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MY STORY

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For as long as I can remember I have always had a passion for being creative. I was fortunate enough that my Mum recognised my creativity and taught me to sew from the tender age of 8, and I have been sewing ever since!

Once I finished school the decision to attend Fashion Design School was a natural one, and so my journey began. After finishing college and working a few years in the fashion industry, I began my own clothing label and focused my attention on making bespoke bridal wear. This was my passion for many years, and my bridal boutique in Cape Town became a recognised name in the industry and earnt me a few awards.  Read the story and my customers feedback below.

 

I have since moved to the UK, and would like to start a new chapter. My love of fabrics and creating beautiful things is unchanged. For the first five years I worked  in a freelance capacity for various businesses, teaching sewing and helping with soft furnishings and then the pandemic struck and my work dried up.

During Covid, I became a recognised member of the community and even received acknowledgement from the Queen and was interviewed by the BBC.  You can read the story below.  The short version of what happened was that I used my time over the first year in lockdown to get the local community together, raise funds, design and manufacture over 400 scrubs from my home and deliver them to the local NHS hospital who were desperate for the help. 

Although this was a very tough time for my husband and I, the silver lining is that I became well known as the go-to person for anything to do with making gowns and doing alterations.  I set up a studio in my garage and have been helping the community in this way ever since. 

What I realised during this time was that I needed to get back into the retail market where I had a lot of success previously so I set about designing my new business during lockdown.  The training classes were formalised, the haberdashery and fabrics were itemised and my online presence was developed.  As business in the country started getting back to normal, I began looking for premises and the funding and a year later we have opened our doors and I am so excited about what the future holds in store for me and my team at Tracey's Sewing Room.

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I cherish the many years I ran my own bridal shop in Cape Town and receiving public recognition was a highlight especially as it came about from customers and staff.  They registered my business for the Small Business of the Year Award hosted by one of the big 4 banks in the country and after going through inverviews with a selection panel and from the sheer number of votes that came in from past customers, I won.  Here is me receiving my award from the Nedbank representative and the radio channel that covered the award.  Some of the accolades below from past customer make for interesting reading!

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Tracey - I sing your praises a million times over. I was recommended by a friend to try O'Hanlon's after being to numerous places. When I walked in there the staff fell over their feet to be of assistance. I picked a dress to try on & enquired about the price (not bad). I had just had a mastectomy so was very embarrassed but Tracy said in all honesty to me that the dress did not suite me. Her words "Why don't I make you a dress that I think will suit you …." I only had a couple of weeks, but she delivered as promised and I felt confident knowing that a lot of love went into the making of my dress. After my wedding I was asked to please bring photos so that they can see. This is not a money-making business but passionate people who care about the needs of others. O’Hanlon’s you rock and I would gladly vote for you over and over.

I found Tracy to be very helpful, honest, friendly, and always comes across positively glowing that you can't help but get excited when around her.

I had ordered my dress through O'Hanlon and had received lots of advice from the staff there. Unfortunately my engagement broke up and the wedding won't be going ahead. O'Hanlon were very understanding and cancelled my orders and refunded my money. Wasn't an ideal situation to be in but they handled it very sympathetically for which I am grateful.

I had my dress made for my daughter’s wedding at O'Hanlon Bridal. I was treated professionally and Tracey and her wonderful team knew exactly what I wanted and how to treat a mother of the bride. Since my dress being made I have sent a few brides and matric dance dress girls to visit O'Hanlon Bridal.

I'm a bride to be and as much as choosing a dress is something you dream of it was something I was dreading. Being a shorty and on the meatier side i just knew it was going to be a disaster. Tracey picked out a dress for me, the first dress I tried on and it looked STUNNING!!!! Can you believe it. She was so lovely and helpful, every bride to be should shop there, what a pleasure! The staff are wonderful and really made a potentially disasterous day really special for me. GO TRACEY!!!!

I had a wonderful experience at O'Hanlon Bridal. I got married in the month of November, however only really started looking for a dress in July. With only a few months to spare - Tracey came to my aid in a professional manner. Every time I went there, she spent quality time with me and listened to what kind of dress I was interested in, and chose the dress closest to my liking. While trying on dresses she gave her honest opinions on what she thought and it was never a case of trying to sell the most expensive dress to me. My dress came out perfectly, and after losing weight just before the wedding, she altered my dress and it was the most perfect fit. I would highly recommend her services to anyone!

The helpfulness, friendliness and professionalism I received from the moment I walked into O'Hanlon Bridal was out of the top ranks excellent. Being a difficult bride, the patience practiced from the staff and Tracey O'Hanlon was highly appreciated. They are a team out of a million.

I had my wedding dress made by them and it was amazing. The service is great and what I asked for was what I got, with some of their imput to change the dress to make it even more special.

I went to O'Hanlon a little while ago and I need to say what a pleasure it was walking into a bridal shop and not looked down upon because of my age or financial status, they were able to hook me up with a dress that fitted my budget...if it wasn't for the fantasic staff I'm sure choosing my dress would have been a much more difficult task...THANK YOU O'HANLON

During the Pandemic

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During Covid, I decided to rally our local community to help the NHS with desparately needed scrubs for all the nurses. Very quickly we had dozens of sewing enthusiasts from Dorking and the surrounding areas offering to help, and those that could not sew were putting their hands in their pockets and donating funds to pay for the fabrics.

I converted my home into a production centre.  I produced a set of graded patterns and used the garage and our dinning room (and the help of my husband) for cutting the fabric into the individual pieces that I then packaged and left in bins outside for the sewing enthusiasts in the community to come and fetch, sew together and then deliver back to my front door.  Remember it was during lockdown so we had to find ways to keep safe.

We went through over 1,000 meters of fabric and delivered over 400 scrubs to the Royal Surrey Hospital.  I was very proud of our efforts as a community and during this period our efforts were acknowleded by the BBC and Her Majesty the Queen.

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