Building Relationships with Brides to Be: How Natasha Marie Bridal Leads

Daren and Dan Bourgeois of Avenue Allure and Events at Serenity

Natasha Marie Bridal is an independent, family-owned store where every bride will find her dream dress. Natasha’s lifelong dream has been to custom design wedding gowns, so for the first 7 years of Natasha Marie Bridal that is exactly what she did. From sketch to the pattern to construction, she made a bride’s dream of her perfect wedding gown a reality.

But designing dresses is a very time-consuming process, which made balancing family life and work a bit of a challenge. So she decided to rebrand Natasha Marie Bridal into a bridal boutique.

The store is located in the historic Denham Springs Antique Village and interlaced the idea of something old with something new in their newly renovated space where modern and traditional collide.

In this episode, Jim Chapman of Local Leaders the Podcast goes in-depth with Natasha Miller to discover who this businesswoman is, outside of her business. What he discovered is a woman that never lost sight of who she was and has stayed rooted in her community and has the support of those around her. A must-watch episode of Local Leaders: The Podcast!

Transcript (Beta)

hi it’s tricia johnston residential realtor with ladder and bloom with your real estate tip of the week when a natural disaster occurs there are people available who are great resources and can help guide you and advise you in their areas of expertise first and foremost is your insurance agent your agent may know about coverages that you have that your insurance adjuster isn’t aware of you may have coverages for things like evacuation expenses loss of use of the property food spoilage for a rental property in addition to property damage you may have loss of rental income coverage so have a conversation with your insurance agent and they can help you know what coverage you have and how to file claims on that very important that you keep receipts and take lots of photos not only for insurance purposes but also when it’s time to file your taxes your cpa can let you know what losses are deductible for both your primary residence and rental property that you didn’t get reimbursed for a realtor can also help you during this time if you have a damaged property the realtor can let you know what your property could sell for as is and what it could sell for if you repair it then you can make the best financial decision for yourself if you have a property under contract your realtor can let you know what additional steps need to be taken to get that property closed as soon as possible and finally if a property has flood insurance on it it’s very important that that policy get transferred to the buyer if it’s transferable because if a buyer has to take out a new policy it could be much more expensive than the existing policy if you have any questions about this or anything else i’m always just a phone call away i’m trisha johnston with ladder and bloom and i’ll be back here next week with another real estate tip for you hi folks i want to tell you about denim springs fit body boot camp in their 28-day 77 jump start program there’s no strings attached and really no reason not to try you can be in and out in just 30 minutes and best of all these 30 minute sessions are scheduled throughout the mornings and evenings to fit your busy schedule these 30-minute sessions are fun positive encouraging and you can even sign up online just visit getfitdenimsprings.com

