Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Simply Pleased to Meet You, Charlotte Harris, Franchisee


My name is Charlotte and I run the Newcastle office of Simply Bows and Chair Covers from my flat on the River Tyne.  My Mum, Jo Harris, also has a franchise being North Northumberland and we run both of these offices together as part of the family business.

I cover the Newcastle & North Tyneside area of the North East working with all the top venues from As You Like it, Jesmond Dene House and Newcastle Racecourse to name but a few.

I graduated from Loughborough University in 2006 having studied there for three years for my degree in Multi Media Textile Design.  After graduating I moved back to the North East working for Audi and then The Prince’s Trust as Event Manager.

My mum & I had used Simply Bows and Chair Covers for events that we had separately organized in our previous roles. The opportunity came up to buy the North Northumberland franchise and shortly after so did the Newcastle franchise. So we grabbed the opportunity to do something different incorporating our experience in the events industry as well as my design experience.

Loving it...

Being self-employed is fantastic and I have never looked back. It gives you the freedom to set your own goals & challenges and also the flexibility to choose your working pattern.

I also love how I can experiment with new fabrics and designs choosing what I think will sell to my clients. Simply Bows and Chair Covers has allowed me to go back to my creative side, which I love deeply but didn’t seem to have time to explore before. 

With the nature of our clients being predominately brides, I only ever get to deal with happy excited people who are a pleasure to work with.  Each client has a different idea and it is an honour to put all of these ideas together for them creating what a lot of brides have been dreaming about since they were a little girl!

Being part of a franchise means each Area Director has a support network around them and we all use each other’s strengths to build our businesses into a success.

My favourite!

I really love the flock-patterned fabric at the moment, I knew as soon as Mum & I saw the fabric in a warehouse, full of amazing designs that this was going to be popular. We have just increased our flock range so that we now have 5 different styles to choose from.

My favourite is the duck egg blue & antique gold flock runners, teamed up with a gold pin tuck taffeta runner underneath and the buttermilk linen. The textures work really well and give such an opulent look to any room.

 I wish...

This is going back many years but I would have loved to style the wedding reception of the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainer of Monaco. They met when she was the same age as me, but with the slight difference that she was and a movie star.  Their wedding took place on two ceremonies one on the 18th April 1956 & the other more religious ceremony-taking place the day after, as is tradition in Monaco.  Her wedding dress was a gift from the MGM Studio designed by Helen Rose. The chef hair stylist at MGM Studios, Sydney Guilaroff, also styled her hair for her wedding.  St Nicholas Cathedral was decorated in white lilacs, hydrangeas, lilies and snapdragons and was called the wedding of the century. The wedding literally sounds like a fairy tale from a movie, which in some respects it was! With vintage being a key trend at the moment it would be fabulous to go back in time and work with the look that we now class as ‘vintage’, when it wasn’t so ‘vintage’! I wonder if she ever thought about chair covers?!


All weddings are memorable in their own way, but often when you have had a lot to do with the look you feel very proud of how the bride’s ideas have become a reality and make already fabulous venues breath taking. 

One wedding that will stay in my memory was last summer and not long after I started with Simply Bows and Chair Covers. It was at the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth and the theme was orange which looked stunning.  When the bride stepped back into the  room she burst into tears over how amazing the room looked and because she didn’t realize it was going to be so perfect.  Moments like that really make you proud and show the hard work and attention to details really does pay off.

Party time!

We have dressed many charity balls such as the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund’s Sunflower Ball, and well established NE events such as Newcastle Racecourse’s Ladies Day & Northumberland Plate Day.  These are always fun and different to weddings. Often the clients want to theme the event around their corporate colours, which we have great fun in doing, making sure it matches just right and fits in with the company.

Simply the Best!

Simply Bows and Chair Covers provide a high quality service & products at affordable prices. We all dedicate our time and knowledge to ensure our clients always have the best & different products to choose from. We design and manufacture all of our linen in house so the client gets the best quality we can offer.

Although we are a franchise company, each area is lovingly run & owned by like-minded individuals, meaning you get the personal service as expected from a small business but the vast amount of choice expected from a large company.

Get in touch...

I am always contactable by either email charlotte@simplybowsandchaircovers.co.uk or phone 07595034990.

If you are getting married, organizing a party or corporate event in the Newcastle area & would like to make an appointment please do get in touch.

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