On this week’s edition of Inspiring Women, we are so excited to feature an empowering business owner who shows us what it’s like to follow your dreams at an early age, take risks, and excel at being a successful entrepreneur.  She is one fabulous #HenkaaBossBabe and we are so lucky to have her as an authorized Henkaa Retailer - not to mention she comes with an adorable canine side-kick!

Without further adieu, meet Brooke, owner of Runway Bridal in Belleville, Ontario.

Hi Brooke, thank you for being a part of our Inspiring Women series! We'd love to get to know you more. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a fiery redhead, that loves running her own business. #bosslady
I am originally from this area and didn’t think that I would be working in the area after graduation.
My shop dog, Frankie, is my BFF and loves to greet customers.
My job allows me to be creative and each day is different, which I love!

How did your journey start with Runway Bridal and why did you choose to embark on an adventure in the bridal industry?

While working locally in real estate marketing I was bored and wanted more! Runway Bridal was a quaint well known boutique in the area, and different from all of the other boutiques. It was a bit of a random thought that crossed my mind and then I pursued the purchase of the boutique at age 24…I was crazy, but really didn’t have much to lose at this point in my life - no children, little responsibility and a lot of time on my hands!

With running your own business, organizing the Quinte Wedding Show twice a year, life and beyond, how do you manage to balance everything and keep yourself grounded?

It is a busy life, but I enjoy it. I have a hard time sitting still. That being said I do make time for myself. I like to hit the gym, do some yoga, take a long walk (with Frankie of course!) and take it all in. I do my best to stay organized and work smarter, not harder. Not to mention a glass of wine or two to help me unwind!

Who are some inspiring women in your life that you have looked up to for guidance and direction? How have they influenced you along your journey?

Tough question!
My mom, she always ran a tight ship and made sure we were where we needed to be, when we needed to be there, we were fed and looked put together!
I like a lot of things about Miranda Priestly, that’s all….
Women like DVF inspire me, she is beautiful and hard working, hands on and have worked to get where they are with amazing brands.

What advice would you give those who want to start their own business in the retail world?

Go for it! It won’t always be easy, and you have to be ready for that. So do your due diligence before just jumping in. It has to make some sense if you want it to last. Don’t be afraid to start young.

Runway Bridal has been with Henkaa for almost year now! Why did you choose to add Henkaa to to your bridesmaid collection and how’s it going?

Henkaa was a great versatile line that we didn’t have available to our customers, The price point for our budget conscious bridesmaids has been amazing! We have been doing great with the collection, and our bridal parties are loving the versatility, colour options, quality, and that is Canadian made, just down the highway!

Book an appointment at Runway Bridal located on 390 Front Street, Belleville, ON to meet Brooke (and Frankie of course!) and experience firsthand why they're one of the Quinte West's Bests!