Despite San Diego's status as a major city, there are surprisingly few options for a prospective bride looking for a salon that provides superior customer service and a selection of gowns from exclusive designers. But the owners of Bliss Bride, a new salon opening soon in Del Mar, are hoping to change that.
When Jennifer Sinopoli and Anne Davis were looking for their dream wedding gowns a few years back, they were disheartened at the lack salons providing what they were looking for. The two women had met at a high-tech marketing firm approximately eight years ago, and they ended up working together at three different companies. Because of their similar experiences, they often talked about what fun it would be to open their own bridal salon that fit the niche they felt San Diego was missing.
Davis in particular was disappointed by the cattle call style of many chain bridal salons, where numerous customers go in and out of several dressing rooms in a row and salon employees have little time to spend with individual customers.
"It's a little bit disheartening," Davis said. "You're like, 'but I want to be special, I want to be the princess.'"
Sinopoli bought her dress at Neiman Marcus, which no longer carries bridal gowns. "But it was just kind of a fluke thing, I just happened to fall in love with the dress there, otherwise it was up to L.A.," she said.
In order to focus on each individual customer, Bliss Bride will close to the public during booked appointments.
"We have one dressing room so it literally will be one bride at a time, and she'll get our full undivided attention," said Sinopoli. "So we really want to understand her wedding day, what her dream is for her dress, and kind of go from there. She'll be able to look through all the dresses, try on whatever she wants as many times as she wants, and we just want to make it fun and stress-free."
Bliss Bride will also be the only San Diego salon handling certain well-known designers. The salon will carry the famous Vera Wang gowns, the Reverie line by Melissa Sweet, Rosa Clara, a designer based in Barcelona, Spain, Claire Pettibone of Beverly Hills and Anne Barge of Atlanta. They will also carry an extensive selection of gowns from the San Francisco-based designer Amy Kuschel, which Sinopoli described as being ideal for the destination, beach or garden wedding.
"We chose our designers strategically to be exclusive to our store," said Sinopoli.
"As far as picking designers, yes, we looked at it from a business standpoint," added Davis. "We need to have a wide variety so it appeals to a bunch of different women, but at the same time we wanted to stick to the ones that we truly believed in as designers, their philosophy, their company, their branding, and we picked ones that we would wear ourselves…if we love them, if we want to sit around in them all day, then that's the way that we'd be able to sell it."
In addition to wedding gowns, Bliss Bride will carry veils and jewelry by Justine M. Couture, a local designer based in Little Italy previously known as the Tiara Room. Eventually the salon also hopes to carry a selection of bridesmaid's dresses.
Davis and Sinopoli anticipated that high-end designers would be hesitant to allow their gowns to be sold in a brand-new boutique, but instead they found that many of them had been waiting for the right opportunity to enter the San Diego market.
"We kind of thought, here we are a new boutique, we're really going to have to sell them hard as to why they should allow us to carry them," said Sinopoli, but they were really excited."
Bliss Bride hopes to be open the first week in November and is located in the Flower Hill Promenade at 2710 Via De La Valle, Suite B120.