Gratitude

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New website!!!

I am beyond excited for this announcement! After over a year of work in my free time (meaning late at night after my kids are asleep), A Little Something White has a new website! Thank goodness for the amazing talent, dedication, and patience of 540 Design Studio and its owner, Matt Stellwagen. Your expertise is unparalleled and it has been a pleasure to watch your company grow and flourish over the last two years since we first spoke!!

There is so much to love about the new website! Below I have listed a few of my favorite parts. Click on an image below and you will be taken directly to that page on the website. Enjoy this labor of love!!!

Real Weddings

A page featuring the wedding day photos of A Little Something White brides!! I could seriously spend all day long on this page of the website. When you click on one of the images, you will be taken to a page with additional photos and a Q&A between A Little Something White and the bride related to her experience working with the ALSW team and her engagement and wedding day details. Any ALSW bride can submit her wedding to be featured on this page!

Sample Sale

Are you looking for a couture bridal gown at  a fraction of the price? This page shows the beautiful gowns we currently have on our sample sale rack. Most of the gowns are in excellent condition!

Press, Awards, & Accolades

We are so grateful for all of the awards, accolades, and press we have received since our launch in 2012. Thank you to the many industry publications who have featured our work as well as recognized us for excellence in our field. We are truly dedicated to making sure the experience of shopping for a bridal gown is spectacular, and we are always honored when someone takes the time to tell us we have done that well.

Reviews

Thank you to the numerous brides who have left us such positive reviews over the last three years. Every time we read a review we are completely humbled by your kind words! On this page we have included links to the most prominent review websites so that you can see what our brides have to say about us or leave a review for us!

Happy New Year!!

Spectacular. That is the best word I can choose to sum up how I feel about 2013. For me, it was a year of incredible happiness, both professionally and personally. Coming into the year, I had high expectations for A Little Something White for its first full year in business. And as I reflect back on the year, I cannot help but feel immense pride at what my team accomplished. As a small shop, we all work tirelessly with the goal of ensuring our brides have an amazing experience. We had the pleasure of working with several hundred brides this year and are so grateful for those of you who gave us the opportunity of working with you on your wedding day. Many of you took the time to tell us how happy you were with your experience at A Little Something White, and we are so appreciative of that feedback. It was you speaking up that helped us to receive several accolades this year. For the second year in a row, we were selected as one of The Knot’s best bridal salons, an award that is decided based on the reviews of our brides. Additionally, we received the honor of Moffly Media’s “Best of Gold Coast” award in the Bridal Gowns category. This was voted on by our brides just six months after we opened, and is therefore all the more meaningful for us!

In the midst of this thrilling year for the store, I was blessed with my second child in July, a boy we named William. A lot of people told me I was crazy to start a business and have another child in the same year, but as I reflect back on the last six months, I can only thing that I am immensely fortunate. Will has been a true blessing and while he has added an extra element of crazy to my life, it is far outweighed by the happiness he has brought us. And after successfully (at least I think so) managing a growing business, a newborn, and a three year old over the last five months, I feel incredibly fulfilled both professionally and personally.

I would be remiss if I didn’t end this post with an enormous thank you to my team. To Amber, who managed the store effortlessly over the last five months while I spent a little extra time with my family, and Kim, who joined us in June, hit the ground running from day one, and has dazzled so many of our brides in her short time here, and Bridget, who ensured every single one of our brides had the perfect fit on her wedding day (I’m not kidding, I can honestly say that every single bride was happy with her alterations), I can only say thank you a million times over from the bottom of my heart. You are a special team and I am immensely grateful for everything. Thank you to my family as well, for continuing to support me day in and day out. It is because of you that I am able to dedicate myself to growing this successful business and I am and always will be your biggest fan.

Cheers to an amazing 2014!!

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Happy Anniversary to A Little Something White!

