Spokane Journal of Business

Marcella's Bridal expands, to add online wedding dress design feature

Marcella's Bridal to add staff, debut online tool for customizing dresses

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Marcella's Bridal Inc., a wedding dress retailer and maker located at 304 W. Second in downtown Spokane's SoDo Business District, recently expanded into 1,500 square feet of new space, which brings the company's total sales floor to about 7,500 square feet of floor space.

Craig Davis, co-owner of the business with his wife, Marcella Davis, says the move into the additional leased space has enabled the business to almost double the size of its bridal gown showroom. The shop now will be able to display around 500 wedding dresses, up from just under 300 dresses before the expansion into the new space last month.

Davis says the bridal shop has occupied much of the building at 304 W. Second for about four years, and he and his wife saw the opportunity to expand into the western portion of the building after a former tenant there, All Lines Insurance, moved out last summer. That business now is located in a 6,200-square-foot building at 616 E. Third that it purchased last year.

The expansion into the previously vacant space also has allowed Marcella's Bridal to move its sewing facilities to the main floor from space in the building's basement, Davis says. The company's offices also were moved into the newly leased space, he says, and the portion of the building that formerly had been used for that purpose has been remodeled into a dress showroom area.

Marcella's employs seven people, including two seamstresses. Davis says the business is looking to hire three or four more people in the next month or so to staff its expanded sales floor, as well as another seamstress to make and alter dresses.

In addition to the shop's expansion, Davis says Marcella's Bridal soon plans to debut a new feature on its website, at www.marcellasbridal.com.

Marcella Davis has been designing wedding gowns for more than 25 years, he says, and the company plans to begin showcasing online a line of semi-customizable dresses she designed. The interactive feature on the company's site will allow brides to mix and match different dress skirts and bodices to create a custom dress the company would then make, Craig Davis says. In addition to that line of bridal gowns, he says the business also plans this year to offer bridesmaids dresses that would be created in a similar fashion.

Marcella's Bridal also offers fully-customized wedding gowns. Davis says that in 2011, about 25 percent of the business's sales were from custom-gown orders, and that area of business is growing.

Davis says the showroom expansion and debut of the online customization feature will coincide with the annual Tammy Schneider Enterprise Bridal Festival on Jan. 7-8.

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