denham fit body boot camp a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the united states and of those when brides are asked what they consider the most important aspect of their wedding almost a hundred percent say the dress our guest for today has spent nearly her entire life honing her skills for making the dress portion of a bride’s wedding absolutely memorable as a matter of fact working with natasha marie bridle located in the historic antique district in denham springs is often described by her brides as an experience they remember for the rest of their lives today i am blessed to have the owner of natasha marie bridal natasha miller here and we’re going to not only learn more about our business but the back story behind this amazing lady so with that welcome natasha thank you thanks for having me i’m excited to have you we’re going to dive deep into your business today all the amazing things that natasha marie bridal offers in the way of the wedding dress experience uh but first i want to know a little bit more about you and i want to read your about me that you had uh i loved it it was very interesting you said i’m a christian a wife a mother a fashion designer a brand of boutique entrepreneur a leader a team player a chauffeur for my kids and their biggest cheerleader that’s awesome and that is a lot of hats my friends very many hats but you know very well described because business owners all of us as business owners we wear a lot of hats it’s uh i could not imagine being a mother and and uh and having that side of things and then your business side of things because like you say you show her kids around you do all these things i have three myself so i know how that is uh but my wife certainly picks up the brunt of the load yeah on that i’ll be the first to admit that you know you started somewhere in life right before you had a business before you were an entrepreneur and all those things and for you it was early you uh you really really picked up your love for design and sewing and all these things way early in life uh when did you start so um my grandmother taught me how to sew when i was about 10 years old she basically just taught me how to use a sewing machine and gave me a box of her scrap fabric and i stayed in her sewing room for a week that i visited her i fell in love with it right yes yeah and it skipped a generation my mom does not so no she does not have the patience today but um grandma taught me and i’ve been sewing ever since wow and so that was something y’all kind of did together she she taught you all her little tricks of the trade i guess yeah just the basics basically um until you know fast forward to um my college days yeah um i went to lsu for their apparel design program yes where i learned how to make my own patterns from scratch and all the proper terms and all the proper ways to so wow and it all started with grandma it did wow and that must have been an amazing time and what a great uh thing to spend time with her doing that because that was obviously something y’all shared together right sure so so amazing so you mentioned lsu which you eventually uh your life led you that direction you studied apparel design at lsu which uh in a crazy way you ended up in china yes so while at lsu there’s a lot of opportunities within their design program i went to china for a fashion field study where you got to see like the manufacturing end of things we went to some design schools there as well and yeah it was really cool experience how was that a girl from louisiana going all the way to china and it’s like i will say i almost wish i waited like one more year before i went i went early in college and so it was very eye-opening i had to waited one more year i would have gotten some of the education through my classes at lsu before going but um it was really cool yeah really cool got to um climb on a very small portion of the great wall oh wow that’s cool yeah that was cool um very cool experience yeah awesome you’ve done a lot of things in your life prior to owning a natasha murray bridal that kind of prepared you for natasha marie bridle you interned for a pretty famous new orleans uh bridal gown designer yes what was her name i’m suzanne perron st paul she is a couturier um in new orleans she also graduated from lsu in their design program she lived in new york i want to say for like 13 years after that and worked for um quite a few designers carolina herrera vera wang where she worked directly with them even i know who those folks are yeah and so she got you know all that first hand knowledge there in new york and then i was fortunate enough to intern with her she uh specializes in mardi gras ball gowns which obviously has been put on hold lately with covet but she also does wedding dresses too so yeah a lot from her for sure very good point too and people you know when you think about covet and all those sorts of things you a lot of people may not think about mardi gras gowns and all of those sorts of things um that were affected i mean if you don’t have the balls you have no reason for the gown right yeah and uh and so hopefully that that will come back full circle and everybody will be rocking and rolling again on that front telephone tell a friend tell everyone if you have been to look at me 4d imaging they have been nominated for baton rouge parents magazine’s 2021 family favorite voting began september 1st but it continues through september 30th please take a moment if you’re a watcher of my podcast and go vote for them and the best news is you can vote once per day look at me 4d imaging is your one and only local 3d and 4d early gender determination ultrasound studio located right here in livingston parish they are here for all of your before birth ultrasound needs so check them out on the web at look at me 4d imaging.com and don’t forget to vote i’m going to include the link in the comments or the description of this podcast thanks so much now also during your time at lsu you were hunting your skills as an entrepreneur you were working for a boutique and baton rouge yeah shout out to bustles bridal shop in baton rouge i worked at bustle as a stylist and um eventually moved on to their manager position and a buyer so i got to go to market with them wow the ins and outs of the bridal world yeah yes and the great thing about that is uh before you ever owned your own business you kind of saw the ins and outs of owning that business right and sure not only that but you were learning the skills that you would need to acquire in order to do all of those wear all of those hats or do all of those jobs yeah that’s a huge thing yeah uh because you know the buying aspect of that believe it or not i worked at dillard’s many many years ago i did i worked in the ralph lauren department folded a ton of shirts and uh and all of that sort of thing but i learned kind of how to um i guess match and things like that learn some a little bit of style but the interesting thing was even at a big corporation like that um they have their buyers and they have their you know their department people and all those sorts of things so you could kind of learn if you progress through those ranks different aspects of owning your own business so it’s important you college students that you you know you work somewhere maybe that is related to your field yeah definitely you might actually pick up some tips you can apply right yeah so fantastic things there so you’re rocking and rolling you’re you know you’re hunting those skills and in 2010 you graduate from lsu and you really wasted a bunch of time after that waited a whole month before you started your own business right yeah graduated in may of 2010 and started my business in june of 2010 so confession natasha marie bridal boutique was not originally my plan um i went to college to design wedding dresses um that’s something i’ve always wanted to do since i was a little girl i’m a homebody so all my people are here in louisiana so not a whole lot of fashion designers in louisiana so it just kind of made sense for me to start my own thing and so i decided to do custom wedding dresses so we had my dad and my husband built a little studio in my backyard here in watson louisiana and brides would come to the boutique to the studio and we would they would bring pictures of different things they liked and we would drop a sketch and then i would take a ton of measurements for them before even starting the dress i would go to the mannequin pad the mannequin to their measurements then create the pattern cut so a mock up their first fitting was in muslin fabric a little bit less expensive so i could get the fit down and then they came back again after that when it was cut and sewn in the more expensive fabric and then we started with placement of lace and different details like that so i really got to know my brides through the custom wedding dress design business aspect yeah from start to finish we had lots of fittings and definitely built relationships and you can tell you absolutely loved that part of it because you totally light up when you talk about it and uh and you know really that’s what business is about his passion and you have a lot of passion for for what you do and uh and those those beginnings even even out of a shop in watson louisiana you were uh you were the best kept secret in the world at that time and quite a few brides say uh i didn’t know where i was going to get here that i had rides driving from all over so it was kind of funny that’s awesome and then so as i’m reading through miss natasha’s questionnaire i come across this big point and uh and so i’m gonna tell all y’all this uh in 2012 she actually designed the suit for supriya jindal’s 2012 uh husbands 2012 inauguration bobby jindal and uh wow that is major yeah that’s huge y’all and we you know we have someone that was chosen to design the dress uh excuse me suit and you want to shout out absolutely yes so that is hands down all thanks to my past professor through lsu lisa barona mcroberts shout out tim um she i don’t know how she got the hook up but she reached out to the jindals and are probably their assistant and they’re beautiful

