by Cassie Cleary, Shop Owner
SURPRISE!!!!! It feels so good to finally tell everyone the secret we have been keeping for months now. We have been squealing about it behind the scenes since December, and now that we finally did the dang thing, we get to dish all the details of how it all happened. IN 48 FREAKING HOURS! We are still pinching ourselves that it actually happened. So how DID it happen? And why??? Brides have been asking us these questions ever since we announced I mean, we had a perfectly functioning store before, right?!
Well, here goes
Remember how in the middle of the pandemic we opened our new store, Dearly Consignment Bridal Shop in June???? (if you havent seen it yet, check it out here) I had big ideas, big plans, and even though we turned the tiny storage space next door into our funky little space that we called Dearly, it simply didnt hit the mark. I knew Dearly could be more. And, we needed more that 900 sq ft to make it happen.
Then, came the dresses. We were getting new dresses from each of our 13 designers every few months, and we were quite literally bursting at the seams with gowns. We want to keep our inventory always changing. It was getting extremely difficult to even shop the dresses with our brides during appointments with packed racks, and we were trying to be as creative as possible sticking dresses in every place possible. All while still moving a TON of sample dresses over to Dearly to sell off the racks just to make room for the new ones that were pouring in. On top of that, we were almost fully booked in all three of our dressing rooms every. single. weekend. At that point, we were wishing we had more rooms to fit more brides in a day, while still keeping the store open, airy and peaceful.
I also want to take a moment right here to pause and acknowledge how amazing it is to be able to say that we have been growing during this insane time in everyones lives. The wedding industry was especially affected by COVID restrictions, cancellations, and the inability to travel. For us, it was a little bit different. Since we are by special order only, brides that were planning to get married in 2020 all got their dresses back in 2019, and this year, brides are anticipating being able to get married in 2021 and 2022. Thats why we were able to do this. With that being said, we feel so crazy blessed to be able to grow and still positively impact our local bridal community. I also want to give a HUGE special shout out to photographers, florists, planners, caterers, venues, alterationists, and basically everyone in the wedding community that has been affected by COVID and wedding cancellations. They are resilient, creative, and you inspire me daily to still give brides the best experience possible.
Now, back to the story.
At the end of 2020, I started just poking around at buildings that were available in Spokane. I knew I still wanted a location close to downtown, and something that still felt industrial, especially since our original store was an old solar panel warehouse (click to see my blog of the old store here). I wanted to stick with that romantic modern theme that our brides know and love. We still wanted to be recognizable as Honest in Ivory! I searched for buildings with the knowledge that Dearly Consignment Bridal needed to be bigger, and in a space that flowed better with Honest in Ivory. They ARE sister stores after all. I also was looking for a space that was bigger, with room to create a dressing room structure that had 4 dressing rooms instead of 3, and of course, room to fill it with more dresses.
Then, in December, we struck pure gold. It. was. perfect. A historic building with exposed brick, huge, beautiful wooden beams, and rustic hardwood floors, with a loft overlooking the main space that was just perfect to be Dearlys new home. I felt like I stepped into a whole other world. I could see our dresses, our brides, and that custom dressing room structure in that new space. After that, it was pretty quickly a done deal, and when I announced it to our stylists, they were finally able to share in my excitement!!!
Skip forward about a monthand our contractors were working tirelessly to get this thing done so we could move ASAP. We were just so excited we couldnt wait any longer! They whipped together this incredible, massive dressing room structure with 4 dressing rooms, they painted, added walls, replaced windows, installed a sound system, you name it. I was stopped by almost every day asking how I could help (no, I am not very handy). All just in time for February 7th. Moving Day.
Heres where it gets exciting.
I knew I only wanted to be closed for two days so that none of our brides would have to move their appointments around. So, I asked all our stylists to meet at the old store at 7 am, bright and early. I wanted to get an early start because I told everyone from the beginning that I just wanted to do it in one single day. I didnt want to rent a truck for more than 6 hours, and I knew with all hands on deck, we could do the dang thing!! My husband, Thomas, my parents, and all the girls (masked up the entire time) were running around moving furniture, hauling mirrors, rugs, and all the random stuff we had in the back room putting black trash bags around all 300+ of our dresses (I definitely prefer ivory;). You never know how much random stuff you have until you have to move it (NEVER AGAIN). I was just trying to figure out logistics, directing people where things needed to go, making sure our mirror movers were there on time, making sure the dresses were going in the right places.
It took 4 full truckloads, dozens and dozens of carloads, and about 7 pizzas to fill our hungry movers (stylists), but we pulled it off. In less than 6 hours to top it all off, and we had an absolute blast. Even though I was running around, stressed about how everything would turn out, I couldnt help but just be so excited seeing all the stylists be excited about this new store. By the end of moving day, it still didnt feel like our space yet, but it was definitely getting there.
The next day, Monday, we spent hours and hours fine tuning the details. Hanging lights, signs, flowers, hooks, scraping goo off of the door, mopping the floor, all the nitty gritty stuff that was SO tedious. At that point, we were just ready to open, and finally show our brides our secret we had been hiding.
Just a week and a half later and here we are. Fully in love with our new store, appreciative and grateful for our old one, and beyond excited for whats to come. We have been overwhelmed with sweet messages and encouraging comments, and have been just feeling all the love, so THANK YOU!
I cant wait until you all can see it in person. (click here to make an appointment with us). As for us, we will be spending every waking moment here at the new shop, and we wouldnt have it any other way.
See you soon,