2014 was such an exciting year for me. I married my best friend, traveled to some amazing countries around the world, and launched our Paper Crown bridesmaids collection (to name a few). My fellow co-owners and bestie Maura and I were so excited to launch this collection, and we have loved your positive feedback on the dresses. It means the world! We recently met with the co-owners of Bella Bridesmaids, mother-daughter duo Erin and Kathleen, to talk shop and the result was pretty exciting… I am pleased to announce that Bella Bridesmaids is going to be carrying our Paper Crown bridesmaids dresses starting this week!
For all of you who aren’t familiar with Bella Bridesmaids, they have showroom locations (30 of which carry Paper Crown Bridesmaids) with an amazing selection of bridesmaids dresses. I love how Bella Bridesmaids lets bridal parties actually try on dresses they love when they come into the store. So, to celebrate this exciting collaboration, I got together with the Erin and Kathleen and we interviewed each other about our ventures in the bridal business (and talked about our ideal honeymoon vacations too!). Here’s what we had to say about working in the bridal business…
My Q&A with Bella Bridesmaids…
1. What was the inspiration behind creating your store? How did it all come together?
Erin & Kathleen: Erin had been shopping for the perfect bridesmaid dresses to complement her wedding gown and her mom, Kathleen, recognized her relentless search and a golden opportunity. We thought how rewarding it would be to have a family business and one that we’re passionate about. We wanted to make shopping for bridesmaids dresses a great experience—positive, creative, fun and stress-free. Kathleen pressed the idea and after an April visit to San Francisco to see the original location, Erin sealed the deal with a Mother’s Day card that read, “I love you and let’s go into the bridesmaid business!” With Kathleen’s brilliant head for business and Erin’s interest in fashion, Bella Bridesmaids made perfect sense!
2. What inspired this collection? Is there a story behind it?
Lauren: Timing is everything! When my best friend, Maura Oehm, (also our co-owners!), and I were planning our weddings last year it only seemed natural that we dress our bridesmaids in Paper Crown. After designing enough dresses for both of our wedding parties we realized that we might have just developed a line of bridesmaid dresses. The rest is history!
3. What are three words you would use to describe your vision with Bella Bridesmaids / Paper Crown Bridesmaids?
Erin & Kathleen: Creative, collaborative, fun.
Lauren: Feminine, romantic, timeless.
4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced with starting your own business?
Erin & Kathleen: Finding the right people to welcome into the Bella family to grow the brand together.
Lauren: I think the biggest challenge when we started this line was making sure the collection was well rounded and offered enough styles to make a whole group of girls, each with their own style, happy.
5. Who is the quintessential Bella Bridesmaids / Paper Crown customer? What type of girl is she?
Erin & Kathleen: The description of our quintessential Bella customer is less style specific and more a state of mind. The Bella customer cares greatly for her friends and family and plans the details of her wedding with their enjoyment in mind. She’s excited to plan a wedding day that reflects her personal style, but not at the cost of slowing down a super great party.
6. What type of girl do you picture wearing the Paper Crown Bridesmaids dresses? Who is she and where is she from?
Lauren: I think the nice part about this line is that we aren’t made for one specific kind of girl. She’s your best friend, sister, future sister in law… and she’s agreed to put up with your craziness until the wedding! So, you might as well let her feel pretty while doing it!
7. What is your dream honeymoon destination if you could go anywhere in the world?
Erin: Safari, South Africa and the Seychelles
Kathleen: Costa Rica
Lauren: Somewhere I’ve never been. I think discovering a new place with your husband/wife is so much fun.
8. How do you imagine your company evolving over the next few years? What direction do you see it going?
Erin & Kathleen: Bella will continue to offer the largest selection of bridesmaids dresses, which means searching tirelessly for what’s new along with keeping timeless classics. We’ll pay close attention to how our customers want to research, collaborate, shop and purchase. We’ll want to mirror that behavior as we evolve to keep our experience fun, creative and stress-free.
Lauren: I’d just love to see the collections grow (a girl can never have too many options). We would love to expand into different categories that compliment the dresses as well.
9. What is the best part about working with your daughter / mother?
Erin: We have absolute trust in each other and enjoy being able to balance home and work life in a way that is joyful and exciting.
Kathleen: We compliment each other incredibly well. We always have the other’s best interest at heart.
Well, now that you’ve read our Q&A, it’s time to check out our Paper Crown dresses at your nearest Bella Bridesmaids store when they’re available this Thursday. Take a peek at our look book and sizing chart below for some inspiration before you start shopping!
Have you had adventures shopping for bridesmaids dresses?
What are some tips you came across along the way?
Leave your stories in the comments. I’d love to read them!
P.S. We are so happy to be invited as an exhibitor to the Martha Stewart Wedding Party later this month. If you’re in New York and in the market for bridesmaids dresses, make sure to come see the collection on January 25th at Gotham Hall (tickets available for purchase at www.weddingpartynewyork.com)! And if you live in Chicago, we’ll be participating in the Chicago event, too!