if we could as a representation of the lsu design part department uh design her ball gown and her um suit that she would wear to the actual inauguration yeah and this was right you know i had already graduated at this point obviously but um it was it was very last minute it was a little nerve-wracking um but such a cool experience yeah we got to do the fittings all at the state capitol um so the first meeting i was a little nervous but once i got to see how humble supriya is um then i just enjoyed the experience yeah she put you at ease absolutely yeah so we did several fittings um and then the way it worked out my professor did the ball gown and i did the um suit that she wore to the inauguration her favorite color is red so it was a red color suit very classic you have some pictures of that i do i’ll have to yeah yeah send them to me and because one of the things uh we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have as we’re talking about certain things they will pop up on the news uh obviously what you do is very visual and uh so we want to do everything we can for people to see what we’re talking about so we’d love to get that and make it pop up as we’re talking right now we’ll make it happen yes indeed so yeah that’s a huge feather in your cap and it really speaks to your amazing talent um obviously your professor at lsu they had a lot of confidence in you you know when you refer someone for anything you only refer people you trust because you look bad if they do a bad job so what a huge thing but you know folks it’s i want to impress this that this person has been kind of in that life uh her entire life since she was 10 years old um she was sewing so um so by the time you graduated you you were experienced yeah you were ready i mean a month later you know most people like i’m gonna chill out for a little while nope not natasha i’m already so dressed yeah i love it and i have to say that my i couldn’t do it without my support system you know takes a village i’m sure you heard that time and time over jim but um my husband is great he works hard um so fortunately i had him to take care of us at the beginning so that i was able to you know pursue my dream and um absolutely now especially i thought having the boutique and switching to the boutique setting um maybe i could slow down and be um be able to do more at home and i certainly can but he helps me out he helps me with the dishes

so shout out to ravi for that yeah yeah shout out robbie good job brother uh and i’ll tell you you know it’s interesting it’s important the support of your spouse and really the people around you uh in anything you do you know regard with regard to business because you don’t need that added stress sure you’ve already got you know a business you’re running and all these things so it’s a beautiful thing when they stand behind you and they say hey you you go do your thing and i had a dentist on here one time it was so funny uh dr don san angelo at advanced dental care and he was he was here and he said um he said when he was in dental school his wife was kind of the breadwinner during that time and uh and i said really and he said yes she was my sugar mom i almost fell off this chair yeah and i said uh i said well you you know you’re paying her back now he said no she’s still my sugar

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but uh but yes it’s a very important thing and um you know just a beautiful thing that he would support you like that so i’m glad you kind of brought that up uh we’re on the same wavelength there and i asked you about your influences i said what are your influences and uh you basically i’m gonna quote you because this was beautiful to me um you said oh gosh so many but hands down my two most influential people are my parents my dad was born in croatia croatia an oyster fisherman with a thick croatian accent and the hardest working person i know i’ve watched as he has learned to be fluid in his business over the years and constantly adapt to changes he taught me how to be a go-getter and a leader he taught me how to work hard for people you love as a child growing up in croatia then it was yugoslavia his dad worked his way to america for sometimes a couple of years at a time without seeing his family until he saved up enough to move the family there that always stuck in my head with my dad he has always wanted to be close to us his family ever since and he has instilled in us how important family is so i’m gonna stop right there that’s huge um it’s beautiful really and as a dad uh who has three kids i can’t tell you what it means for your dad to hear something like that what a man to raise a daughter that uh thinks that way of them and and um i always say sons love their mamas and daughters love their daddy

but what a what is what a big deal there uh with him and i can imagine you know people don’t realize how hard it is maybe to come from another country and come to the united states yeah he didn’t speak a lick of english now all of our cousins there you know they start learning english early in school so a lot of them are fluent but he didn’t know look of english so when he moved here he there was another young boy his age that didn’t know both english and croatian so he that boy got to kind of mentor my dad and they were in all their classes together so that’s how he learned english through in school just wow thanks to the help of another young boy um so yeah i mean i can’t i can’t imagine yeah just going to school to learn new things is hard enough never mind the language barriers yeah yeah that’s an amazing story what an amazing person wow he certainly is uh and you know so croatia we can cut this out if we need to but croatia is that where um isn’t that where tommy is from yeah yeah okay i’ve never actually met him yet no he’s coming

