Shark Tank and did a great job explaining their business. The Sharks were impressed with their sales and steady growth. They didn’t like how they were spending 30% of their revenue on advertising, this was having a big impact on margins.
Robert and Kevin were the first Sharks to bow out. Emma Grede was the first to make an offer of $250,000 for 25% which crushed their initial valuation. The founders countered at 20% and the deal was done.
After Shark Tank
Despite their episode only airing, the business is expecting to see a huge uplift in sales over the coming weeks. The business suffered during the early stages of the pandemic but had its first profitable year in 2020.
If you or someone you know is looking to get married, you can get in touch with Bridal Babes directly on their official website, BridalBabes.co. Apart from dresses, they also sell robes and merch.
Their bridal collection has a 3.7-star rating on TheKnot.com from three reviews. The company is thriving and has lifetime sales of $2 million. They are forecasting sales of $1.2 million for 2022 and are valued at $1.25 million.
The biggest challenge facing Bridal Babes will be improving supply chain efficiencies as they scale. The dresses are manufactured overseas so it could take over a month to ship an order unless they pay extra for air shipping.