Episode 5: Talking about Partners with Brideside

Let's go steady! Listen + Subscribe on Stitcher or iTunes


It's the beginning of our new series of The Zest and we're talking about Partners. To kick off the series, we invited our friends from Brideside, Nicole Staple and Sonali Lamba to share their story.  They're making strides in the bridal market by supplying a solution to the ever stressful search for the perfect bridesmaids dresses.  Understanding how difficult it is to find a dresses for bridal parties living in different cities, they listened to their guts as well as client feedback, and have grown to provide one of the best solutions in the market.  As they relocate their business to the West Loop, we look back on their origin story, starting at business school, and navigate through personal and professional trials and successes they experienced.  

"Helping the customer really quickly understand what you are, how it works in a digital way....thats been the #1 most important thing to us."

After graduating from Kellogg School of Management, they moved to Philadelphia to begin the Dreamit Accelerator program, all the while Sonali had just discovered she was pregnant. Being a part of accelerator helped to structure their business quickly and launch with a fully developed demo, all while balancing real life milestones of marriage and babies.  Once the product launched, it became a race to understand what their customer wants and needs are, who they are compared with, and most importantly, getting the customer the information they need and how they need it.


"Customer expectations are at a whole new level than they were 3 years ago, and they want your brand and your product where they want it how they want it and when they want it."

What is so amazing about Brideside is their brand evolution, from expecting to be e-commerce only, to launching a Chicago brick and mortar showroom, and the sacrifice necessary to be made of your time in order to prioritize it.  The beauty of having a partner is the ability to lean on them, to run ideas off them, and doing weekly check-ins to make sure communication is flowing.  Brideside seems to have hit this nail on the head, as they continue to grow and retain employees and freelancers. 

Business partners, when you have a great one, can solidify your brand and reinforce the idea that two heads are sometimes better than one.  Nicole and Sonali have mastered the yin yang model of having different areas of focus all while driving towards the same end result.  

We are so excited to bring you more of the partner series, however we will be taking a 2 week hiatus as Presence breaks for summer holiday (work hard, play hard).  We will be back in 4 weeks with more from this series, as well as following up on our second Zest Meet Up!

-Kelsey + Mallory