Inspirational Women: Alison Law & Jo Cooke | Host of Curvy Brides Boutique & The Big Clean

Jo Cooke & Alison Law

Jo Cooke and Alison Law are the hosts of Curvy Brides Boutique, where they help transform plus size brides-to-be and find the wedding dress of their dreams. 

The Essex-based business partners and friends, run their own bridal company, Curves & Couture, which is exclusively dedicated to Curvy & Plus Size Brides. 

Alison & Jo are also hosts of brand new series, ‘The Big Clean’ on Discovery +, which focuses on helping people declutter their homes and get their lives back on track.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Jo: We were both born in London but then moved to Essex when we were younger, and we love it here, never looked back!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Jo: No I didn’t, I always say spontaneity is the key to life!

Al: Our career just happened naturally, we started as best friends and then it evolved to us being business partners and then eventually to our TV shows.

Al: The TV evolved from us doing an hour documentary with the BBC on our plus size boutique, it got lots of great feedback on social media.

Jo: Then at 3am we sent an email to Angel Eye the production company about the curvy brides idea and two days later it was commissioned!  

Al: Yeah we got commissioned for 15 episodes then it turned into 20 episodes and 4 seasons!

You run one of the most famous bridal boutiques – Curvy Brides Boutique – why do you think it’s proven so successful?

Jo: Because we’re honest – 47 per cent of the population are over a size 16 and we cater for them, just because you’re bigger it doesn’t mean you do not deserve the luxury and choice a slimmer bride has.

Al: We sell dresses not because we have to but because we’re honest. We sell a dress because it suits you.

Jo: We’ve actually refused to sell dresses if doesn’t suit them.

Al: The Studio was built for curvier women, no small spaces, a big seating area, we sold wide fitting shoes, our aim was just to make everyone that came into our shop feel comfortable.

You’ve inspired and given so many women their confidence back –  do you have any tips for those who might be lacking in confidence this new year?

Jo: Wing it. Life’s like eyeliner, wing it! When you have low confidence people pray on it, try not to show any chinks in your armour, and surround yourself with positive people.

Al: There’s so much going on in life at the moment, be grateful for what you’ve got, loving yourself otherwise how is anyone gonna love you. If you’re feeling down about yourself, pull your fat girl pants up, put your lipstick and smile and get stuck in.

Jo: Be happy with what you’ve got, wiggle it and be proud of it!

How can we encourage more body positivity in today’s society (with constant social media use, trolling etc.)

Jo: Fatism should be a hate crime, misogyny is a hate crime, sexual orientation is a hate crime. Yet it’s still ok to shout ‘who ate all the pies’ at someone down the street.

Al: Educating people, we’re not all fat because of a certain circumstance. Either you’re a kind person or you’re not and that should be what matters, not your size.

 Jo: I’ve been on a high dose of steroids which made me put on weight, but people don’t realise the underlying circumstances, they are just quick to judge.

Jo: I’ve got a t- shirt that says FBI on it –  Fabulous Body Inside! People would stop me on the street saying ‘I need that t shirt’!

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You’re on a new mission to help people out of their cluttered homes. Do you think there is a direct link between how cluttered our homes are and our mental health?

Al: The people we are helping declutter their homes are in a set of circumstances and they just need a little bit of help or a bit of encouragement. Jo’s the practical one she can assess and sort the situation, I’m more of the  emotional one. We’ve  just come out of COVID, people are struggling out there, and they’re actually so strong to reach out in the first place.

Jo: Nine times out of ten something massive has happened in their lives, they end up losing respect for themselves and that can lead to depression.

Hoarding is more of a symptom that is deep rooted. Stuck in a rut and don’t know how to get out of it.

Al: Two or three people made me cry, clearing out their cluttered rooms was life changing for them, they said that actually someone cares and for them that was a huge deal, just to show someone cared enough to help them.

Jo: We’d come home from filming and then go to the shelter in Chelmsford and make soup and rolls for the homeless.

In December every bride that came into our boutique we made them bring a pair of socks new or old to give to the homeless, otherwise they didn’t get an appointment!

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Jo: Just Do You!

Al: Do it but don’t get caught!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

Al: There’s some things  in the pipeline! It’s what the future has in hold for us!?

Jo: I’ve got a few health issues so I’m focusing on getting stronger and fitter, and oh and definitely a holiday!

Al: It just feels so important to be able to reach out and help people

Al & Jo: We’ve Accepted the fact we’re not gonna be rich and famous but if we can touch someone in a certain way that means the world  to us.

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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