he’s a great great uh person as well now do you speak croatian or is it croatian that they speak it is croatian um not really i know a few words i understand more than i can speak yeah but we visit um you know we still have family there so we visit fairly often and when we go we we go for a few weeks at a time so usually by the time we come back home i picked up a few words again and then you know you lose it yeah yeah absolutely one people are always like why didn’t your dad teach you and so i i went through my phase where i was like kind of mad at him and he’s like he’s like are you kidding he’s like i work all hours of the day i get home at eight o’clock at night and we sit down to eat supper together and he’s like i want to speak to you in a language you understand yeah you know you’ve got time to be teaching you the homework i can’t get mad at that no no no definitely not so um eventually you ended up with what i would personally say is the perfect location for a bridal shop it is in the antique district in downtown denham springs um i guess my first thing would be why why did you choose denim um well i so back up a little to you know we were doing the custom design thing yeah um that got really tough to manage we have two daughters and as they started growing up and moving around and getting more involved in things it got hard i did have several interns from lsu that would come and and so and get their credit and then they moved on to other things so uh and i was very particular too about what um help i had with the sophomore yeah you know i wanted to be done of course yeah so um the demand was there most of my business ran off of word of mouth um i stayed busy but i was like a zombie i would work during the day in between you know feeding the kids or whatever and then as soon as they’re down for bed i’m back in my studio until 2 30 in the morning and i was like this i can’t do this yeah yeah so you know something’s got a gift yeah so eventually i came in to what i knew needed to happen um and we switched to the boutique setting where the dresses in our store are not my designs they’re by other fabulous designers my main hesitation with switching to the boutique setting was losing that relationship aspect of what i did which is a huge part of your bt yeah in particular so i quickly learned that i still can have that relationship aspect but um denim because i just

the timing for one thing um driving through the antique village we we went from time to time as a family you know to look through the shops and um i’m in the salicy building they’re my landlords there so shout out to lassie jewelry yes um and they posted a sign that they had an opening at the same time that i was like it was tugging on my heart that this is what we needed to do and so it was just the right timing hey ladies it’s pete with idaho lane spawn boutique located in walker we offer all things skin care hair care makeup spray tan lashes and more and we have a full selection of clothes and we also do private events from birthday parties bridal showers and more so stop by today and get your queen on making every woman a queen see you soon wow which actually was after the flood i need to note and so that building looked nothing like it does now they put a lot of work into it and then my dad and my husband as well um but it still had like the dirt on the floor from having flooded um so my dad the first time my dad walked in that space he said you’re gonna put wedding white wedding dresses in here i’m like in that strong croatian accent i love it but i’ll tell you you made it work like you you know obviously uh you know what you’re doing and you know how to lay them puppies out and the great thing about people when they’re looking at businesses is they envision what they could be right exactly yeah and uh and so you did a great job there what a perfect location and i have a little story to that um yesterday i i was in the antique district area walked past your building as soon as i did a a young lady stepped out in a dress not out of the building but she was like in the window uh-huh it was beautiful and she looked beautiful the dress was beautiful but it was um it you know it’s just boom and there’s this beautiful bride right there in the you know in the window looking out and you can see uh you can almost see on her face she was it was a touching moment for her yeah lots of touching moments yeah in our space you know and i want to talk about that a little bit i was wondering this you know when i do podcast i talk to a lot of people about who i’m podcasting and kind of just i get excited about these things folks and um so i was excited about you i was actually talking to my wife about this and i said you know i couldn’t imagine doing a business of that high of stress from the the level of this is this bride’s biggest mom you know since they were two they’ve been thinking about that wedding dress right and you are the person that uh facilitates that and so everything’s got to be perfect you know and obviously it’s life not everything works out perfectly unfortunately but um you must be someone that just has a way about you that um you definitely have a comfort about you but um just a way of dealing with stress and dealing you know you just kind of you’ve got what is it like what is it like that dealing with these brides are so emotional in there so i jokingly tell my girls like um this this job probably should require a psychology degree not uh at least a minor yeah right because we um everybody’s like oh you have such a fun job and and it absolutely is fun sure and we have the best job yes hands down um but it’s a tough job and and um and i’ll tell people that and they’re like oh yeah because you those wedding dresses are heavy huh and i’m like well yeah you know and it’s a job to help the bride get dressed and undressed and carrying dresses back and forth to the racks but emotionally so i’ll back up a little bit when a woman gets engaged she does one of two things first she um books her venue and then she comes and gets her dress um or sometimes they’re so excited about the dress that they’ll get the dress first especially right now um with with kova has certainly still been in effect and um it’s affected venues booking and stuff so brides have learned it takes a while to get your dress in eight to ten months out is ideal to order a dress so they’re like i gotta go get my dress so that whenever i find a venue i at least have my dress or even a man for that matter well yeah that’s kind of important too so

where we see the bride is so early in that wedding planning process and it’s the first time most of the time it’s the first time that you know they put a dress on they look at themselves in the mirror and it’s all those emotions come out all the emotions it’s like oh my gosh i’m i’m doing this and then they start thinking about all the things in their life that got them to this point and there’s you know happy moments sad moments a lot of clean accents a lot yeah um and so we’re there to to guide them it’s so much more than just a dress that’s all like it’s so much more than just

