This week's featured wedding shop is SparkleSM. Stephanie makes beautiful sashes, bracelets and headbands. She is a great example of a bride working on a budget and using creativity to create the look of her dreams without breaking the bank. Sparkle SM was even featured on Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta! That is pretty awesome, I am inspired by her story below:
1. How did you first discover Etsy?
I've been a fan of Etsy since day one. Well, maybe not that early, but I've certainly a loyal and regular supporter of many artisans on the site for the last 7 or so years! I love the fact that so many different artists can come together and share such amazing handmade products!
2. Why did I decide to start SparkleSM?
Great question with a complicated answer! :)
So back in 2010 I was knee deep in planning for my own wedding, convinced I would do everything DIY, or as much of it as I could. I designed and printed our save the dates, invitations, eventually designing floral arrangements, bouquets, favors, gift table, card holders, reception decor, you name it I tried my hand at it! Much of this was out of necessity to pull off the wedding of our dreams on a smaller than usual budget, and my mom and I had a blast doing so.
It didn't take me long to settle on a dress, and after visiting a local bridal store, I found the Marisa gown that I fell in love with. Following along in our creative spirit, I decided to have the dress custom made in China, and have it shipped to me 6 weeks later. I figured it was worth the $165 investment (with international shipping no less), and I was far from disappointed!
In this same bridal appointment, a member of the bridal team found the perfect statement bridal sash to put on my dress, only to have me flip around the back when she wasn't looking to see the $1,200 price tag! EEK! After taking a closer look at the design and style, I thought I have to be able to make this. My mom and I have always been super crafty and great sewers, this shouldn't be too hard!
So it was out of that idea that SparkleSM Bridal Sashes was born. I designed a custom one of a kind look for my ceremony and was able to do the same for the reception, incorporating a pop of color and overall look, and for a whole lot less than the cost of a dress change! :)
After we tooled around with several different styles, we decided to try our hand at making bridal sashes full time. And that's how we've grown and changed through today. Just a mother and daughter team with an idea and the drive to make a custom one-of-a-kind handmade item to be a part of your wedding!
3. Do you use special machinery? Explain your design process.
All of our bridal sashes and custom belts are hand made in our respective dining rooms (best light in the house)! We hand bead and hand sew each specific design onto an organza backing (that's not seen, just used to hold the stones in place) and then each design is hand sewn onto a fabric of the bride's choice and color. From luxurious imported double-sided satins to the ever-popular trendy wide sheer organzas, the customization options are endless. When a bride orders from SparkleSM, she is receiving a sash that has been custom fit and designed with her in mind, offering craftsmanship and care that can be overlooked in the wedding process. We are always honored to be a part of that special day, even in just a small way, and with that in mind, will work to make that vision come true!
4. What does your workstation look like?
Our workstations vacillate between super sparkly and messy to super clean! Since we use my home in Farmington, CT for bridal appointments and fittings, I often have to keep a cleaner workspace than my mom does, but it often looks like an explosion of color and shine. We joke to brides that we have a super tough job, looking at sparkles all day long! :) And that's one of the most fun aspects of the business, is working directly and personally with brides, to have them try on their dress in your home, look in the cheval mirror and see the look on their face when they've found THE bridal sash that makes their dress. Or even picking out styles for mother of the bride and bridesmaids dresses. It's a fun way to make someone like a maid of honor or a mom feel special on your big day, in a unique way.
Over the last year we've grown in both our process and abilities, had the honor of being shown in a segment of Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta (a show both my mom and I are completely in-love with), and worked with hundreds of amazing brides to design a look custom to their day to make them feel amazing.
I found even after my own moment passed that I could keep the spirit alive through SparkleSM Bridal Sashes, and share in that special moment of each of our brides' wedding days.
So come check us out at:
www.sparklesm.com (our newly launched .com for those not as familiar with Etsy)