My business is Accapella Bridal—the sum of my life’s work and belief. A bridal boutique that is the fusion between
My business is Accapella Bridal—the sum of my life’s work and belief. A bridal boutique that is the fusion between good old fashioned local service, and internationally imported gowns of the highest quality.
My business is me.
It is a small boutique that is physically apart of the building that is my home. Each gown is handpicked by me and has passed my critique – the sum of 25 years of seamstress experience. In my own little corner of Wollongong I have gowns from Italy, London and New York. From the design, to the beadwork, to the stitching, every single gown that is stocked at Accapella Bridal is of exceptional quality.
My business is personal.
It’s one-on-one. I am the receptionist, the stylist, and the seamstress. Every phone call and every time somebody walks through the door, they get me. As is expected of all bridal boutiques, Accapella Bridal sells gowns, but every gown that is bought suits the figure and character of my brides, each of whose name I know. I don’t believe one size fits all, so if needed, with my keen eye for design, I alter the gowns to suit the style, the figure, and the imagination of my brides. I’ve seen tears from mothers and friends, I’ve seen faces light up, and I’ve seen photos of stunning brides on their wedding day.
My business is my passion.
Accapella Bridal is a place where brides-to-be can tap into expertise without having to leave the Illawarra and be delivered the best service possible in every respect. It’s a place where their experience of choosing a gown is everything they had hoped, and adds to the excitement and lead up to the most important day of their lives. My passion is for my brides and myself to be certain that the gown they walk out with is everything it would be had I made it with my own hands.
Memories of my childhood are of my mum being at the sewing machine and us having the best quality clothes because of it. Fast forward a few years and I was out of TAFE and working at a bridal boutique. The appeal of bridal couture to me has been the continuity – styles come in and out of fashion but for everyone, a wedding dress is the one dress they’ll have forever and always look back on. It has the most sentimental value and is timeless.
The 25 years of seamstress experience since has been fuelled by my creativity, and my love for the creativity involved in bridal fashion. The beadwork, the textures, the appliques, the laces, the fabrics, and the structures, give infinite combinations. They let you see an idea come to life and for awhile my work in made-to-measure bridal gowns let me see a sketch, some newspaper clippings, and a conversation, materialise into the gown of a lady’s dreams.
They say when one door closes another one opens. A few years ago, the doors of the bridal boutique I was working at were slowly closing and I was increasingly noticing a trend that still to this day is my experience of bridal shops. It seemed too commonplace that bridal gowns, something so complex in design and make, were being sold by salespeople with little to no dressmaking experience and/or too worried about the bottom line.
While consideration of the bottom line was what prevented me from making gowns from scratch a full-time occupation, I wanted to bring the women of the Illawarra the opportunity to buy the closest thing to the quality and character of a hand made gown. I also wanted to give them the opportunity to do so without having to go to Sydney.
That’s where the seed was planted. I decided I wanted to hand pick well-designed gowns from around the world of exceptional quality, sell them in my own boutique, and keep my seamstress skills alive by altering the gowns style, structure or fit to suit the brides. I have a keen eye for design, and I have a well-practiced knack for styling a bride – selecting gowns that flatter their figure and make them feel like a million dollars. I wanted to create a one-stop shop where a bride could buy their gown and walk out with a perfect fit - without having to go elsewhere for alterations.
My very own boutique. A boutique where I was the one who selected the gowns, styled the brides, altered their gowns, and provided the service along the way. From this Accapella Bridal was born – accapella meaning ‘unaccompanied’. Accapella Bridal is me, just me and always me.
While this has meant that it’s been a very hectic, overwhelming, exciting, rewarding, and satisfying, time since June 2012, I know this is just the beginning and am looking forward to finding out what’s behind this door.
Accapella Bridal goes above and beyond for each of my brides. My business is my investment in so many more ways than one, not the least the investment of my passion and dreams. So from the very first phone call, up until the day they wear the gown, I deliver first class service that is honest, personal, and one-on-one. I think this is something, along with my knowledge and experience, that is really valued and appreciated in this region and by brides in general.
I had a bride who didn’t want the train of her dress but whose little daughter was also going to be at the wedding, so I suggested and made a miniature version of her mums dress for her to wear down the aisle. My bride wanted her dress to be a certain way, so I had it made my one of my Italian suppliers. One bride and her bridal party were struggling to find the bridesmaids dresses they were after, and although I don’t stock bridesmaid dresses, I knew one of my suppliers had the exact dress. I showed my bride and she loved it, so I ordered them in for her. As well as all the other times in between when I’m sat with my laptop at night-time e-mailing my brides gowns that I think they might like, these are some stand out moments that I feel best capture the lengths I go to for my brides.
A wedding dress is a purchase that is only intended, and is hopefully only made once in someone’s life. It’s a big deal. For somebody to be making an investment in a gown, having a service with a personal touch that is genuine down to the tee is something that helps the wedding preparations to be enjoyed and cherished, not stressful. To help a bride select a gown that is everything she wants, in her price range, and for that process to not only be stress-free, but a pleasure—that is complete satisfaction.
The feedback I get is something that makes me feel like I must be doing something right - the glowing reviews on Facebook (I have 49 5 star reviews), the thank you letters and e-mails, the photos, they all make me feel like a celebrity. How do I measure my bride’s satisfaction in addition to all these? It’s the look on their face when they try on the right dress. The look and reactions from their nearest and dearest. The way they walk around my boutique when they know they’ve found the gown they want. That is my satisfaction.
Accapella Bridal is a local bridal boutique that stands for high quality, high service, and unrivalled uniqueness.