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planet planet they are a world apart and a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast it’s uh you know we’re there to guide them to find that dress but there’s so much more that goes into it and and i will say too psa or everybody’s like well i haven’t cried yet well not everybody cries but you know so that that moment when you find the one is um it looks a little different from bride to bride everybody’s got a different personality you know yeah um but you still you you work with that broad the second they request an appointment we’re invested yeah we do a phone consultation before they come in we get to know them we get to know um you know what they’re thinking for the wedding where is where what’s the venue what colors all that kind of stuff and we get a feel for their personality before they set foot in the door yeah um and then once they get there then then it’s you know the fun of picking dresses but we’re with them for 90 minute appointment and we’re in there helping them get in and out of dresses and we’re talking about how to get here yeah tell me how long have you guys dated before you got engaged tell me how how did the proposal go and um and so you really get to know that bride wow and build that relationship and so when that moment comes you you know her enough most of the time at that point to know the difference in her body language and everything and it’s just so rewarding it never gets old and never gets old that’s a beautiful thing and you know i can only imagine the stories you know and have heard and for sure you know all of those sorts of things but one thing that sticks out with you is it’s really all about the relationship for you i i see that um i get that out of what you’re saying and i see that out of your emotion um and i think that’s why maybe you struggled a little bit when you had to pivot from sewing by hand all of these dresses from total scratch drawing yeah all the fittings is you felt like you might lose a little bit of that relationship you didn’t but you you know you felt like you might and that bothered you it did it did yeah folks that’s huge that’s huge and it it’s very you know relation it’s all about the relationship i i agree 100 with you but it’s so hard to find people that really believe that uh deep down in their soul right um some places would just sell you a dress you know oh you want to i don’t know v-neck dress or whatever but whatever y’all terminology you use and they’ll they’ll gladly sell it to you you love that dress yeah i love it okay here you go you’re taking time to get to know who these people are way beyond address right for sure yeah absolutely yeah and and so from time to time people are like why do i have to have an appointment and it’s because it goes back to it’s so much more than just a dress you know we’re we are here to help it most people have never been married before you know and we’re your st first step in that wedding planning process so you’re here to guide you and not just with the dress we end up talking about you know who’s your photographer and who’s this thing you know yeah um and so we really we want to know your story from day one the second you request that appointment and and we’re we’re learning all about you and and why the one that dress is important for you to walk down the aisle to your person yes i love that i love that and so true and you know one thing that you will get out of your boutique is not only the perfect dress for you or or you know their idea of that and your idea of that but you’re also going to get your network of people behind the scenes that maybe they that look that’s a less stress if if i well i don’t want to use me if my wife were not married to me and she wants to get a dress or prior to marrying me um and she went there and that was the first thing she did and she said you know i don’t know any venues you’re gonna you’re gonna kind of have some people you can refer i don’t have um i don’t have a hair person or whatever it is you’re gonna have those contacts so that takes stress off of that bride maybe she’s new to the area maybe she’s marrying someone from denim and she’s from michigan and and knows nobody here those sorts of things so you can help with all those things right you certainly can yes yeah but it but uh it all starts with that dress and uh and the feeling you get when you walk in there and these people are gonna get to know kind of you because through your personality is probably how you help them choose a drug for sure yeah uh and all those sorts of things but what an emotional experience uh going on there at natasha marie bridle uh every day you choose that location you get there and um you’re rocking and rolling with dresses right and and folks remember this is back in 2010 she kind of started things off after she graduated from lsu and so you’ve been through how long have you been in the antique district the end teacher will be there four years in december four years so you that was right after the flood pretty much um the year pretty much like a year later i think yeah yeah and you’re rocking them rolling through that and then at some point covet kind of reared its ugly head how was that for you so um you talk to business owners all the time and it’s certainly a roller coaster ride and we were at that point only a few years in and you know new business it’s a totally different dynamic than when i was doing custom so it’s a whole new set of people to reach and get the word out to yes um so we were before covid we we were already kind of like oh goodness this is looking this is looking tough and then covet and certainly my stress level was like where do we go from here yeah um i will say though we have been so blessed and so fortunate because as you mentioned before i know a lot of people in the wedding industry in all aspects from venues to photographers to makeup hair and makeup artist and all of that so weddings got put on hold

we were shut down for the whole month of april when the covet was really at its peak and that was really hard yeah and then we fortunately were able to reopen um in may and may 1st the appointments kept coming in so we did one appointment at a time we steamed and sanitized dresses in between every because at that point it was like you had to clean right um so it was one appointment at a time and we just you know made it work um fortunately for us and our you know where that first place the bride goes to even brides that were eloping or having smaller ceremonies once they could start having ceremonies again they still wanted their dress because it goes back to that you know it’s it’s about the emotion and how you feel that day you still want that yes um you think about most most girls think about their wedding since they were a little girl so sure um we still were able to accommodate brides and um it’s been great ever since we we have just really really really grown um since reopening after the whole code thing so thankfully and and uh you know i tell people a lot on this show that one of the things you know i try to find a positive spin on on the worst situations and one positive spin i’ll put on covet is that it definitely forced us as business owners to kind of pivot and come up with innovative ideas in which to market whatever it is we were selling yeah and um and so some of those businesses and i’ll use fitness gyms as an example you know a lot of them started doing lives online where they were working out online because i had to it was the only way to continue business and um some of them are still doing it because they were like wow some people really like that sure so out of that came something that maybe they never would have tried otherwise i mean that’s hard it’s hard to find a positive with kova but that was one thing was was it did help people kind of innovate how they were doing things how to be fluid as business owner every five minutes yeah you’re right and speaking of uh being fluid so fashion trends change right um what was popular the deep v look at that another term that i mean i don’t know where i pulled that but uh you know the dresses and i would imagine especially wedding dress trench trends change over time um is it hard to keep up with

