When Roberta and I decided to open up our own bridal boutique, we decided to solve problems in our industry. I started in bridal fashion back in 2004, the same year Facebook launched. Only moms purchased the wedding dresess back then. And it was six years until pinning became a thing in 2010. Times have certainly changed. Now over half of our clients purchase their own wedding dress and using the website Pinterest to plan your wedding is a cultural norm. Wedding guests Uber to the wedding so they don't have to worry about drinking and driving. Air B&B can host wedding guests with a comfort of home. The desire for well made, quality garments is trending, but no need to walk around with a label plastered across your chest. I have to say I kind of love this life. I've always appreciated a few very nice things. I think all these changes create more richness in our lives as long as we take the right approach.
August 2017, Roberta and I made the decision to leave our careers at a well known bridal boutique in Orlando. For years we had helped brides find their dream wedding dress and professionally cleaned their dresses after the wedding. We had heard of brides selling their wedding dresses online. Honestly, I didn't get. Who would buy a used wedding dress? And who would buy a $6000 used wedding dress online. The concept seemed crazy to me. For years, we continued to pop bottles of champagne and create a traditional bridal experience not all that different from 2004. My brides seemed so happy. A traditional bridal boutique experience is beautiful, but what if we can create something more. I loved giving the bridal boutique experience and I thought everyone should enjoy it. Well, what if we combine the two concepts: a bridal boutique and designer resale. What if a bride could work with an experienced bridal stylist, pop champagne at the bridal boutique, and purchase a restored, made-well designer wedding dress. My excitement for the concept grew everyday. We decided to do it right. We started our search for a tucked away boutique to offer this unique experience. We called designers we knew and told them we were opening a designer resale boutique. A crazy thing happened. They all wanted in. Designers have duplicate dresses ranging from size 2 - 16. They were extras, used for a photo shoot, used down the runway once, or a canceled order. All the sudden I had dresses being shipped to my house from all over the country. It ends up our inventory is 90% bridal gowns from designers and 10% consignment from brides. While your typical bridal boutique can only carry 8-12 designers, we have access to 50!
We are three weeks in and loving every minute. We have helped thirteen brides and six of them have found their designer wedding dresses at our boutique. We have mailed checks to former brides that sold their dress through our boutique. I love how these checks are arriving right before the holidays! I love thinking about what newlyweds are doing with the checks we are sending them! I feel like I'm helping their families in a bigger way. Every day we receive an inquire from a designer or a bride looking to resale through our bridal boutique. It's so fun to see what comes our way. We are very selective about what we decide to accept. It needs to look new. No damage accepted unless we can 100% repair it of course. My brides are loving that they receive a private boutique experience while shopping designer wedding dresses 20-60% off retail. Our brides care about the finer things in life, they want to travel, they want to purchase a home, and they want to have a beautiful wedding all while being smart. I think that is who my client is. We cannot wait to see who will be the next bride to say yes at The Bridal Finery!
Photo by Kristen Weaver Photographer. Hair and Makeup by Makeover Station