This month marks our first anniversary! When we opened our doors last September, we had no idea how truly special the year would be. To our lovely brides, we would like to extend a sincere, heartfelt thank you to you and your families and friends for giving us the honor of working with you. Each and every one of you has a special place in our heart. We hope you enjoyed working with us as much as we loved working with you!

In honor of this milestone, we are running an exciting promotion in the month of September! You can either visit A Little Something White and enter your information on our sign in form or visit our website and fill out the Get In Touch form between September 1st-30th. Once you do this, you will be entered to receive one of the following prizes! Winners will be drawn at random on October 1st and notified via email or phone. And just for entering, you will receive 10% off the accessory of your choice!

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Top Twelve from Twenty Twelve!

As I say goodbye to 2012, I can’t help but do so with a huge smile. Our “year” was only four months long, from when we opened in September through now. In reality, there was a lot more that happened in 2012 behind the scenes, but the fun stuff really began after opening our doors on September 10th. So, to truly say goodbye to 2012 and begin to celebrate the amazing year that I know 2013 will be, I thought I would compile my top 12 favorite things from 2012!

12) Opening day

This day will always be memorable for me, for two reasons. First, it was the day I had envisioned for two years as I planned and researched…and then planned and researched some more! To see A Little Something White Bridal Couture finally open will always rank up there as one of the more memorable days in my life. Second, it was the day my sweet little boy started preschool for the first time, another very memorable moment in my life! In retrospect, those are two pretty momentous things to happen on the same day!!

11) Grace Ormonde VIP Party

Just over one week after opening, we had the distinct pleasure of attending and showcasing our gowns at the Grace Ormonde VIP party in Old Lyme, Connecticut. The event was the over-the-top amazingness  that one expects from Grace Ormonde (for a recap click here). We were truly honored to be a part of this event, and many wonderful things have already happened as a result of being invited to participate in that event.

10) Our first successful trunk show

We hosted our first trunk show, featuring the Kelly Faetanini collection, on November 2nd and 3rd. We had put this date on the calendar back in May and we were so excited for it! The Monday prior, Hurricane Sandy barreled through the Connecticut coast. While we were incredibly fortunate to have no damage to the store, we were left without power for almost a week. That means we did our trunk show with no power or heat. We will eternally be grateful to the brides who came in that weekend and helped to make it our most successful weekend up to that point. We know we have wonderful brides, but you ladies redefined the word amazing!!

9) October bridal market

Bridal market, where we head to NYC to figure out which gowns from each designer’s most recent collection we want to purchase for the store, is always fun, tiring, and exciting…but this time around it was even more thrilling. Before we opened, we went to market to buy what we thought our brides would want to wear for their wedding. This time we went to market knowing our brides tastes, preferences, and desires, and it was so fun to buy from our designer’s collections with our brides at the forefront of our mind. We have started getting our gowns in and they are drop-dead gorgeous!!

8) Photoshoots at the store with Coren Moore

We are fortunate that Coren Moore, one of our most sought-after designers, has her headquarters in Darien about 2 miles from our store. Coren did a major revamp of her bridal and bridesmaids collections in 2012, and therefore needed updated photography of her collections for her website. We were so excited to welcome Coren and several other wonderful individuals to the store to shoot her collections. Click here for a snapshot of some of the bridesmaids style taken at A Little Something White!

7) Learning of our Knot.com Best of Weddings 2013 pick

Right after Thanksgiving we were notified that we were one of the Connecticut bridal salons selected by The Knot.com as a “Best of Weddings 2013” vendor. What means the most to us about this is that it is selected by our brides and it was voted on after we had only been open for 2 months. We have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into giving our brides a one-of-a-kind, positive, and happy experience, and this was the first real validation we received that what we are doing is having an impact.