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um not too hard we’ve got a close relationship with our designers they they’re on top of things so they know what’s to come so for example we right now are getting new arrivals in that we ordered back in march we just went to market and so people think oh you’re getting those dresses in already no no the ones we just ordered at market they won’t be here until january yeah um so our designers work hard and you know keeping on trend and so when we go to market or when we look through their lookbooks of their new collection we’re able to stay on top of that fortunately um you know we we do the trendy we we have something for everyone we do the trendy but we also do classics so some dresses stick around for a long time and and some not so much but yeah i’m sure there are some dresses that are just classics that never go out of style i guess you could say yeah um how about like trains so trains you know you see trying it trains princess is trained for example a mile long and then some people don’t want a big long train and so is there is that a trend kind of like dresses yeah they they come and go so when we probably when we first opened it was we heard a lot of i don’t want a big train i don’t want a big heavy train we had some people that that did but um we heard most rides kind of didn’t and now we’re starting to see now everybody once alone not everybody but most of our rides want a long train long dramatic they start competing with each other and my best friend hers was six feet i want six and a half feet i can see that happening so um you know we talked about those trends and y’all do a lot of education yourselves uh some i i don’t know if you call it continuing education but i’m sure there’s sort of yeah yeah yeah there’s different um programs for bridal boutique owners and things that we uh right now with covet it’s a lot of webinars rather than oh yeah but um certainly yeah we stay on top of things yeah but definitely a good thing now uh you know i’m just kind of thinking about this as from a guy’s perspective so i hope it’s accurate um do do you get a lot of requests where people say i have my grandmother’s dress and i want to incorporate it somehow or have my mother’s dress and i want to incorporate it somehow and can you like use some of the fabric things like that sure so not so much now that we have the boutique but actually when i did custom about 50 of my rides um were what i called heirloom redesigned rods so we sometimes it was just a matter of like removing a high neckline or taking off a puffy sleeve and she would wear it either to get married in or sometimes just for like the reception yeah but sometimes we took dresses completely apart and then use those materials to build the dress from scratch i have had some people ask lately i did um try to work one in when we were shut down from coved and that kept me busy for sure but uh now that my littles are big and they’re involved and everything all the after school stuff i haven’t been able to work it back in yet but yeah i love that i’m all about tradition and sentimental things so i definitely love that and we we don’t do alterations in-house we refer out but we can certainly help you come up with like ideas of what you could do with mom or grandmother’s dress and and our alterations people that we refer to they’re great at yes and that’s a huge benefit of you is that you know that side of it right um you’re not you’re not just selling off the rack stuff you know how to design a dress from the start you you just don’t do a whole lot of that anymore yeah uh but you certainly can um educate yeah and that’s huge some of our designers offer customizations um so we have some dresses that like my bride fell in love with the top of one but the bottom of another and so we made what was a ball gown into a mermaid shape i say we the designer that we represent you know they made it in production not all the designers offer that but a lot of times too things can be changed up a little bit in alterations so certainly with my background knowledge and then me educating my employees my team um you know we’re able to help our guide our brides to say well hey you can do that you know if that’s just that one thing they want to change um that’s easy peasy we order the fabric and we know who to send you for alterations for that yeah and that’s huge that’s that’s something that you can’t get uh just in any brighter boutique you know much more than a sales person and uh and all of those sorts of things so take us through um your services as far as i know you have accessories um talk about the accessories you have yeah so we’ve got um veils and hair pieces we’ve got jewelry for the bride when and then so that’s accessories wise that’s pretty much it and then uh we sell wedding dresses and we do have flower girls when we first opened we had so many other things um and it was just a matter of like what’s work what works what doesn’t work and what’s like my thing and what’s not my thing right so we’ve kind of we learned that um the the dress and and you know that’s the biggest part for me yes that’s what you do yes because that’s what brings out the emotion and then the finishing touches come you know with it so we cater to the bride we’re here for the bride and then i have to do the flower girls because i’ve got little ones yeah absolutely can’t forget the flower girls but you don’t do prom dresses no we used to it’s not my thing yeah that’s okay

