Victoria Sebben’s new gift and décor shop is full of treasures like sumptuous chocolates and trendy jewel candles, which burn down to expose a piece of jewelry worth anywhere from $10 to $200.
The store at 575 Murphy Rd. looks deceivingly small from the outside but has three large rooms for the various aspects of the business.
One room accommodates mom-and-bride consultations for Sebben’s very busy wedding consulting business. She’s currently booked for a wedding almost every weekend until November.
A second room for retail is chockablock with gifts and décor items, both for home and wedding. There is handmade jewelry, scarves, handbags, candles, vases and picture frames. Brides-to-be can also see some of Sebben’s wedding décor items on display including chandeliers and centrepieces for rent.
The showroom is dominated by a small waterfall in one corner and a walk-in cooler for fresh flowers.
In another room, Sebben and her staff make fresh flower arrangements available for pick up at the store or in preparation for a wedding.
“This is my dream,” says Sebben, a certified international wedding planner who has also worked as an interior decorator for about 15 years.
When a friend asked her to help plan a wedding, she enjoyed it so much she took the planner’s two-year online course and expanded her business in 2009, working primarily from home.
“For a small city, there are a lot of interior decorators in Sarnia, but not a lot of certified wedding planners,” said Sebben. “I always wanted a place where brides and moms can have a one-stop-shop.”
The opening of Victoria’s Décor, Floral & Gifts on June 1 means Sebben no longer takes appointments at home. Juggling family and business has just become much easier, she said.
She and her business partner, Franco Filia, anticipate the retail gift and flower side of the business will sustain it during the winter months when weddings aren’t as frequent.
But the bulk of Sebben’s business is weddings and special events, she said.
“I’ve done everything from a small $12,000 wedding for 70 people to a huge London wedding that took three days to set up for 450 guests and cost more than $100,000,” she explained.
“I love doing it. The stress doesn’t bother me. It feels more like a hobby than a job.”
Sebben charges $250 to $750 to plan a wedding, depending on size and scope of the job. If she is also hired to decorate, that is negotiated separately.
“We can do it all,” she said. “From the initial discussion about budget, to the DJ, venue, caterers, flowers, cake, rentals, photographer and dresses, I’ll work with any budget and any kind of bride.”
Victoria’s Décor, Floral & Gifts is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call 519-491-0121 or visit www.victoriasdecor.com. The shop is also on Facebook at Victorias Décor Sarnia.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.