6) Our first sale

We had our first sale on Saturday, September 15th, the first Saturday we were open. Our sweet bride, Lindsay, walked into our store with both her mother and future mother-in-law, who had just met right before the appointment, but got along so well that you would have sworn they had known each other forever. Lindsay was getting married in less than three months and was nervous about finding something in time. She selected the beautiful Felicite gown by Anna Maier, and when she walked down the aisle on her wedding day, she looked stunning. Every bride we work with is special to us, but the excitement I felt that day after working with Lindsay will always stand out in my mind.

5)  Grand Opening party

Being surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the Grand Opening of A Little Something White was absolutely amazing. It was such a happy, special occasion and reminded me of just how lucky we are to be surrounded by so many great people. Click here for a fun recap of our Grand Opening party!

4) My Assistant Manager, Amber

Most of you that have visited A Little Something White have either met or worked with Amber, my Assistant Manger. When you are the owner of a new business, one of the hardest things to do is find someone who espouses the qualities, skills, and personality you want for your business. How I got so lucky with Amber I will never know, but I am thankful for her every single day. Hiring Amber and then realizing she was just as awesome in person as she seemed when I interviewed her absolutely goes down as one of the best (and most relieving!!!) moments of 2012!

3) Forming wonderful relationships

Over the last year, I have been incredibly fortunate to meet many wonderfully talented individuals in the industry, from photographers, to florists, to wedding planners…the list is endless. So many of you have been an incredible source of support for me as I have gotten the business off the ground and I feel so fortunate to know you. I look forward to continuing to learn from you, watching your ongoing success, and hopefully partnering with you at some point in 2013. You might be someone I met once, someone I know just over Facebook, or someone I have worked with on an ongoing basis. All of you are important to me, and if I can ever do anything to support your business in the way you have supported A Little Something White, I will gladly do so.

2) My family

I find it impossible to accept any compliments on the success of A Little Something White without expressing gratitude for my wonderful family, who has been a constant source of support over the last few months. From my parents and sister, to my in-laws, to my loving husband, Dave, and sweet little boy, Ben, I am eternally grateful for everything you have done to help me over the last few months.

1) Our brides

This list would be meaningless if it didn’t include the amazing ladies who have walked through the door of A Little Something White in the last few months. Working with each of you has been a dream, and we feel so lucky to be part of such an exciting time in your life. Most of you will be married by the next time we ring in the New Year, and we are so excited for you. To be part of even a fraction of your big day is truly an honor for us and you will always be an important part of the “A Little Something White” family.

Black Friday, White Saturday

Looking for something to do this holiday weekend? Join a Little Something White Bridal Couture for a special “Black Friday, White Saturday” event! This Friday and Saturday only we are offering you 10% off your bridal gown purchase.

As a small business, we absolutely love that this Saturday is “Small Business Saturday”, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses around the country. But we figure, why not give something back to our customers? After all, it is our amazing customers who allow us to continue to do what we love day in and day out by supporting our business throughout the year. So, to say “thank you”, we would like to offer you 10% off the purchase of your bridal gown.

Additionally, those who purchase from us on the 24th (Saturday) using their American Express card are eligible to receive $25 back. You simply need to register your card here before the 24th (or until the enrollment fills up) and then purchase from us on Saturday!

Please contact us today to make your appointment. We expect appointments for this weekend to book up quickly!

Please note that this offer is not to be combined with any other offers.

A Serendipitous Partnership

After two months in business, we have been fortunate to work with many wonderful brides and their families. Aside from commenting on how much they love our gowns, one of the most common things we hear is “I feel so comfortable here”. As we thought about the experience we wanted to create for brides, one of the most important things was having a space that felt welcoming, happy, and relaxed. But truthfully, we didn’t know exactly how to achieve this with the store design.

On a chilly winter day last February, we struck gold. We had the good fortune of being introduced to Shannon Manchester and Jody Peters, who are the brains, creative talent, and amazing personalities behind Design Serendipity Interiors, a Westport, CT-based interior design business and blog. After one meeting with Shannon and Jody, we never looked back. And for that, we are so thankful!

