Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. The White Magnolia Bridal Collection Atlanta owner Mallory Thorburn, whose boutique assists brides-to-be in finding their dream wedding gown, explains how this image represents her business.
At The White Magnolia Bridal Collection, our priority is creating an experience each and every bride will remember for the rest of her life. The concept of The White Magnolia began in 2010 when founder, Kerrie Hileman, shopped for her own wedding gown. She discovered the places she shopped made her feel like "just another number." As she would walk through the door, she would immediately feel undervalued at such a personally important time. In addition, she was shopping for a more classic, lace wedding gown (with just a hint of something unique), which proved much more difficult to find than she anticipated.
She started her very own bridal salon to fill the gap in Jacksonville, Fla., and the rest, as they say, is history. Four stores and thousands of brides later, we are still giving our clients that much-needed individualized attention and impeccable selection.
This photo is of our Greenville, South Carolina, store manager changing out the window mannequins, where thousands of people pass by while strolling on the sidewalks of the quaint and historic downtown. This wide open space is reserved for one bride at a time so that she can leisurely look at each gown with her closest friends and family before selecting what to try on.
One of the most challenging aspects of our business are the ever-changing bridal trends. It's inevitable that bridal trends come-and-go rather quickly as women tire of seeing the same style, and are constantly searching for the "next big thing". While challenging, this is also what makes our job exciting and keeps us on our toes.
Twice a year, we head off to New York City to hand-select the most up-to-date, gorgeous gowns by some of the best designers in bridal fashion. Trying not to get carried away in tulle and lace, we must keep our "chic, elegant, sophisticated" business model in mind. We comb through thousands of gowns to bring the best of the best to our Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina boutiques.
We truly see the importance and emotional ties that this gown has for the women who shop with us, and we feel genuinely lucky to have the opportunity to help select such an important garment.
At each White Magnolia location, we pride ourselves on giving every bride individualized attention by pairing her with an expert bridal consultant for an hour and a half. Picking out this once-in-a-lifetime gown should be relaxing, intimate, and fun. We think providing a completely private space for each client to shop makes it a special experience. When a bride says "yes to the dress" and we pop the champagne to celebrate, we know we are creating a memory that will last forever.