In anticipation of the upcoming INSPIRE Wedding Shows, we'll be sitting down with a few of the show's partners and getting the scoop on their business, what they offer brides and grooms and what they're looking forward to at the next INSPIRE show!
First up is Lindsey Stavely, owner of Tesori in Fayetteville. This beautiful bridal boutique carries a wide assortment of gowns from designers like Hayley Paige, Pronovias and Allure.
Read on to find out more about Lindsey and the story behind Tesori!
What inspired you to start your business?
Lindsey Stavely: "Tesori started out as an upscale women’s boutique that over time transitioned to formalwear with a natural introduction of wedding gowns. We saw a need in northwest Arkansas to offer brides not only designers but a shopping experience that was out of this world so they didn’t feel the need to travel out of town to find their dream dress.
We pride ourselves in seeking out the best and most current designers at the world’s biggest bridal markets. It’s important to us to not only stay relevant with designers but also offer looks that you don’t see every day."
Has the wedding industry always been something you’ve been interested in?
LS: "Not really. As a business, if you want to be successful you have to listen to your customer's wants and needs and although I never imagined working with brides, once I got the opportunity I knew it was what Tesori was always supposed to be. It was natural and it made sense — it was so rewarding to be part of a person’s wedding day. A day they will never forget!"
What’s one of your favorite things about your job?
LS: "Connecting with our brides and customers, we are helping them for what will be one of the biggest and most memorable days of their lives. I can always tell when a dress is 'the one' and there is just something really special about that. It is truly a privilege to be part of the process. It never gets old!"
What’s a typical day-in-the-life like for you?
LS: "It’s usually something different every day, which I love because I’m pretty spontaneous. I think people look at owning a bridal store think it’s all glitz and glam… and don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of that! However, owning a business and operating a business entails two totally different things. I’m proud to say that me and my business partner, Erin Bridges, do both, which is pretty rare.
We do a lot of the behind-the-scenes business things but you’ll often catch us out on the sales floor working with brides, too. It was important for us to connect with our customers and also to show our staff that you aren’t working for us… you are working WITH us. I handle all the social media, event planning, placing orders along with buying, so depending on what all we have going on I’m working on one of those things. I’m really big into health and wellness so I make it a top priority to get a workout in either before or after work — gotta take care of yourself to be able to take care of others."
What do you love about getting to help brides find their dream dress?
LS: "Oh, I could go on and on about this one! A wedding is essentially signifying the rest of your life with your person — so getting to be part of this process is so special and not something we take for granted. I always say that brides may not remember my name but they will remember how I made them feel and how special their experience was at Tesori. I often think about the stories brides will tell their daughters about Tesori and it truly gives me butterflies. Getting to be part of such a special story and essentially family history blows my mind!"
Tell me about the lines that you all carry. What are some of your favorites or the most popular?
LS: "We pride ourselves in bringing Hayley Paige and Blush by Hayley Paige to Arkansas as the first store to stock the line when we first opened with bridal in 2014. It was a big deal and still is — Hayley Paige is regarded as THE bridal designer among her peers and we were thrilled to bring that to brides locally being that she was mostly in bigger cities at the time.
We love Pronovias as well, it’s a line out of Barcelona and is known for its insane lace that has just a touch of modern sophistication but also offers streamlined and clean fabrics such as crepe that we can’t get enough of!
We just picked up a new line called BECCAR and we are one of six stockists in the entire United States that carry it and is exclusive to us here in Arkansas. The line is like nothing we have in the store with amazing texture details and most gowns have coordinating veils that are truly the icing on the cake.
Allison Webb is the Audrey Hepburn of bridal and has the most amazing and architectural gowns. One of her newer gowns has a plunging back with a gorgeous black bow that is truly breathtaking and I’m pretty sure if I could marry the same man but new dress that’s what I would choose because it’s so memorable."
What’s your favorite gown silhouette?
LS: "I got married in a sheath silhouette so I’m biased! It’s definitely not for everyone however I love it for its simplicity and oftentimes being understated."
What are your favorite trends you’re seeing in the industry right now?
LS: "We are seeing pops of black like I mentioned earlier about the Allison Webb dress, which I’m loving! We have continued to see a lot of texture on gowns whether it’s layers of layered lace or 3D applique. I truly can’t get enough of the texture and details."
What’s your go-to advice for brides looking for their dream dress?
LS: "I would say the most important thing is to keep an open mind when you are shopping. It’s definitely important to have an idea of what you like but it’s truly hard to know until you start trying on. When you go into a bridal store to shop I would focus on what you think you love but listen to the bridal consultant because of all their expert advice."
What are you looking forward to the most with the upcoming INSPIRE show?
LS: "The overall aesthetic of the INSPIRE show is so different than any other bridal show we’re involved in. Tanarah and her team think outside the box and is a breath of fresh air with their designs so we can’t wait to see what they come up with this year. We got to see a sneak peek of the theme and we can’t wait for everyone to see!"
For more info about Tesori, click here. For more about INSPIRE, read our latest blog post about dates, locations and how you can snag tickets.