While we were incredibly fortunate to secure a spot for A Little Something White in a brand new, gorgeous building in Darien, what truly helped make the space extraordinary was Shannon and Jody’s touch. From the brilliant overhead lighting, sumptuous fabric for our ottoman and cushions, or beautiful pink over-dyed rug, we are so proud to welcome brides to our space. And we aren’t even done yet! There are still more Design Serendipity-selected pieces on their way!

On a personal level, Shannon and Jody have continually provided me with excellent examples of what it looks like to be dedicated mothers and successful business owners at the same time. It is no surprise to me that their business has become so successful in such a short period of time, and I feel so fortunate to call this dynamic duo my business partners, my friends, and my role models.

Here are some photos of the store and the beautiful work that Jody and Shannon have done.  If you like what you see in the photos, you should come to the store, because it’s even more impressive in person (and we give Shannon and Jody all the credit)!

 We absolutely love the contrast of the pink over-dyed rug against the luxurious cream-colored ottoman and ivory bridal gowns. The pop of color is gorgeous!

There are no words to describe the lighting in the store. Come in some evening to see for yourself! Bright, welcoming, and happy!

We love the contrast of this black over-dyed rug against the colorful bridesmaids dresses.

Last but certainly not least, here is a photo of Jody and Shannon at our Grand Opening party last month. Beautiful ladies, exquisite taste, and two of our new favorite people!

Grand Opening celebration!

On Thursday, October 4th we celebrated the Grand Opening of A Little Something White Bridal Couture surrounded by family, friends, press, and many wonderful people that we have met throughout the process of getting the business up and running. We opened our doors in early September, but we wanted to give ourselves a couple of weeks to ease into everything before we had the Grand Opening celebration!

We are tremendously grateful for the many individuals and local businesses who so generously gave their time and talent in order to make this event such a success! We would not have been able to pull off this amazing affair if it wasn’t for the incredibly talented Susan Caruso of Susan Caissy Caruso Special Events. Thank you for everything, from planning, to executing, to calming us down when we weren’t sure we would be able to get everything done in time! Brides in Connecticut have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Susan, and she just expanded her business to Boston….Massachusetts brides rejoice!!! We also want to send a huge thank you to Amanda Smith of Amanda Smith Caterers for the delicious food and drinks. Everyone was so impressed with the quality of the evening’s menu, and we are so appreciative of the generosity you showed us. Fortuitously, we met the amazing woman behind Jen Lynne Photography at an event two weeks before the Grand Opening party. Jen graciously agreed to capture the event on camera (please scroll down to see the fantastic photos from this event). For those who don’t recognize the name, Jen just relocated her incredibly successful photography business from Michigan to Fairfield County. If you are looking for equal parts talent, kindness, and professionalism, then Jen is the photographer for you! And last but certainly not least, as you can see from the photos below, the flowers at the event were out-of-this-world spectacular! Thank you to Nielsen’s Florist for providing these beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets. We feel so fortunate to be located right across the street from these talented people and can’t wait to collaborate more in the future!

We would also like to thank the Darien Liquor Shop for providing alcohol, Sweet Melissa’s Cake Pops for providing the delicious desserts that guests took home in their favor bag, and the Darien Auto Group and Darien Veterinary Hospital for allowing us to use your parking lots for overflow parking!

We had several gowns on display and Nielsens’ Florist created bouquets to complement the gowns. The gowns on the left and top right are designed by Anna Maier while the gown on the bottom right was designed by Darien’s own Coren Moore!

Guests were treated to delicious food and drinks! We tried to keep the food as light-colored as possible to make sure the dresses didn’t get dirty!!!

Thank you to the Darien Chamber of Commerce for organizing the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was very hard to both smile and focus on cutting the ribbon, but we did it and we think the picture came out quite nice!

