It’s all too easy to overlook the accessorizing of your bridal attire… until you are deep into your wedding planning and the struggle to find that gorgeous pair of shoes, within your budget, becomes very real.
We caught up with Shireen Louw, who founded OPARI with the goal of banishing your bridal accessory shopping nightmares.
Tell us a little more about your company and the service that you offer…
OPARI is an online retail shop supplying wedding shoes and accessories to South African brides.
As a professional wedding photographer I have photographed so many weddings but was left unimpressed by the selection of wedding shoes the South African bride has to choose from. A plan became a mission and the mission a reality. After tons of research and traveling to China to meet with the ideal supplier we have the perfect product. OPARI has grown from its beginning of just shoes. We now offer earrings and handbags too.
How long have you been working in the industry?
I have been a wedding photographer for 15 years and began OPARI two and a half years ago.
What price range is your service?
Our shoes range from between R1350 to R1499, or less when we have a sale on. Earrings are R150 to R400 and the clutch bags are R650.
How many weddings do you estimate you have been involved in?
We have sold over 250 pairs to date. That means OPARI has been or will be part of more than 250 weddings so far.
What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?
We operate mainly online. It is still hard for South African brides to trust the system and purchase shoes without trying them on first, but our seven day return policy works really well in the case of the shoes not fitting 100%.
What makes your service unique?
Our shoe range is personally selected by myself and handmade by our manufacturers. All of the specifications such as material, embellishments, heel sizes etc. are painstakingly chosen by me. I am personally involved for every step of the process. We also highly regard efficient customer service while assisting brides to select their perfect pair.
Tell us about a wedding that you remember and why…
Every wedding is unique. We love seeing how OPARI was incorporated with the bride’s personal style in all of the beautiful photographs afterwards.
What piece of advice would you most like to offer brides and grooms reading this?
Don’t be afraid to order online! Select the shoe that is an extension of your personality.
What is your service mission statement?
OPARI aims to be elegant and comfortable. We always have something unique and special on offer at an affordable price. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and happy brides.
Get in touch with Shireen
Book a venue that refers you to trusted suppliers as part of the service. Contact us at Hudson’s.
Read other interviews in our wedding supplier series:
Music & Entertainment
Dresses & Accessories
Stationery & Décor
Hair & Make-up