The Story of Us
Or more specifically, the story of us and 210 West Main Street.
If you have been hanging out with us at all this past year, you know that we not only moved, but bought the building we moved into. It's such an epic change for us that it's hard to talk about. I feel a little like Mr. Knightly in Emma as he confesses his love for her. "If I loved you less, I could talk about it more."
And maybe it seems overly dramatic to compare purchasing and moving our bridal boutique to a new location to such an 1800's love story, but I can't think of a better comparison. Ours has truly been a journey that was both years in the making but also seemed to happen suddenly; taking us by surprise yet being so right that it seemed inevitable. Just like Emma and Mr. Knightly.
Speaking of love stories, I can't type one more sentence before saying that without Jeff, Laura's husband, and Jay, my husband, none of this would have been possible. This place is a testament to their love for us and belief in our vision. Their fingerprints are all over this building. We are two women genuinely God-blessed with incredible husbands. (This truth likely has something to do with the fact that we can be so passionate about what we do nearly three decades in. Just a theory.)
Back to the story. For nearly a year, Laura and I were trying to find a new location for Premiere Couture. We absolutely needed it to be in Cambridge because we love this village and both of us were certain this is the community we want to hang with for the duration. By April 2022 we had given up and decided that we just had to continue to make the space we'd outgrown continue to work. After all, for almost and entire decade we had had the privilege of helping so many amazing women at pivotal times of celebration in their lives at 145 W Main Street, we could keep on doing it.
But, even as we resigned ourselves to staying and told our team we weren't going anywhere, we decided to try one last thing: take another look at a building we ruled out the previous year that had long been vacant but seemed out of our reach. What could it hurt to just explore the option? Less than a week later we had an accepted offer on 210 West Main Street, less than two months after that we were the owners, and in just under four more months we opened in the new shop. Unfreakinbelievable. And holy cats, that was fast! It has been one crazy awesome ride.
So many pieces just fit together; so many things seemed to indicate something special was happing. One particularly fun detail, for instance, is that the building was built in 1999, the same year both Laura and I welcomed our one and only daughters into our families. They would grow up as best friends and would go on to, among many other wonderful things, create magic as the prom dream team (briefly reuniting this January - yay!), and inspire our Catherine Rose Collection.
Not everyone would've looked at the last home of the Matt Kenseth Museum, now primarily used for storage, and envision a glorious space just waiting to welcome and celebrate brides and moms, but we did. No one doubted it would be enough space, but from the defunct and inconvenient (to say the least) pond to the gargantuan museum display cases and merchandise shelves, to the faux diamond plate trim and the unflattering green glow of buzzing industrial lights, nothing shouted wedding dresses, sparkle and light. But our imaginations were ignited, and we were confident we could make it into something truly special. This gallery just barely touches the tip of the iceberg of the exciting and exhausting journey from diamond in the rough to glittering jewel, but it will give you a little of glimpse. Blog continues after the lengthy gallery.
Before we even opened the doors to the first brides in September, this place was already filled with stories of love and serendipity. I can take you from one end of the building to the other and tell you about some feature or change made to the building that will be forever and indelibly imprinted on my mind as proof that Laura and I are surrounded by the most talented, capable, willing, hardworking, creative and supportive people on the globe. We loved getting to brag on the people who helped us bring it all together and tell so many fun stories to the guests of our Grand Opening in November and we'll continue to tell anyone who's willing to listen. (We'll probably start with the names of our fitting rooms, the Brodhead, Janesville, Madison, and Cambridge Suites, because that takes us all the way to the very beginning.) Thank you Studio 501 for the photo memories! You're the best! Blog continues after gallery.
Did you notice that not all of those photos from the Grand Opening were of Premiere Couture? One really satisfying aspect to the our building-owning adventure was opening 2nd Story Suites. Five amazing, women-led businesses (along with our brand new Prom at Premiere Couture pop-up shop) now find their homes on the second floor. We love each and every one of them, Sacred Rhythms Healing Arts, Petal & Wick, Monet's Garden Floral, Balanced Books by Beth, and Haley Martin Photography, and hope to do our best to contribute to their success.
I could go on and on about what this place, the people, the change, the support of the community, all of it, have meant to me and Laura. We both are still in blinking wonder at it all and have to occasionally pinch ourselves to make sure it's actually real. How amazing is it to live a dream while helping others - brides, moms, prom girls, women-led businesses - achieve theirs? There just aren't enough words and we feel like we're just getting started. Thank you for coming along for the ride.