Before opening Curvy Rose I was a writer. I worked for small and large companies, writing product descriptions, scripts for television, and speeches for organizational leaders. No one ever thought, least of all me, that I would own a bridal shop one day. I loved my career, especially the creativity of it all. I met interesting people and was able to capture their vision through the transformative power of words. I was content until a man walked into my life and changed it forever. His name was James Riley. We met at work. He was a videographer and I was the writer for a television program. It wasn't love at first sight for me, but it was for him and for a couple of years we worked on different teams, getting to know each other from afar. Like a lot of women, I've kissed my share of frogs, but James was different. He was kind, generous and believed in me. I didn't have to dumb myself down or hide my accomplishments or abilities. His sincere friendship won me over and after two years of passing each other in the hallway, and four months of dating, he proposed.
Always the planner, I set off to find my dress the day after James put that ring on my finger. Truth be told, I had been thumbing through bridal magazines for decades hoping that one day I would wear one of those beautiful designs by Demetrios, Lazaro, or Eve of Milady. I love weddings, but I REALLY love the splendor of a bride in her dress. In my mind, the dress sets the tone for everything. It's a direct reflection of a bride's personal style. It's one of the few opportunities women have to take the stage like that red carpet maven in the magazine. We get to create a vision, an emotion, a radiance that is uniquely our own. Even though James told me often that I was beautiful, he understood my passion for the gown of my dreams and encouraged me to find the dress that would make me feel gorgeous on the day when all eyes would be on me.
My journey began at a well-known bridal salon in metro Atlanta. I was quickly disappointed by the insensitivity of the salespeople showing me styles that I couldn't try on because their dresses were no larger than a size 12. I was stuffed into gowns that were way too small and asked to imagine how I would look. When there was no way for me to get into a dress, I was told to slip my head into the dress hanger and imagine the gown that way as I watched smaller woman try on various styles, textures and shapes. I tried not to cry as a large chunk of my backside was hanging out from a dress the consultant was certain would work. This scene played out time after time in all the bridal boutiques I visited. It was 2008 and no one carried gowns in sizes larger than a 14.
I'm curvy and busty, a 36G in fact, so even if I could get a gown past my hips, my boobs kept falling out. To complicate things most of the gowns were outdated or didn't look good on me. I even traveled to Miami hoping to find "The One," only to choose something that was okay, but not great. I was giving up. One of the wonderful moments in my life and I couldn't find a dress.
Once again my cheerleader, James, encouraged me not to give up. After some calling around and asking specific questions, I found a bridal shop who was willing to help me. It took a lot of trust and creativity because once again, none of her gowns were in my size. But as I explained the vision of my wedding, the fabric I loved and the shape I liked, she began to guide me toward the style and shape that captured my radiant spirit and my love for James. It was a collaborative effort and when I say I had to TRUST her, I really did because my dress had to be created. It took five months to make and boy was I nervous about it. In the end, my gown turned out great, but I know that most times it doesn't. So I was blessed on that score.
My marriage to James was a great one too. We adored each other and had two gorgeous daughters together before he unexpectedly passed away in 2013. James was my game-changer. He pushed me to think outside the box and consider helping other curvy women find their gowns. It wasn't until he was gone and I was laid off my job that I took a leap of faith and started Curvy Rose.
The wonderful thing about this story is that you don't have to go through the frustration I endured eight years ago to find YOUR dress. Many designers are making gowns specifically for curvy women and more stores are carrying popular styles in plus size. Here's the thing, if you are curvier than a size 20 you may find that in a traditional store they do not carry samples in sizes that will fit you best.
If you are tired of the big box approach or not being able to find a quality gown in your size, you might want to try a plus size bridal salon like Curvy Rose. Here we understand what you are looking for and we will do what we can to help create the vision you desire. Just like the woman who helped me with my gown, we will guide you through the process, honoring your privacy while helping to create the vision, emotion and radiance that is uniquely your own.
Not a day goes by that I don't think about James. He inspired me in ways that no one else could. Our marriage was truly joy-filled and It taught me a lot about trust, genuine friendship and the power of serving each other, especially in tough times. I hope that Curvy Rose visitors will experience the love and support I had in finding a dress, but more importantly I wish every person who walks through our doors a marriage filled with joy and a romance that will last forever.
To book your appointment at Curvy Rose, give us a call at 678-884-3175 or click on the Appointment tab at the top of this page. Get the bridal experience you deserve!