Years ago I dreamed of working in the fashion industry in NYC a la “The Devil Wears Prada”. This was my 3rd trip to Market but my first full buying trip. My first trip to Market was last September in Atlanta. I was really interested in the education that the Atlanta VOW World of Bridal provides for us bridal shop owners. It was last year that I met Wendy Rivera of Do you Speak Bride? and I knew that anything that came out of her mouth was pure gold. It was also really great to go around to the different designers and learn about line sheets, minimums and lead times before I was actually ready to order.
Previous Buying Trips
In April 2018 I flew to NYC for one day to attend The Knot’s Couture Bridal Fashion market. I knew this would be a super quick trip and that it was spread out all over the city. Coming from a week in Honduras and the rain in NYC, it was a very exhilarating and exhausting 36 hours. My good friend, Allie Gard, came with me and we had a blast! My main reasoning going to NYC in April instead of Atlanta was 2 reasons – Anne Barge and Desiree Hartsock (my first two designers) were only going to be in Chicago and NYC and I was in Honduras during Atlanta Market. Plus, I got to fulfill a little dream of “working” in the fashion industry in NYC so clearly my choice was super easy! haha
Remember how I said I loved Wendy, well this August she hosted a training at Atlanta’s Apparel Mart that was just for bridal shop owners; which was amazing! I was able to meet so many other shop owners in hopes that I can be the best shop owner for you. Well, this September Wendy again partnered with the Mart for the education series. Desiree Siegfried was one of the speakers this time too!
This Buying Trip
Obviously I’m a planner, so I had my spreadsheet ready with lines and labels and pricing. But y’all, even as prepared as I felt, Market was exhausting. Don’t get me wrong it was so much fun too and I’m not even sure why I was spent at the end. The first place I went was to see the newest Desiree Hartsock Collection. I’ve been working with them since January and I love Des and Sarah so much! I won’t tell just yet which dresses I ordered from them, but here are a few detailed shots of one of the gowns.
I spent a lot of time looking at veils. Veils can be hard because of all the different types of lace and beading on the dresses. Some designers have matching veils or lace you can order separately and have it put onto a simple veil. I didn’t end up ordering any veils just yet as I’m determining which ones will be the best fit for my gowns, but don’t worry – there will be some in the shop when we open!
My last main goal was to look at bringing in some private label gowns to the shop. This just means they are designer dresses but they’re not always listed on the designers website. Its a lot of behind the scenes business stuff, but I found the perfect dresses just for Katharine Marie Weddings! Here is a sneak peak at the ones I picked.
Most of the time I spent with a new friend Jenifer who is also a new shop owner as well. She owns All About the Bride in Chattanooga, TN and we met in August at Launch. It was really great to talk through new shop stuff with someone who gets it. There are a lot of shop owners in our Facebook group who have been amazingly helpful and some of them were in Atlanta too (I’m talking about you,Jessica, and your girls from Sophia’s!). Anyway, Jenifer and I went to different designers looking for all the dresses we needed to fill gaps in our shops! There are so many beautiful gowns out there made by talented designers and it made it so hard to choose!
The last piece of the puzzle was to have a photoshoot with some gowns already listed on the site. I had reached out to a local photographers’ group and many were planning on attending the shoot, but it was pouring down rain when we had scheduled it. Two Atlanta hair/makeup artists volunteered their time to style the models and we still had such great time! Official pictures coming soon, but here’s a sneak peak.
I love how both of these photos show that you can make anything work (the top is the bottom of the lobby stairs and the bottom is in my hotel room)! These ladies are stunning and were so much fun to spend a couple of hours with along with Margaret and Hlee who did hair, makeup and photography.