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wanna i want to read another little quote from you this one struck me big time because uh i i don’t think i could have articulated any better what you said uh and it was your why statement okay so i ask all my folks the listeners in my show they they hear this every episode but i asked them um you know why do you do what you do because that’s important um so you said i do it all for love for the love i have for my husbands and kids to show my kids what hard work and dedication looks like for a job you love to encourage our kids to be involved in extracurricular activities to learn those life lessons that i did and to be able to afford those activities to show my parents that their efforts and their love did not go unnoticed to hopefully leave a mark on my team encouraging them to flourish and to celebrate the love of our brides share with their fiance that’s beautiful and as i read that i’m thinking man she’s in livingston parish it’s almost like you have done so many things and you’re not you’re not old by any means i mean and you’ve already accomplished so much and if i were to read this did not know who you are where you lived i would think you’re somewhere in l.a or you’re in new york city um we’re blessed to have you here honestly uh this is home i wouldn’t want to be anywhere else yeah and it’s it’s such a beautiful thing so any anybody out there if you if you’re planning on getting married uh if you’ve had the thought of getting married sometime in your life put uh natasha marie bridal on your list uh i don’t think uh you know this is my personal opinion but i don’t think you can find someone more passionate about what she does uh and hopefully people get that out of this episode now we you talked about leadership also in your questionnaire and you said a leader exudes confidence and compassion and is someone who can remain calm under pressure amen a leader is fluid can adapt to change and is teachable very important and it’s someone who constantly searches for a way to better oneself and better one’s business they recognize celebrate highlight team members strengths big deal and a leader understands that their emotions and attitude impact the behaviors of both the team and the customers so let’s talk about your team a little bit how important are they they are the heart of natasha marie bridle we’re a small team we’re small but mighty yeah connie but mighty yeah and um you know from day one i’m still in them that i’m even getting tired of hearing it but it’s so much more than just a dress right like you’re this is your job’s not just to sell the dress um so a lot of times like when i’m interviewing somebody they’re like what all you know is the position yeah um everything you do everything everybody does everything you know um i am pretty much there all the time and um i still take pride in myself you know i i still want to be in on that um but our team you can see it all over them like um when they invest that time with that bride and then say that bride leaves say you know she loved the dress but she just wanted to sleep on it or whatever you can see all over them it’s like oh you know they want that moment they want to share that moment with that bride when she finds the one yeah and then um you know they remember their brides too yeah it’s exciting when they come when their dress comes in and they come back and and they want to be there for their pickup appointment and see how the rest of their planning has been going and um my team really loves what they do and i’m very very particular about who who we hire on because as you should be yeah um you know it’s it’s it’s your name on the line and and what you’ve worked so hard for and your your team members that you’ve chosen are ones that you have faith in and and all of these sorts of things and i i don’t know about you but i struggle a lot with um delegation that’s probably my biggest weakness in life and i will always admit that um is that i was never a great delegator because i felt like it wasn’t that i felt like i could do it better than anyone else but it was my baby and i did if there was going to be a mistake made i wanted to be the one making it yeah that makes sense yeah and so um that’s a hard a hard thing that a lot of especially driven entrepreneurs struggle with is is um is you know they just feel like they have to be in control of that situation and i am the world’s worst i’ll be the first to admit um so i want to talk about uh some of the thoughts of the people that have have uh patronized i don’t know if that’s the right word but went to natasha marie bridle and um had an experience there because that’s what it is right it’s an experience experience yeah it’s not a it’s it’s not all about the dress it’s it’s uh or not just the dress as sure as you say um we’re going to talk about brooke kindler so larry kindler she says you will not regret shopping at natasha marie bridal both my sister and i bought our wedding dresses here there’s a nice referral one sister to the other natasha and paige made our experience a real fairy tale uh this brought a boutique and their dresses are what dreams are made of and i can’t thank the staff enough i feel like they are family now that’s what you want them all to feel like yeah and and that’s a beautiful thing lauren flick says natasha marie bridle is an amazing bridal boutique her staff is super sweet her dresses are unbelievable all caps not only does she have beautiful dresses but the best selection of accessories and the cutest little white dresses for your wedding events highly recommend tory mcdaniel this was the first and only bridal boutique i went to to find my dress natasha help me find my dream dress i highly recommend this bridal shop to any bride looking for a unique dress i’m obsessed with the many lace dress options in friendly atmosphere at the end of the day how good how do we know how good of a job we’re doing it’s because people say so and they you know we’ll talk about social media for a minute and how important our views are and things like that huge right absolutely yeah um next to word of mouth yeah social media has been huge and we were we’ll make four years in december and uh we’re starting to see you you’ve brought up brooke kendler so brooke and bridget shout out to the um sister brides um got married one after another and um we’re starting to see that where you know my cousin got my dress her dress here or my sister got her dress here we had a bride in the other day her friend came with her her friend had bought her dress from us that friend’s friend bought her dress from us and that friend’s sister-in-law was one of the last custom dresses i did before opening the boutique so it’s so awesome to see that it really is and you know my heart happy i love it and a special thing about your boutique and something i’m going to ask you to get me some pictures of is your uh you have like a i wouldn’t call it a museum in there but you have like your sewing machine that your grandmother used so there’s little touches of um family history here and there and a lot of people don’t even realize it when they come in but um so the my grandmother taught me how to use the sewing machine and then she gifted me her her original sewing machine and it was the kind that like sat down into the table so my bedroom um i needed a certain size table that could accommodate that but also fit in my bedroom when i was in high school um or i guess middle school at 10 right um and you were advanced nobody’s judging me so my grandpa made me a custom table for that sewing machine so i and it’s just a little you know little table with some little legs that screw on it that he stained and tried to match my furniture in my bedroom perfectly but that’s in there and we have jewelry displayed on it and people don’t realize what it is but it’s just like i’ll never and it will never not be in there um i’ve got a little

