It's not hard to become besotted with Bridal Accents Couture. Just ask Owner Michelle Beck, who began her bridal career under the original owner 14 years ago.
"I just fell in love with it," Beck says, without undue exaggeration. "I fell in love with bridal. It's really a privilege being a part of planning someone's special day."
It's easy to understand why. Immediately after entering Bridal Accent's new space in Burnsville's Heart of the City, visitors are enveloped by soft white light, the glint of crystal chandeliers and a little Al Green on the PA. Terry cloth slippers and robes await.
For Beck, the Burnsville store is the fulfillment of a long-held dream that harkens back to her college days as a major in retail merchandising and management at University of Wisconsin—Stout. She started as a manager at Nordstrom, but knew that ultimately she'd strike out on her own.
"I knew I wanted to be in a boutique setting, where I had a more personal ability to make a difference in the store," Beck said.
Fashion is fun, but bridal has a special appeal, she quickly discovered. For Beck, it doesn't get much better than the joy and tears that come from helping a bride find the perfect dress.
"Each bride is unique in their personality and style and it's really rewarding to be a part of that moment," Beck said.
Beck purchased Bridal Accents from her employer four years ago. She reopened Bridal Accents in Burnsville on Dec. 22, relocating the shop after 18 years in Savage. Beck said she wanted to freshen up their brand a bit, and find a storefront in a more centralized location. So far, the move is paying off.
"The last two weeks have been very busy," Beck said.
The shop specializes in couture, clothing made specifically for the wearer. A wedding dress of this sort can cost from $1,000 to $12,000 at Bridal Accents.
"It is made to order, which allows you to make custom changes that make it unique from the sample that you're trying on," Beck explained. "So if you loved a gown but you wanted the train to be longer and you wanted a custom neckline put on, the designer will make it for you that way. It's not hanging on a rack already made: The order goes in for each individual and it gets made for her, from start to finish."
Bridal Accents works primarily by appointment-only. The boutique also frequently hosts events for designers from out of town. This Saturday, for instance, the shop will hold a trunk show for Victor Harper, the "king of beading" from New York. Over February, Martina Liana, of Australia, will be flying in for a sneak preview of her show off her spring collection.
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