Here is a photo of Ashley and her #1 supporter…her husband! Ashley received so many compliments on her dress and jewelry. Her darling dress is none other than the Coren Moore Kate dress in Eggplant, and the necklace is the Love of Pretty Pearl Flower Necklace!

Here are some more photos of guests having a great time throughout the evening!

Guests were sent home with these adorable favors! The cake pops inside the bags were delicious!

Thank you again to everyone who helped make this event such a success, as well as to those who came from both near and far to celebrate with us. We are so lucky to know such a fantastic group of people!

Giving Thanks Where Thanks is Due: My Family Part Two

I am very fortunate to be surrounded by a loving family. In addition to my husband and son, my parents and sister are my biggest supporters, my very best friends, and the people I know I can always count on. As a mother myself, I am starting to appreciate even more the great sacrifices my parents made while I was growing up to make sure I had a good education, exposure to all sorts of personality-shaping activities such as music, art, religion, and sports, and plenty of time to be a child. (One of my favorite pastimes growing up was dressing up in my mom’s old dresses with my sister, putting on heels and jewelry, and parading around the house. Foreshadowing for my future? I think so!) Throughout all of this, they always made sure my sister and I knew how loved we were. One of the most important things my parents instilled in me was the value of hard work. While I know that hard work is no guarantee of success, I do know that working hard for what I want has always, at the very least, opened new doors for my future. Launching this business has been one of the more recent doors that has opened for me.

As I have moved forward with the opening of A Little Something White, yet again my parents and sister have been some of my biggest supporters, encouraging me to follow my dreams and doing everything they can to help. I’m pretty sure my dad, a doctor, spends at least a quarter of his week spreading the word about my business to his colleagues and patients and already has a list of people he is sending to me. My mom also tells everyone she knows about the business and spent hours reading my website word by word prior to its launch to check grammar and spelling. And on top of that, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my mom is going to be watching my son part of the time while I go back to work to run this business that has been a dream of mine for years. She’s amazing, right? And lastly, I don’t think it’s possible to quantify how much advice my sister, who has a successful career in fashion, has given me over the last year and a half.

To my mom, dad, and my sister Kate, thank you. Thank you for supporting me in this endeavor in a million different ways. Thank you for finding me clients. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for providing me with so many experiences that I had the confidence to take on this endeavor. And thank you for being you.

I can’t talk about family without mentioning the family I married into. While I have only known them for seven years, I feel like I have known them forever. When my business idea was still in its early stages, they responded with an excitement that helped me as I was moving forward. And they also produced the wonderful person that I call my husband. So to my mother-in-law Ronnie, sister-in-law Dina, brother-in-law Lawrence, and three amazing and adorable nephews, I am so incredibly grateful for your support.

Thank you and I love you all!

Here are my wonderful parents and sister with my son.

And here is the wonderful family I married into. This is a picture from my wedding day 5 years ago! My youngest nephew wasn’t born yet, but this is the only picture I could find of all of us!

Giving Thanks Where Thanks Is Due: My Family

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for the individuals who have helped me along the path of pursuing my lifelong dream of starting this business, and I will be highlighting some of those individuals over the next few weeks. I believe the best place to start is with my husband and son, as I credit them with helping me turn this dream into reality.

One of the questions I get asked most often is, “How does your husband feel about you starting this business?” And it is with a tremendous amount of love and gratitude for the person that he is that I am able to smile and say that he is unequivocally supportive. It was Dave who urged me to move forward, encouraged me when I was doubtful, celebrated with me at every milestone, and has listened to every last detail about the oh-so-masculine world of bridal attire. While my son, at two years old, is far too young to comprehend that his mommy is starting her own business, I have to thank him for being the happy, loving little kid that he is. There is nothing that thrills me more than walking in the door after a day of doing what I am truly passionate about and being greeted by my smiling, happy little boy.

So to my two leading men, thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams. You bring me more joy than you could ever know and I owe my every success to the support you have given me!

xoxo, Ashley