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Inspiring Views from the Bright SideSM


An Interview with Ashley Riddle



UpDos For I Dos | Columbia, MD

1. What are the goods/services offered by your primary business?

UpDos For I Dos is an on-site, bridal hair and makeup service whose expertly skilled team of over 40 professional hairstylists and makeup artists create long-lasting hairstyles and camera-ready makeup for brides and their bridal parties. We offer pre-wedding trials in our Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Florida, and South Carolina studios. Experienced in working with professional photographers and event planners, we share wedding day happiness with over 500 brides annually.

2. What did you launch in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

UpDos For I Dos wanted to help brides who were forced to postpone their weddings. Realizing that other major milestones were impacted by the pandemic, and to help spread cheer, we launched curated gift boxes that were specific to missed events including graduations, birthdays, and baby showers.

3. What steps did you take to develop and promote your new initiative?

With a little market research from social media, we quickly sprung into action sourcing different products that would be a great fit for our boxes. We chose to support a local business and had custom quarantine themed headbands, wine and shot glasses designed to accompany our beauty products. Our company already has a custom line of lip glosses and therefore we could customize each beauty box a step further by learning about the recipient's eye and skin color to choose the perfect shade as a surprise!

4. What or who inspired you to undertake this effort?

After postponing over 250 weddings and constantly seeing bridal showers, birthday and bachelorette parties, Mother's Day, and graduations being canceled, Ashley chose to undertake the effort to help spread cheer to those who couldn't be with their loved ones in person.

5. What results have you seen so far from this initiative?

Not only were orders flying in, it alerted our staff and our clients (both current and future) that we were in it to win it! We were determined to ride out the quarantine with supplementing our in-person services with an e-commerce product which resulted in the creative and branded beauty boxes.

6. How do you define success for your project?

The cheer that was delivered to each doorstep was by far the best result we could have imagined! The endless selfies with the "Pandemic Princesses, Quarantine Queens, and COVID-19 Graduates" proved that our pivot and reaction to the pandemic was a success!

7. What are the biggest challenges for you to meet your goal?

Sourcing products that we did not have in inventory was a big challenge. As many manufactures and salon suppliers were closed, it was difficult to find large quantities of certain brands that were important to us and would keep our beauty boxes filled with consistency. As a result, we offered limited quantities of each box based on the inventory we had in stock.

8. How long do you anticipate continuing this effort?

We completed production on the beauty boxes in July. As weddings and events are returning, we have redirected our efforts back to our brides to help them finish planning their dream wedding.

9. What have you learned by undertaking this project?

By launching our beauty boxes, we learned that the ability to pivot and adapt is essential when running a company. Our management team also has learned by showing our clients and internal teams that we can support from afar, they will know we will be there to support them in person when safely allowed to do so.

10. How can others learn more about your COVID-19 response efforts?

We pride ourselves on remaining positive even if in an unsure environment. By continuing as a leader and role model in the industry, we hope that we provided a learning experience to others on how to adapt and continue forward while focusing on what we can control and how we can continue to help those in need.