i think it’s like in france a little scene of a dress shop it’s a puzzle that my grandmother put together for me and gifted to me actually when i started doing custom so that’s on our walls i’ve got some vintage sewing machines vintage ironing boards so we’re in the antique village so we combine something old something new you know and then our walls are a very misty ice blue so we’ve got the blue yeah um i’ve also got my parents cake topper uh in there so yeah lots of little personal touches yeah and you know it’s very important that we never forget where we came from and where we started and and those personal touches are constant reminders of that right stephanie bertholot in the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284

enterprise where they spread the paint and you spread the word

and then something new we’re doing this year we might said my dad’s an oyster fisherman you mentioned that earlier in the show and um so we started giving an oyster ring dish to every bride that buys a dress from us as a little token of appreciation from my family so it’s harvest the oyster is harvested by my dad my mom cleans polishes paints it um and then we give it to them so and some of our brides are just as excited about that as their dress and their experience so absolutely what a nice touch that is awesome miss natasha uh i was honored to have you on today uh believe it or not we’ve been going almost an hour oh my goodness and uh i could talk to you four more hours uh no problem but uh what a what a beautiful business you have there let’s tell everyone where you’re located sure so we are natasha marie bridal we are in the antique village our address is 235 north range avenue right here in the heart of denham yep yep right next to selassie jewelry right right past on the same side of the road uh and you have a facebook and a website that i’m going to be linking to the description of this video so folks you don’t even have to write it down just click uh the interesting thing about that is you can make your appointment right there from the website yeah also you can go to the door if you’re in the antique village and there’s a deal there you can scan qr code yeah qr codes you can scan and and make your appointment that way so she makes it easy no matter what uh you are appointment only for uh for your brides because you want to have that time just personal with them and nobody walking in you you’re learning their story much like i i learned your wares um i do want to tell the folks out there look out for the people’s choice podcast awards coming on the 30th of september we cannot thank everybody enough we are nominated for a people’s choice award for best business podcast and we’ll find out if we win via the live broadcast of the event it’ll be streamed on podcastawards.com so look for that on the 30th and also a friend of ours woody overton with real life real crime the podcast is up for four awards on that show so that’ll be exciting these are both livingston parish folks uh obviously i am and woody as well now speaking of awards you’re up for an award uh for baton rouge parents magazine uh for best bridal boutique so i’m gonna link the link to vote also in this description so all my listeners out there i want you to go click the link it is super easy you can do it once a day and you can go and vote for natasha marie bridle uh for the baton rouge parents uh magazine best bridal boutique winner and uh no one is more deserving in my opinion so we’re going to get all the listeners out there of local leaders podcast to click and and super easy once a day you can do it let’s make it happen for these lp businesses love it so thank you again for coming on did you have fun i did i had a blast and i have to say shout out to my mama yes shout out to you shout out to my daddy and my husband my mama she’s my best friend and she is my biggest cheerleader your biggest cheerleader absolutely shout out mama you did a great job and i’m sure you’re very proud of your of your daughter uh who’s up here right now and local leaders and just promoting her business and uh doing her thing and we’re going to send you all kinds of people uh so proud of you i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to local leaders please continue to like comment subscribe and share us on all your social media platforms thank you to our sponsors including tricia johnston realtor b.j pawn fit blind’s denim springs planet planet landscaping black sheep creative sr enterprise painting william waldrop of twfg insurance adele lane spawn boutique look at me for the imaging milestone title and fit body boot camp we could not do any of this without all of you if you’d like information on sponsoring or appearing reach out to me at jimmylocalleaderspodcast.com until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you love your community support local business just like natasha marie bridle and keep leaving thank you very much thanks for having me

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hi everyone this is representative buddy mincer jr i represent the dental springs in the walker area and i’m here today to talk to you about a very important topic according to 2020 census louisiana is the third hungriest state in the nation this means one in four children are living in a food and secured home food and security is simply put a lack of access to affordable and nutritious food livingston parish public schools have over 26 thousand students and approximately 7 825 of those students fall under the definition of food insecure this is why mighty mom started the full tummy project in 2010. for more information on mighty moms and the full tummy project visit mightymomsgo.org and find out how you can sponsor a child for a 2021 school year and help us in childhood hunger in our community

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