May 8, 2018 Retailer Feature — Sash & Bustle
Meet Andrea, one half of the sister duo behind Toronto’s Sash & Bustle bridal boutique.
Story behind your boutique?
Sash & Bustle has been around since 2009, and I actually was the main stylist at the boutique from early 2013. For me it started out as a wonderful relaxed job, and I fell in love with styling and working with brides. It became such a rewarding job that I never could have imagined! When the opportunity came up to become the owner, my sister Vanessa and I knew that this could the big break we had been waiting for. We have such entrepreneurial spirits, and as children would dream up different business ideas together.
When we gained ownership of the business, we also inherited a unique collection that we knew more brides deserved the chance to try on! From day one we were inspired to grow and to give more Toronto brides the chance to have a relaxed shopping experience, complemented by a standout collection of gowns. Our first goal was to style our brides from head to toe and become more of a one-stop shop.
About the location?
Now, 4 years later we have moved to a beautiful Queen St. East space and have almost tripled in size. The east end of Toronto is perfect for us, as it’s very close to the core of downtown but avoids the fast paced nature of the downtown vibe. Riverside is our little neighbourhood and in the summer months really comes to life with festivals and walk by traffic. It's rich in amazing restaurants, which our clients and us love too!
We adore our light filled space and together Vanessa and I designed the boutique to create an inspiring yet comfortable atmosphere. We were immediately taken by the 13’ ceilings and original brick walls from the 1890’s. It just called our name! We were able to grow into our space with time, and a year and half ago we expanded into bridesmaids. Our inspiration and goals have really come to life because we are now able to dress brides from head to toe as well as their bridal parties!
Can you describe the Sash & Bustle experience?
We want it to be a natural process with low pressure, we want it to feel right! We like to have as little rules as possible and just make it fun! At Sash & Bustle we realize that the whole bridal shopping idea can be a little intimidating to many women, so we want them to feel at home and taken care of throughout the whole shopping experience. We are great at being your stand in friend if you happen to be shopping alone, and we can keep you on track if you are shopping with your entourage.
How would you describe the Sash & Bustle bride?
She’s a modern woman, who wants to look and feel like a bride on her wedding day, but not necessarily in a traditional sense. She wants to feel like herself on her big day, and feel special too. She’s fairly relaxed and down to earth.How did you discover Truvelle?
In January 2014, when I was still a stylist at Sash & Bustle, we were Truvelle’s 2nd ever trunk show! I hope I never forget that day when Gaby came rolling in with her suitcase full of her first collection. I fell in love with her gowns as soon as I saw them hanging on our racks, and knew they were what the Toronto bride was missing. So, when we gained ownership a few months later, we knew that picking up Truvelle was on the top of our to do list.
Favourite Truvelle gown?
I think that they have all been my favourite at one point or another! But at the moment I’ve been feeling the Kim gown. I love it’s plunging neckline, soft beaded bodice, sexy slit and the train for days!
Vanessa was a Truvelle bride herself, so in many ways Truvelle holds a special place in our hearts. She rocked the Natalie gown and it will be her forever favourite! Its sweetheart neckline is universally flattering and the almond chiffon waterfall skirt was so captivating and graceful.
How would you style it?
I always gravitate to a more pared down style, allowing the bride shine. I think it’s all about her smile and not the things that adorn her. There's something about effortless style that can be so sexy! I think the Kim gown can be styled so many ways too, natural and beachy or glam and elevated. It’s really about the bride who’s wearing it.
I feel like an earring always finishes off a brides look by framing her face nicely, and with the deep v-neckline a beautiful drop earring would be stunning. I don’t believe a venue should dictate what you wear though, if it feels good go for it! Kim has a beautiful slit so I think a bride could go either barefoot and wear beautiful foot jewellery, or show off some fabulous high heels!
Favourite part of your job?
It has always been meeting our brides and hearing their love stories and wedding plans. I have realized that there is no right way to fall in love, and it’s been so inspiring to hear so many different stories.
My second favourite part has to be shopping for Sash & Bustle. Buying can be a daunting process but is always thrilling! We love meeting up with our designers every year, it humanizes what we do, and I really value that.
You and your sister Vanessa are partners in business — how do you work together? Are you more similar or different?
Vanessa and I are very lucky and seem to always be in sync. We are besties and have always shared similar lifestyle goals. I have always been super creative and love visual arts; Vanessa is amazingly analytical and is an idea machine. When I’m spinning in circles as my internal compass is always off, Vanessa knows the right direction just by instinct. So we are really lucky that we seem to naturally complement each other. We seem to be opposite in many ways, but always seem to be on the same page and share similar taste in style. Which makes a lot of our decision making seamless and fun!
Learn more about Sash & Bustle here.