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Judy Copley | A-list Vendor Profile

7th October 2019

She's one of those people who makes you feel like a million bucks just through conversation - imagine what she can do when creating a one-of-a-kind gown just for you!

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If I could describe Judy Copley in just a few words, I would say this: Sunshine in human form. 

Jenny and I met Judy Copley one day at her kitchen table. Over a cup of tea we discussed her goals and aspirations and asked approximately one million questions about her process.

You see, we were surrounded by her creations – some complete, some part way through. Lace, sequins, and fabrics of all kinds filled every surface. She told us about specific pieces of lace she had lovingly selected in Melbourne, or ordered from Italy, and it was clear to us then that her whole heart was in this business of creating couture designs for brides. 

We ventured into her then home studio and found even more beauties – you should have seen us! Wide-eyed like a couple of kids in a candy store! Judy has long moved from her home studio, but is still very much a local gal, despite the calling of New York fashion entities who have fallen in love with her always surprising and innovative, hand-crafted couture designs as much as we did all those years ago. 

Judy works with her daughter, Amber, who takes care of the business side so Judy can still design, cut, sew, and bead each and every gown herself. No two Judy Copley bridal gowns are alike, they are created with passion and every step of the process from consultation and design to completed garment is done by one person – Judy herself in her Caloundra studio. 

Soon Judy will head to The Big Apple to introduce her label to New York, but we’re lucky she calls the Sunshine Coast home. Judy has ever-so-kindly has shared some insight into what it’s like to be a couture bridal designer. 

What does a day in your work life look like? 

First up coffee, read emails, go over my to-do list for the day, attend to my consultations, source fabrics and supplies then getting on with the process of creating the garment. This could include cutting, sewing, beading or hand-sewing details. Sometimes I may attend shoots, be setting up instillations and displays of my work, or packaging garments for interstate or international projects that I am part of.

What do your clients say about working with you? 

“Thank you” in the most beautiful ways. They say they loved the process, my personal touch, my patience with them and effort given, and often they say that they will miss coming to the studio.

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Tell me about your history in your business and in the wedding industry.

My business officially started about the time The Brides Tree began, although I have been sewing and creating all my life. I made my first garment on the sewing machine when I was eight years old using crepe paper. Raised in Darwin, which was a very remote place back then, I was so proud of myself and spent my days barefoot and dreaming of the glamorous world down south.
 
I was following my passion, creating my dream, and through the amazing collaborations with The Brides Tree and other fabulous publications, lots of hard work, burning the midnight oil and giving it my all, I can now say my business has surpassed all my expectations. I have and am learning so much; every day I reach for the stars, challenge myself and work through every obstacle. I don’t let the timeline of life deter me and I strive to be the best version of myself. I am constantly perfecting my skills, studying how to improve, learning as much as I can along the way.

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You have a completely free day to hang out on the Sunshine Coast. Get out and about! Where are you going, what are you doing and who are you with?

I often go to some of the divine restaurants on the coast, usually with one of my four adult kids, my husband, or a friend. Sometimes when I am exhausted from the fast pace of my business I will take myself to the Gold Classcinema for an enforced rest in the beautiful comfortable chairs, enjoy a glass of wine, delicious food and no work in sight. Other days I will be enjoying the beach or walking the boardwalks.
 

Share something that’s interesting about you, or something a lot of people don’t realise.

I used to dance, doing 18 years of classical ballet until my knee injury stopped me. I wanted to be a dancer and still love it. I have built a mud brick home, making thousands of bricks by hand. I raised four children (all of whom I am immensely proud of) on my own for 10 years before I remarried.

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Images by Karen Buckle. 

Learn more about Judy Copley Bridal and how you can arrange a consultation with Judy herself here

JUDY COPLEY BRIDAL