How We Built A Luxury Bridal Consignment Brand
Hi guys, Jacquelyn & Ana here, the Co-founders of Our Story Bridal. A few weeks ago we got to thinking about how we started and how far the company has come. You see, Our Story Bridal was born out of necessity - literally. What started as text conversation between the two of us has turned into a growing business in which we are able to give brides what we would have wanted - a chance to shop discounted sample & used wedding dresses in a luxury consignment format! As we look back in gratitude as to how quickly we have grown, and where we are going, we wanted to share the ins and out of how we got started.
Our Story Bridal was founded out of personal needs. You see, both of us had a tough time selling our wedding dresses after our respective weddings. It took Ana over two years to sell her dress online. Towards the end, she even bought a mannequin to take better photos for her online listing! Jacquelyn tried really hard to sell her Vera Wang gown and posted it on a random site in the hopes that another bride would fall in love with it, the way she did. A few months later, she got her first hit and after multiple back and forth messages, Jacquelyn coordinated with the bride to come to try the dress on. It was a bit awkward since she didn't have a full-length mirror and her husband and dog were hanging out awkwardly on the couch (Hello small NYC apartment!). Not what a bride wants as her special dress shopping moment!
Before the bride arrived, Jacquelyn texted Ana frazzled on how to accept payment in a secure way, for any tips and other critical information. After Jacquelyn’s very awkward encounter, we decided that there must be a better way to buy and sell preowned, luxury wedding dresses. We wanted to take all the dresses that need new brides, restore & clean them and put them under one pretty roof (and at a great discount) for brides to come and shop with their family and friends. We were surprised that this didn’t exist already in New York. It is such an important, emotional experience and moment, why should a bride have to compromise that just to save some money?
Fast forward a few months and we decided to test out this idea of a luxury bridal consignment store but in a very scrappy way. First, we took about 40 dresses from around NYC and popped up in a friend's jewelry showroom in Tribeca for a few weekends. Every weekend we would have to carefully zip up each dress into a protective garment bag and then transport them back and forth from a climate-control storage facility. After a couple of pop-ups, we had a waiting list of over 300 brides wanting an appointment! We couldn't believe it, there were all these women looking for luxury, used wedding dresses and they were willing to wait too. This demand gave us the confidence to open up a small, one-fitting room space for six months to build out the idea (test, iterate countless times) and create the best experience for our sellers and brides.
We have faced several challenges trying to create and grow this business, and we wouldn't have been able to do it without the support and love of our great friends, our amazing staff, mentors, and family. It truly takes a village! Oh, and just in case you were wondering if we weren't busy enough, we were also pregnant at the same time while launching this business and delivered 10 days apart! It just goes to show that there is literally no time like the present.
We are excited to see where this business goes as we strongly believe in the mission of delivering stress-free bridalwear and helping brides save time, money and a lot of headaches. We strongly believe the resale market is an incredible and growing section of the retail industry. With the likes of The Real Real, Thred Up, and Poshmark, today's shoppers are looking for savvier ways to shop, to save money, and to do a bit of good for the environment. Unlike everyday clothing, brides want to try on a wedding dress before they buy it, so we are protecting that part of the experience for her. After all, why not have your cake and eat it too!
To visit us and our collection of beautiful, discounted designer wedding dresses IRL, book an appointment.