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Thoughts From A New Bridal Consultant

Our newest Bridal Consultant, Jessica Hill, asked if she could blog about her position with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo because she gets so many questions about working here.  She sent it over and said if I “didn’t like it” it wouldn’t hurt her feelings.

Franco and I speak often about how much we appreciate our staff, but hearing it from a brand new employee who is in her second month with us was the best feeling.  When the employees feel like family, they take care of our brides and grooms like family.  It is not just a sale here, or just a job, it’s a connection for a lifetime.

Jessica mentioned she always wanted a position like this, and we think she is perfect for it!  Read Jessica’s (unprompted!) blog below.

To me, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a hidden gem. Popular with many but still undiscovered by some. Since starting two months ago I’ve been asked, “Hey how is it there?” and many similar questions.  Well I will be happy to tell you.

First, let me start by saying I am married and many of my best friends are married. I have said yes to a dress and I have watched them say yes to many dresses, so my experience is coming from both points of view. I remember how we were treated from those “bigger box stores”. It was great saying yes to the dress but what many do not realize is the process does not end there. You go back for alterations, bridesmaids and groomsmen and the list continues. What I have found is after you say yes to the dress in the bigger chain stores you are then a number, a sale and that caring consultant has moved on to the next one.

The customer service at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is unlike any place I have honestly have ever seen. The minute you walk in you become a part of the family. The best part you ask? Well you stay in that family even after you say yes and even after you are married! The sole purpose is to make everyone feel welcomed and have a great experience from the minute you walk in the door to the minute you walk down the aisle. By the way, the amazing and beautiful dress selections also make it easy for everyone to try on all different shapes and styles, making sure we cover all bases before saying yes.

Another amazing benefit to all brides and even potentially new customers is that you can call or text the store. The texting feature is amazing because if you have anything weighing on your mind it can be answered quickly and ease those worries. I’d say that would be a great feature for when the store is closed but Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is open seven days a week to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

The kind, caring, and compassionate staff is what really sets them apart. Every time you enter the store you will see a familiar face. The owners Wendy and Franco are some of the nicest most hard working people I have ever encountered. They make sure everyone and everything is taken care of.

So hopefully I have answered some of your questions. I could go on and on but I think the best way for you to understand it is to come in and experience the Darianna difference.

 

Five Years In

I could start as Once Upon A Time, but then it wouldn’t be real. Sometimes it really doesn’t seem real that we are five years into a business that we dreamed up and executed, but anyone who has ever started or owned a business knows the feelings. Franco and I have lived and breathed Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo every minute of every day since signing that lease in 2012.

We opened in January 2013 in that adorable little old house on Easton Road. “Next to the Candy Shop,” we used to tell customers who weren’t familiar with the address. How do I convey just how much I loved that store – and how much I cherish the feelings I have when I think of those original days?  It just makes me so happy.  And proud.

I clearly remember one evening just a few months after we opened, standing behind the desk with our little Deanna hanging on my leg like a koala bear, a store full of people, and thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It was simultaneously thrilling and petrifying. Just the way entrepreneurship is: thrilling and petrifying.

So while we went and got ourselves a bigger boat, we decided to keep the original location and made it all about Prom! For two years, we opened seasonally for our prom customers and it was so much fun to have a “junior” version of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo.

With every new year comes changes and decisions to be made and this one is no different. Our biggest decision for 2018 was hard: Do we keep the original store as prom or do we combine them?

As owners, our main goal is customer service and how we can make the shopping experience fun, offer great style options, assist with alterations, and make new friends while doing it. A list of pros and cons came down to one thing – having the owners present in the store. We couldn’t be at both places at once and that is too important for us to ignore.

We made the decision to combine them and we are thrilled to be all under one roof again – in a bigger boat!

 

Our little store turned into something pretty big. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is in the middle of major stores like Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pet Valu, VisionWorks, Hair Cuttery, and GNC. Our sign is in the same sign cabinet as Walmart. Talk about not seeming real! This store offers so much more space with the same great service, same great selection of dresses and tuxedos (this year some amazing prom prices, too!), same convenient 7 day/week store hours, owners and managers on site, and the same fun-filled environment.

 

While I am a little crushed to say goodbye to our original Darianna baby, it needs to happen. One of my favorite photos ever taken is the Love sign over the original Darianna Bridal sign (thank you Sophia Yanik!) – a sweet and lovely little picture, just like that store, just like all our girls who worked there. Our very first prom staff (Class of 2013) is now a year out of college – Gabi, Dani, Jenn, Sophia, Brit, Nicole, and of course Daria! I taught them how to steam dresses and they taught me things like NEVER text back “K”. All those laughs I will keep.

Most decisions aren’t as difficult as this, but the right decision is rarely easy. Like with all babies, at some point, you have to let them go…

We can’t wait to see all of you for bridal and prom seasons in 2018!