Revelle Bridal - Earleen
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hardest question to answer ! I am a mom of two awesome humans (daughter, Marisa and son, Jordan) and 1 very adorable Frenchie (Kobe); wife to a wonderful and patient husband (Mark); older sister to the craziest brothers; and only daughter to the best parents. And oh yeah, I own a Bridal Shop on Wellington West.
How long has Revelle been catering to Ottawa brides?
My brother, Lorenz, who is my business partner and I started what was formerly known as Encore Bridal in October 2016. We originally had the intention of being an online wedding dress consignment boutique but quickly learned that e-commerce wasn’t the way brides-to-be want to shop for their wedding dresses. So in January 2017 we opened a storefront under the Encore name and sold both consignment and sample wedding gowns. We rebranded and moved all at the same time in July 2017 to our current Wellington West location and Encore became Revelle Bridal. Not only did we have a new look brand-wise but we also changed our entire business model. We no longer carry or accept wedding gowns on consignment and have curated modern and unique wedding dress designs that have not yet been carried in the Ottawa area.
Have Ottawa weddings changed since Revelle started and how?
Hmmmm. That’s a question that can’t really be qualified. I don’t think Revelle has been around long enough to actually change the Ottawa wedding scene but I’d like to think that we’ve brought a fresh new approach to wedding dress shopping as well as some gorgeous, unique and non-traditional styles that never existed before in the city.
How does Revelle differ from other bridal focused retailers?
As a very small boutique, we feature a curated collection of wedding dress designs which means we don’t have hundreds and hundreds of dresses to choose from like other bridal shops in the city. However, what may be lacking in quantity we make up for in the quality of the designs we carry as well as the designers we have carefully chosen to represent the Revelle bridal vibe. None of the designers we carry are available at any other local bridal shop as I’ve worked hard to search for emerging indie designers rather than big name brands. Lastly, our wedding dress styles are pretty unique, modern, non-traditional and truly express my own personal style and vibe.
When not catering to brides and helping create their perfect day what makes your perfect day?
The perfect day for me outside of being at the shop would be to sleep in till about 9; get in a good workout; grab a delicious brunch, have an afternoon nap, not cook dinner and not open my laptop to work. This usually happens on a Sunday and I cherish that day of the week.
Wedding season is a busy time, where do you go for a quick break on a busy day?
When the shop is crazy and I need to absolutely get away, I’ll usually go next door to Studio Me and hang out with the girls there. They’ll make me coffee and chat up a storm and then I don’t feel like it’s work. Alternatively, I’ll take a walk to Thyme & Again and grab a quick snack cause they have the best food and are only a block away. Revelle is located in the best neighbourhood so there’s always a cool place to go that is walking distance.
Who is the typical Revelle Bride and what kind of dress style is she choosing ?
Ottawa has traditionally been considered a conservative city when it comes to fashion but lately I’ve personally seen brides come in looking for a more fashion forward wedding dress. The typical Revelle Bride lives or works in Westboro or in very close proximity; has an established career; is completely smitten with her fiancé/fiancee; doesn’t want a traditional, princess, pouffy or blinded up dress; and is getting married in a cool, unique venue. The most popular dress styles in our boutique are a romantic lace; fitted but unstructured; not strapless; and from Australia.
Tell me what a typical bridal fitting at Revelle Bridal consists of.
We set aside 1.5 hours for an initial bridal consultation at Revelle and more often than not, the bride will have the entire shop to herself. The intimate and private nature of our appointments make for a super relaxed experience that the bride can enjoy with the closest friends. Usually we start with some bubbly over a quick chat about the wedding date, venue, dress inspiration and style. All of our bridal stylists go out of their way to make sure that the bride and her entourage are comfortable and that the wedding dresses that are brought our are in line with the bride’s requests. I like to think that we make our appointments more personable so that the bride is leaving the shop feeling like she can make a great decision and hopefully that decision involves Revelle.
What passion keeps you in this business?
As cliche as it may sound, I absolutely love making a bride’s day by helping her find the perfect wedding dress. I’m very passionate about weddings in general because I love everything associated with wedding planning. I enjoy talking to a bride about her wedding day vision and then choosing the perfect dress to help her achieve that vision. Seeing brides and their families so happy on their wedding day while the bride is wearing a Revelle gown is the best feeling ever. Sorry, more cliches.
What is your biggest concern as a business owner?
Besides paying my rent and staff every month? I think the biggest concern for me is staying relevant. Since I started the business at an older age (than most female business owners), I want to make sure the styles I’m bringing to the shop are still on trend and fashionable. I think in today’s technology overloaded world where e-commerce and online shopping is all the rage, retail storefronts have to work super hard in order to stick around. I like to make sure that our social media feeds are always on point and that they continue to attract the right target audience for the Revelle brand.