Story and gallery by JOE WOOLLEY
Simon Morris, 36, a local entrepreneur who was born in Salt Lake City, has always dreamt of one day owning his own business. When his fiancée, Sarah Beale, 34, pitched the idea of starting a business together late one night he jumped at the opportunity.
“All dreams are possible if you work hard and believe they can happen,” he said.
Morris grew up in a military household and was expected to follow his brothers into the Army. Morris had other interests such as fashion but felt so much pressure from his father to join the military, so he kept his passion to himself.
After a childhood full of expectation, Morris joined the Army at the age 18 and was due for deployment September 2001. However, his world changed as it did for so many when the World Trade Center in New York was hit by hijacked planes.
“The experiences from the Army will follow me in every aspect of life, but it was time for a change,” Morris said.
His priorities had changed and he no longer wanted to be a part of the Army. “I know to some people it may be foolish, but I didn’t sign up to be fighting terrorists. I wanted to follow my dreams and be involved in fashion,” Morris said.
In 2001 Morris went to New York and attended Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion. He was finally content with his job and never looked back. After graduating in 2005, he went straight into the fashion world and began designing wedding dresses for Roma weddings.
During his period in college he met Beale during one of his art classes. He claimed that it was “love at first sight,” and the two of them hit it off straight away. He admitted that he’s not sure where he would be without the help of his companion.
In 2012 Beale owned a Toni and Guy hairdressers in Nottingham, United Kingdom. She loved the responsibility of owning a business. However, unforeseen circumstances forced her to leave and move onto a new chapter. “I loved satisfying people and giving them makeovers is one of the most rewarding jobs out there,” Beale said.
After learning the couple shared the same ambition of owning a business, Beale thought it would be a great idea for them to follow their dreams. She said, “I didn’t really know what business he wanted, but I gathered we could integrate our skills and create something amazing.”
After many discussions the couple decided to create a company which focuses on wedding days. They both agreed that they could incorporate their skills and give the special day something extra.
Morris committed to the wedding dress designs along with the choice of venue, while Beale would take the responsibility of hair and makeup. He said, “It was really a dream come true for me, when Sarah first pitched the idea to me I was very concerned, however, after going over the risks I decided it would be a good idea for us to give it a try.”
The business is yet to officially be launched as Beale is still in the works of getting her medical aesthetician certificate, but once that is completed they can offer their services to the public. While they cannot officially start their business, they are currently in negotiations on where to set up the main office.
“The whole process has been a blur, it only seems like yesterday since I pitched the idea to Simon,” Beale said. Even though they can’t make the company public yet they have been offering people a free makeover session to experience some of the work that they will be offering.
Lindsay Bollschweiler, one of the people who experienced this free makeover session, said, “This is one of the most amazing makeovers I have ever had. My wedding is sometime next year so I will certainly be using the services of Simon and Sarah to help with the big day.”
Another person who experienced this free makeover was Maddison Kemp, who could not speak highly enough of the professional approach Beale took. “The things that this woman can do with a makeup brush is amazing. Not only did I love the makeup, but I enjoyed the company from both Sarah and Simon. They were so welcoming.”
The pressures of starting a business had been much different than what Morris expected, but he reassures himself daily that all of the hardship will be worth it in the future. “I never thought that this process would be easy, but every single day comes with a new challenge,” Morris said.
Going from the Army then to fashion was a major change for Morris, but he said the challenges created from this project have been much more difficult for him.
The wedding dress designs seem like a breeze to Morris who learnt his trade during his time at school. He took several designated classes to learn how to design wedding dresses and holds the ability to create a dress for personal specifications. However, the venue choice did seem to unnerve him a little. “I often know what people like, but weddings are such a particular case, so I have to be extremely careful when judging a person’s character,” he said.
Beale said that she has never seen Morris this stressed about life. But, she continues to remind him of the end product. “I have been doing makeup and hair for a long time, so I am very much in my element, whereas Simon is not so much in his comfort zone so it’s difficult for him,” she said.
Morris added, “We just want to make people happy. I understand how important their wedding day is and I want to make it my duty to give them the best day of their lives. If I can put a smile on just one person’s face a day then I’ve achieved something.”