May 9, 2017 Retailer Feature - The Sentimentalist
Meet Gabi, Co-owner of The Sentimentalist in Atlanta:
The story behind your boutique?
I worked in bridal on the West Coast just long enough to get hooked on the special order process and excited about the fashion forward movement of the wedding apparel industries. I moved back home to Atlanta in 2012, and with the encouragement and help of my mother, I brought along some unrepresented and super cool designers with me to the South. While Atlanta is not short on your Southern belle bridal shops, there was a definite need for an alternative, fashion-forward spot. We opened as a family business in 2013 and are super lucky to have cultivated an amazing working relationship with each other, our local wedding & small business community, and a great group of brides. Myself, my mother, and my best friend run the store together and with the help of the sweetest shop girls. We operate with a high standard of customer service, product quality, inclusivity, good taste, and great manners. We are also super down to earth and don't like to pretend that weddings are all magic and no grit, which is one of the reasons we consider ourselves 'sentimentalists' as opposed to 'romantics'.
Our shop is located in West Midtown, which is northwest of our city centre and full of industrial and design history. It is also the neighborhood of my family's homestead and the church in which my parents met as children and married as high school sweethearts. It is truly a sentimental place to us and full of the dirty South's unique charm ;) We are also located next door to the famed West side Waffle House and are less than a mile away from the White Provisions design district, where we love the fried chicken at JCT Kitchen and frequent the Blade Runner themed bar, Little Trouble. The nearby arts compound, The Goat Farm, is one of our favorite places in the city to see a show or visit resident artists. The west side is equal parts odd and artsy, so I think we fit right in.
Who is The Sentimentalist Bride?
Oh goodness, our girls are the coolest! The sentimental bride cares most about the marriage but appreciates a good party, and definitely has style. She cares about where her clothes are made—which is pretty cool—and she gets our vibe. And she is inspiring! Our girls are usually getting their graduate degrees or running small businesses or being kick-ass moms or nurses or civil servants. AND they have really cool design ideas. A lot of our brides take advantage of our ability to customize their dress with designers like Truvelle, and they come up with some really beautiful, and unique combinations and interpretations. We're lucky to be able to keep a small collection and still never lack new and inspiring styles, and that's because our clients are just as cool as our designers.
How did you discover Truvelle?
I feel like we've followed Truvelle since the beginning! We kept our opening collection limited to American designers, but we always had Truvelle at the top of our list for when we were ready to branch out. And yep, Truvelle is now our very first 'international' designer and we couldn't be happier with this new growth. Truvelle is so distinctly their own, but work so well with our existing collection. The Truvelle bride is definitely a sentimental bride.
Do you have a favourite Truvelle gown?
Personally, I love 'Abbott'. It's simple, but somehow really unique and super romantic. It's an unexpected way to incorporate lace into your look without having it around the face, and the waist and neck lines lend themselves to being easily accessorized. Which, I'm all about accessorizing.
How would you style the Abbott?
Most of my wardrobe is in neutrals, but I love a statement colour or pattern on a coat. Something unexpected like mustard, garnet, or lavender could be cool with the simple top of 'Abbott'. Something shapeless and off the shoulder is always cool. Hair down, a little messy, and a fresh monochromatic face in shades of blush or coral. I'm also all about statement jewelry. My local go-to is Fossil & Hide and I would put any of their epic earrings or big necklaces with 'Abbott'.
Your dream wedding?
An epic elopement! Do all shop owners say that?! Ha. But really... a small, intimate ceremony with the dude, a great dress, and an awesome photographer. I also think City Hall weddings are pretty precious and neighborhood bar ceremonies are a cool idea. I'm all about a bridal caftan, or something with unexpected colour. All my favorite weddings, IRL & in the blog world, look something that that—moody, intimate, and yeah... sentimental.
Visit The Sentimentalist online.