By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
A new business – Star’s Brides Boutique – opened in Clarksburg about a month ago, but their Grand Opening was postponed until June 15th so that it would coincide with the Trunk Show they will be hosting June 15 – 17. Owner Star Watson is looking forward to playing a part in helping area brides prepare for their special day!
Star’s Brides Boutique carries Kenneth Winston gowns, offering the Ella Rosa collection, and Star says that one of the advantages of this collection is that gowns can be customized. For example, if a bride-to-be falls in love with a particular strapless gown but was dreaming of something with straps or a slight sleeve, there are choices that can be added to the dress to make it “the dress of her dreams”!
This collection is a perfect mix of timeless and contemporary with plenty of options for brides seeking the traditional princess gown or a more modern, sleek profile silhouette. Veils and other headwear are also available, but for those looking for something totally unique, Star will also custom-design and make a veil for a bride.
The new boutique offers sizes from petites to plus sizes … and not just bridal attire but bridesmaids’ apparel as well … along with special occasion dresses for homecoming and prom too. Star has not yet decided if she will carry Mother of the Bride/Groom attire, but that, too, may be an option she will explore in the future.
“There are other popular bridal shops in the area, and I am not looking to compete with them,” Star noted. “I am a ‘people person’, and with my shop being small, I can offer more personalized service. I want brides to know that they can have quality and unique merchandise but at a very affordable price.”
Star is no stranger to the retail world. Originally from New York City, she is trained in the fashion industry and worked in NYC for large businesses. But unlike large fashion retailers, she wants to put more emphasis on being personal with customers.
How she came to West Virginia is an interesting story! All eyes were particularly attentive on and following September 11, 2001 when news broadcasts transmitted reports of terrorist attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center. Star was actually on her way to work in the city and witnessed the second plane hit its target.
All subway and bus transportation came to an immediate halt, she said, and as people watched crowds running from the mayhem of panic and destruction on television, she was among those scattering in the streets!
“It was horrific,” she stated, “and something I will never forget. I knew so many people who lost family members on that day. I just couldn’t handle it and left what had been my home after that. I moved to Florida where I met my husband, and we later moved to West Virginia where he is from.”
She explained that it was a bit of culture shock for her at first!
“I was accustomed to the fast pace of New York City. Everything there is congested and everyone moves at a fast pace. Coming to West Virginia was just the opposite, so it was very different for me. But I love it here and I love its neighborliness … and more than anything, it has taught me to slow down and enjoy life more.”
New York City is sometimes referred to as a “concrete jungle” where the lifestyle is pretty intense. So perhaps it is the transition from that sort of atmosphere to a more laid-back environment that has influenced Star’s objective to embrace a more personalized relationship with customers to make her business distinctive.
Whether a bride-to-be is using the services of a wedding planner or doing it herself, there are so many arrangements and decisions to make, it is always advised to start planning early! A year in advance is NOT too early to begin. Star agrees, and especially if you find your dream gown in her new boutique, there will be a waiting period because no dresses that are in her store are sold off the rack. What is available there gives brides the opportunity to look and try on, but if you find what you’re looking for, it must be ordered and typically there is a 10-week waiting period for its arrival.
Several dresses that have appeared in her storefront window have already captured the fancy of some area brides and those gowns are now on order. Others are available to look at and try on and still others to see in her catalogs. Many more are expected any day now in time for the Trunk Show and Grand Opening in mid-June.
The Trunk Show will include free makeovers and makeup samples for brides-to-be as well as refreshments. Dates and times are as follows: Friday and Saturday, June 15th & 16th from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, June 17th from 3 to 6 p.m.
Star’s Brides Boutique is located at 129 4th Street in Clarksburg. Regular store hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Mondays and Saturdays by appointment only; just call 304-695-9782.
“Someone who wants individualized attention is guaranteed of just that if they call for an appointment on Mondays and/or Saturdays. The door will be locked and they alone will be the focus of my one-on-one attention,” she added. “I’ll have jewelry too for the Trunk Show and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people who are starting well in advance to perhaps be a June bride next year! Even after the Trunk Show, I have plans to hold a “Spa Day” for brides, an event to make them feel special.”
Star concluded, “I think those who attend will be surprised at what a distinctive look they can find and at a very affordable price!”