November 24, 2016 Retailer Feature - BRIDE.
Meet Laura, owner of Kansas City's BRIDE. boutique:
How did you get into bridal?
Post college, I went through a major phase of denial that it was time to grow up. After I finally accepted the idea, I took my first serious job, quickly realized it just wasn’t for me, and quit on a whim. With no backup plan lined up, I saw that a local bridal shop was hiring, applied, and during the interview process found out the shop was owned by a designer with three bridal labels. I felt like I had hit the life jackpot. From there, I worked in their retail bridal shop for a short time and then went on to rep the Northeast for a few years.
About your boutique:
I have wanted to own my own business since I was super little but, until the shop, I only had ridiculous ideas that probably wouldn’t have paid the bills (ie. an envelope stuffing business, a donut shop.. I don’t bake or do mornings, and I’ve most definitely never made a donut, etc..) Anyway.. while I was traveling, I saw all these bridal labels emerging with a really fresh and modern perspective and a few shops solely dedicated to supporting them. Since I came from a mainstream bridal background it seemed like a bold departure from the bread and butter sales perspective I was used to, and I couldn’t get enough of the idea. That’s when it dawned on me, that was it. I finally had a legit idea. From there it was pretty much all I thought and talked about. I finally grew weary of all the traveling I was doing as a rep and took the plunge. Of course there was a lot of really unglamorous hard work along the way, a long process of developing a thorough business plan and the process of getting a SBA loan, but I won’t bore you with all that.
As for the name, BRIDE. might seem super basic and super obvious, but I spent an embarrassing amount of time assessing who my target bride would be. I have never felt like it was my job to define a bride’s look , but it’s always been my intention to support her and be a liaison to her and her style. I wanted the name to feel authentic, a bit raw and a place for modern brides to feel at home all within one simple word. With that, I kept coming back to BRIDE. — I loved how open-ended, refined, yet undefining it was.
Best Part of your Kansas City location?
Warning, this might turn into a PSA. Kansas City is really, really special — from the people, to the culture/arts scene, the food and beverage scene, to the entrepreneurial spirit of the city. There isn’t a city more passionate about supporting small business and new ideas. I know, I know. You're thinking "Seriously? It’s the midwest." And yes, 100%. There is no place quite like KC.
As for the neighbourhood, we are located in the heart of the Crossroads Art District. Every month during First Fridays, thousands of people fill the streets exploring galleries, art studios, and live music/entertainers.
I had the hardest time finding the perfect location within the neighbourhood, I refused to settle, and almost postponed opening because none of the locations felt right. I wanted the space to be filled with natural light, and be a blank canvas. After driving around for days, which led into weeks. I finally stumbled upon my space.
There are quite a few great local shops near us, a killer coffee shop on the corner and great dinner/cocktails a short walk away. The Crossroads is also home to a couple of breweries and even a distillery. So basically, I put myself in my future brides shoes and went with a part of town I would be excited to show off and bring my family and friends to. One that we could make a solid day out of and then get a proper celebration in afterwards.
How did you discover Truvelle?
Back in my days on the wholesale/designer side of things, one of the other reps introduced me. One of the shops in her territory had just started carrying Truvelle, and I was in love with aesthetic and the reaction from brides was really positive. Ever since then Truvelle has been on my radar!
Favourite Truvelle gown?
Currently, I am loving the Abbott. The fit is unreal. And I love the minimal, effortless feel.
How would you style it?
I am a huge fan of juxtaposition in style and design. I love how well the Baldwin leather jacket compliments the Abbott. From there, I would want to keep true to the minimal look with fresh, natural makeup, modern hair, and minimal yet interesting accessories. Keeping with true high / low design and my love for non-venue, wedding venues, there is a local KC outdoor concert venue that would make the most creative wedding backdrop — that would really compliment the look!
Dress: Abbott, Earrings: Kathleen Whitaker, Rings: Samantha Willis Jacket: BALDWIN x Eric Sall, Shoes: Schutz
I just had it! We got married on this lil farm with a barn, pond and a couple of houses for guests to stay. It had a total destination, middle of nowhere, backyard party kind of vibe. We focused a lot on the guest experience and live music and I honestly have never been to a more spirited/fun wedding full of really great people just ready to celebrate and have a good time.
Photography by: Kaley from Kansas