Happy Father's Day!

happyfathersday

Everyone has a favorite photo, and this one of my husband and 3 year old daughter, Story, is mine. One day he'll be walking her down an aisle to give her away to some starry-eyed, hopeful boy. And even on that day, he'll see her as she was at this very moment, the tiny ballerina, charming and giggling and still vying for his hear, which was always hers, and always will be. 

#happyfathersday to all the fathers out there.

Love,

Emily XO

That's a Rap! Kersee's Proposal Story

Kersee and Drew had been dating for five and a half years. Having been together for so long, Drew knew he had to be very sneaky to keep such a big secret and surprise Kersee! She and Drew were both in their final semesters of college; Drew at the University of Arkansas and Kersee at Pittsburg State University. Drew had quite the plan to end their long distance relationship and bring them together in their hometown of Kansas City once again.

During college Kersee had done some videography work for The Church of the Resurrection in Overland Park from time to time, so when she received a call for a job on March 27th, at 2:15 pm, she thought nothing out of the ordinary. As that date kept getting closer and closer, Drew kept getting more distant. Kersee was annoyed at his short hand texts and brief phone calls. Looking back, she realized how hard it must have been for him to keep his secret for so long. 

She arrived at the church a little early. The pastor (who was in on the surprise) kept Kersee in his office until exactly 2:15 pm. When she went to go "do her job" Kersee was surprised to find a completely empty auditorium. There was not a soul around. She knew that something was not right, but before she had a chance to question anything she saw Drew step onto the stage. That's when he asked for a beat.

Kersee was frozen where she stood as Drew shocked her by rapping. 

Not like a joke rapping, he was legitimately rapping. Not like a 2 second rap but a full out 3 minute song. Drew rapped about how we first started dating, going to college, Lord of the Rings. He sounded really good!! - Kersee

She rushed on stage and said "Yes!" How could you say no after seeing the best performance of your life? Drew and Kersee agreed to tie the knot, and we are so glad they did! 

Kersee later found her perfect custom gown at EmilyHart Bridal. After figuring out exactly what she wanted in her dress, she was able to work with Emily to create a one of a kind Wedding Gown. How could you choose an ordinary gown with such an extraordinary story?

Congratulations Drew and Kersee! Your wedding day will be perfectly unique and spectacular; just like the two of you! Blessings!

-Morèe and the entire EmilyHart Team

A Kansas City Engagement - Erin's Story

Erin Elmore's engagement story begins when she came to Emily Hart Bridal to help her friend, Morgan, find the perfect dress on October 3rd. They came into EmilyHart Bridal together and found Morgan The One! Erin was looking forward to an evening out with her friends to celebrate, but when a black limousine showed up at her house, her suspicions began to rise. Where was she going? But more importantly, who would be there? 

Joe, her soon to be fiancè, was waiting for her when she arrived at the Liberty Memorial in down town Kansas City. He got down on one knee and proposed to Erin in front of the memorial in view of Union Station. It could not have been a more picturesque moment, or more lovely weather in that moment in Kansas City. Erin said "YES," in case you were wondering! 

Joe and Erin let the moment sink in, then waited for the limo to return. To Erin's surprise and glee, their close friends were waiting for them inside the limo to celebrate the great news! They drove around the beautiful city and what seemed to Erin like spontaneously deciding to go to Ale House in Westport, turned into a surprise engagement party with their families and more friends waiting to congratulate them on the patio roof top! Erin is still elated and surprised that everyone was able to keep all of it a secret from her. 

Erin returned to Emily Hart bridal a couple of weeks later to find the dress of her dreams!

"It all came full circle with Emily Hart Bridal! They helped my best friend find her dress and to find mine, also! Thank you for letting me share!" -Erin Elmore

We can't wait to see everything come together for your beautiful wedding next October! Thank you for letting us be a part of your amazing story. 

Happy planning!

-Morèe along with the entire EmilyHart Team

Rachel + Derrick's Perfect Day in September

Kansas City is beautiful in September. There was no better time of year for Rachel and Derrick to tie the knot! She would stun him with her perfectly fitting lace gown, complete with jewels and a ruffled flare skirt. A Day to Adore tells the story of a Horizon Limo ride to Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, to a sweet church wedding followed by photos in front of the beautiful Museam at Prairie Fire in Leawood, Kansas, ending with an upbeat party at The Venue in Leawood, Kansas. Every detail was perfectly personalized to the bride and groom.  

Rachel was a pleasure to work with throughout her whole engagement process. From finding the perfect gown, to choosing the most complementary accessories, to completing the final touches of her gown in alterations. She was joyful from the beginning to the end. Thank you Rachel for letting us help you find the perfect dress for your perfect day! 

Cheers,

EmilyHart Staff



Lori +James From Kansas City to the Gulf Coast

Lori Akers became Lori Atkins on a beautiful sunny day in Orange Beach, Alabama. With their children Nate, Jake and Ava by their side, James and Lori promised to love each other for as long as they both shall live. Lori looked breathtaking in her silvery blush fit and flare gown. The strapless dress went effortlessly with the sandy destination setting. 

