As part of Arkansas Bride's Behind the Veil series, Editor Lindsay Irvin finds out what drives Tesori owners Lindsey Stavely and Erin Bridges — and the intention behind their brand.
Tesori started out as an upscale boutique-turned formalwear store before good friends Lindsey Stavely and Erin Bridges decided it might be time for a change.
“We had friends tell us that we needed to get into the bridal business because of our heart for people and eye for fashion,” Lindsey says. “We are risk-takers at heart and love a challenge, so we sat down one late-summer day in 2013 and dreamt up what it would mean for Tesori to be a bridal salon. From that moment on, it was full-steam ahead bringing a bridal experience to Arkansas that was like no other.”
Erin and Lindsey knew the space would need to be transformed. “We wanted it to feel like you were somewhere special (because buying your dress is unforgettable),” Lindsey says. The duo also focused on creating a culture that ensured every bride who walked through the doors felt inspired and loved. And, of course, they prioritized sourcing gorgeous gowns in special styles by only the best designers.
Six years into the bridal concept, it's clear Erin and Lindsey’s methods were the right ones. The salon is beloved by its brides and their families, and the store has become a beacon of body positivity and community.
“We always say you come to Tesori to find your dream dress and your new best friend!” Lindsey says. “The people are what we love most about what we do. We get to be part of arguably one of the most memorable experiences of peoples’ lives.
“Impacting people that we come in contact with is just as important as the sale. When you invest in people, everything else seems to fall into place. We set that standard from day one, and it spills into every aspect of our business.”
Erin and Lindsey are also rewriting the script of what it looks like to work alongside other Arkansas retailers. “For so long, we’ve been told to compete, when really, the answer is to create a community — we are ALL stronger together.” Lindsey says. “Our friendship with other stores has created a really strong shopping environment for brides, which ultimately keeps more brides local.”