ROCKTON—Hi Beautiful Bridal, 201 W. Main St, is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Jan. 7 thanks to the adaptability of owner Emily Danielson who has been driving dresses to doorsteps around the Stateline.
Danielson said she was just getting her name out and attracting some store traffic there when the pandemic struck. Her last appointment was in mid-March before a two-week store shutdown. Although she had prepared not to make a big profit the first year, she worried her name recognition would dwindle with her doors shut.
“After a couple weeks, I came up with the idea to bring dresses to people’s houses and drop them off at their door,” she said.
Danielson said her clients would describe what gowns they liked and their budget.
“I also created a file with photos of every dress,” she said.
Dresses at Hi Beautiful go up to $30,000 in price, with the average price range being around $1,500.
Customers got to choose six to eight dresses to be delivered at a specified time.
“I would also give them veils to try on,” she said.
Her clients were also treated a bouquet of flowers to tote while posing in the mirror and champagne or sparkling cider.
“It was a whole basket, everything you would need if you were at the store,” she said.
Danielson said brides enjoyed the experience, as their moms and/or grandmothers could be with them. The brides had two hours to spend time with the dresses before they were retrieved for pickup.
The drop offs went over so well, Danielson continues to offer the service if customers aren’t comfortable coming to the store.
Otherwise, Danielson said she books private appointments for each customer.
Although some weddings have been postponed, Danielson said brides are still getting dresses and are planning their nuptials.
“There is a sense of ‘we can make it work’ and scaling down the amount of guests,” she said.
Right before Christmas, Danielson business started picking up momentum with her weekends being booked.
“I’ve even sold dresses for 2022 weddings already,” she said.
Before opening her shop, Emily Danielson had done some event planning previously and had worked for three years as a paraprofessional for the Rockton School District. She said she always had a passion for weddings.
One night she was having dinner in Rockton and saw the building space available which was previously a painting studio.
“I said ‘that store needs wedding dresses in the window,’ she said.
She said purchasing the store moved ahead quickly, with her selecting stock and featured designers.
“I cannon-balled into it,” she said.
Danielson said she loves the joy her store brings people.
“Some people get anxious walking in a big store and I like making it comfortable,” she said.
Danielson is married to husband Scott and they have two children. After her experience starting a business in a pandemic she said: “I try to take things one day at a time.”