Their day was beautifully captured by Blue Window Creative. Every single detail seemed to be perfectly featured, from the mason jars, to the sea shells, with accents of blue and coral. The gulf shore was painted as the most splendid backdrop. 

We are so honored to have been a small part of your amazing journey! We wish you a lifetime of love and blessings! 

Cheers,

EmilyHart Staff 


Lindsay + Sam 10.3.15 at Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri

I will never forget the first time I met Lindsay Posillico. She came up to me at a Kansas City Bridal show and said "That's my dress!" She showed me a photo that she had saved on her phone from before she was engaged. It was one of our Emmaline dresses. I could not wait to make her an appointment at EmilyHart Bridal and work with her to find the perfect dress!

She was full of fun and excitement as we tried on gorgeous gowns! She had thought she had already chosen her dress from the old picture she had on her phone, then she tried on Dash. Dash in the sweet pea colored ombre was her gown. She and her guests all laughed, and a few cried! Dash would be the dress that she would wear when she married Sam Martin at Loose Park. 

The dress really fit Lindsay's vision of a beautiful outdoor garden wedding. October 3rd would be the perfect day to get married in front of the fountain in the Rose Garden. The weather in Kansas City was perfect on the day of the wedding, and the beautiful photos by M&E Photo Studio help to tell the story of a perfect day! Starting out at Hotel Sorella at the Plaza, then to the beautiful Rose Garden at Loose Park, ending the day in Kansas City's West Bottoms at The Foundation. Good Earth Floral's greenery adorned the tables! (Not to mention, her stunning bouquets!) And all of the personal touches were beautiful! Lindsay and Sam's reception was perfectly personalized with photos and hand made wooden signs. And the dessert table looked like it was to die for! 

Helping Lindsay find her dream gown was such a beautiful experience. She was gracious and kind throughout the whole process, and always full of joy and exuberance. Working with brides like Lindsay reminds me why I love weddings so much. The photos turned out fantastic, and it looks as if each detail was beautifully captured! 

Congratulations Sam and Lindsay! You deserve all the best! 

-Morèe, with the entire EmilyHart Team

Fall 2015 Emmaline Bridal Collection

"Hendrix" in Blue Opal from Emmaline's 2015 Fall Collection. 

"Hendrix" in Blue Opal from Emmaline's 2015 Fall Collection. 

Some of you may know that I design wedding dresses for my retail shop, EmilyHart Bridal as well as other retailers across the country. My newest collection is literally on it's way to Chicago Bridal Market as I write this. 

Designing an entire new collection of wedding dresses has it's challenges. The creative in me always wants to design something completely unique and off the wall, something that will really make people take notice on the runway or in the showroom displays. But then I remember that the goal is to create beautiful pieces that brides will love to wear on their wedding day. Trends come and go, but the way a woman wants to feel on the day she marries her best friend remains the same.  

The new Fall 2015 Collection is one of my favorites yet. We've got a little bit of everything and I can't wait to show it off in person at this year's National Bridal Markets. 

You can view the entire new collection at EmmalineBridal.com

XOXO,

Emily

(A special shout out to my talented, fellow Kansas City wedding vendors Joe and Lora Devine from Devine Studios who always knock the photo shoots and hair and make-up out of the park and Ashley Hodka from Good Earth Floral Design Studio who should be famous for her floral design skills! I've got some really cool friends. )

Kick-Flip

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I read a lot of those "secrets to success" articles. You know, the ones that are titled, "10 Attributes of a Successful Entrepreneur" and "How to Win at Business." In my brief experience and taking note of the entrepreneurs I've come to know, the thing we all have in common is a little friend called, "failure." 

Failure comes in all shapes, sizes and consequences.  For me, it could be a bad sales weekend, or a poor design decision. It's over-scheduling or under-staffing. It could be losing a huge amount of money on a bad investment or hiring the wrong employee. But without meeting our little friend "failure" in a back alley once in a while,  we would have no way to know the levels of good we can experience.

When a swimmer reaches the end of a lap and hits the side of the pool to turn around, it's called a "kick-flip." Without mastering this abrupt stop and change of direction, the swimmer could end up with a mouth and nose full of water. But this move is an important one. The kick-flip is a moment of rest for the swimmer, giving them a much needed break, if only for a moment. Successfully mastering this technique will improve the swimmer's overall endurance in the race. 

Failure is a lot like a kick-flip. In our search for success, we often hit walls. Sometimes we run into them gently and other times they knock us unconscious. The more we hit them, the better we get, the more we learn and the stronger we become. You can't just read a how-to article on kick-flips and know how to do one. You have to practice--over and over and over.

Once we learn to understand failure in all it's failure-y glory, we can see it as something new, something good even. It can be a chance to change direction. It can even push us to a new place that is better for us. 

I don't have all the answers. And I definitely don't know enough to write one of those "How to Succeed" articles,  but I know failure well. And he's become a faithful frenemy. The failures I've experienced, although sometimes curl-up-in-a-ball-and-cry-like-a-baby hard, have been gifts in the end. They've given me the gift of the endurance. And every successful entrepreneur I know, does not lack in that department.  

Here's to kick-flipping those failures and getting right back in the race. 

XOXO,

Emily

 

Pastel Passion

The new Emmaline Collection is in the store and has been getting really great response. If you know me at all, you know I am a sucker for color and I have been incorporating it in these last few seasons. Our Garden dress from last year received tons of press for it's bold floral print. So, this year we stepped out a little further and chose to walk pastels down the aisle!

This week we've been getting ready for The National Bridal Market in Chicago. We've been so inspired by the new Collection, we've decided to carry the pastel theme through to the runway. We've got a little something special up our sleeve for this year's market goers and retailers. You're not going to want to miss it!

In the meantime here's my weekly Eye Candy:  Pastel Passion!

 

 

Pastel Passion

Pastel Passion

 

XOXO,

Emily

A brief history and a big announcement.

Our current Leawood location

Our current Leawood location

Once upon a time, about 8 years ago, I bought a bridal shop in a tiny town South of Kansas City. The shop had been in business for over 30 years when I began to call it my own.  It was well known for outstanding customer service and great selection, but had room for improvement.  The walls were mint, the fitting rooms had emerald curtains covering the doorways, and faux wisteria draped from s-hooks in the dropped, florescent, tile ceiling. What the shop lacked in atmosphere it made up for in reputation. Everyone knew about Sandy's Bridal and traveled the 30 mins South to experience the shop. 

Clueless about bridal, but with a niche for business. I jumped in head first and purchased the small-town bridal shop. First things first, I had to make it my own. I changed the name from Sandy's Bridal to EmilyHart. (The "Hart" for my late, most glamorous, grandmother.) I had to be strategic and thoughtful about changing the name, for it was risky to change something that was so well known for such a long time. So for over a year, we were, "EmilyHart previously Sandy's Bridal."  We stayed in the metal building for about 6 months before I got the itch to move somewhere a little more "appropriate" for a bridal shop. 

The original building that housed Sandy's Bridal for so many years. 

The original building that housed Sandy's Bridal for so many years. 

With the recession in full swing, we hobbled less than a mile away to the historic Paola Square where we moved in to an old print shoppe. The shop was beautiful (thanks to my contractor father)  We made a diamond in the rough really stand out and sparkle. Finally, the atmosphere matched the experience. But if you remember anything about 2008, times were TOUGH. Gas was over $4/gallon and people were afraid to spend money on anything.  Had I known that it would be years before I'd take a paycheck of my own home, I may have thrown in the towel right then, but I had hope and a vision and I was determined to make it come to fruition. 

Before: The print shoppe before renovations. 

Before: The print shoppe before renovations. 

After: The shop after renovations on the historic Paola Square. 

After: The shop after renovations on the historic Paola Square. 

After struggling through a little over a year at our lovely downtown shop, I felt the itch again.  My husband and I were in Leawood picking up my wedding ring that had been cleaned when I said to him, "This is where I need to be. This is where I am moving EmilyHart." We prayed together that very moment that He would allow that to be the next step for the shop. I knew it was a risk, but we were sinking where we were.  I went to several banks for help to finance the big move (which was a challenge in itself considering the banking crisis) But I found a couple bankers ( Hi Brian and Becky!) and who believed in me and behold, in June of 2010, we were moving to our beautiful, new, Leawood location. I had a baby, moved homes and designed and built a shop in just a matter of months that Summer. What a whirlwind.

Our current Leawood location

Our current Leawood location

The shop blew up. We had to hire more employees, bump up our inventory and even change our price point to accommodate different kinds of brides and budgets traveling from all over just to shop with us. In the meantime, I started designing and manufacturing my own line of Bridal Gowns called Emmaline. I had no idea it would take off the way it did. We've grown and expanded and grown some more. With the retail side doing so well and brides' gowns filling our back room as well as our Emmaline retailers orders, we began busting at the seams. 

I knew the next move was to purchase a location I could grow in and expand as we needed. A place that was centrally located to accommodate my current and future customers and a place that felt like home. I searched high and low for the perfect spot with no luck. My wise mother told me to "Stop looking...the right place will come along and you will feel peace." I listened to her and within days I found the perfect location. 

I closed on the new property on my husband's and my anniversary. I'd never done something so big, so risky, so permanent. But at every step along the way, I heard my heavenly father whisper, "keep going." He made ways where there shouldn't have been. 

A sketch of the exterior of the new shop. 

A sketch of the exterior of the new shop. 

So here we are---Weeks from moving into our ridiculously perfect new home barely a mile from our current location. With space to breathe and move and grow. 

The new shop is going to be the dreamiest yet and I can't wait to share it with you and my customers. Stay tuned for more updates and pictures of the progress. 

Blessings,

Emily