TRENDER: Bridal Accessories Designer Andi Sperl
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Homegrown factor: Graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport. After briefly living in Boston and
How long have you been a bridal accessory designer?
I’ve always been really interested in fashion but I always had a plan to be a teacher. I went to Salve Regina and got a degree in elementary and special education. After college, I taught for one year in Boston. While I was teaching, I applied to Fashion Insitute of Technology (FIT) because that has been a dream of mine forever. When I got accepted, I decided to do a one-year program to get a degree in fashion design. After I graduated, I was trying to decide what to do. At the time, my best friend was getting married so I was constantly looking at bridal things. I just loved the idea of being a bridal accessory designer. I started off by designing her accessories. Then, I launched my first bridal accessory collection in July 2011.
Can you describe your accessory line?
What was your inspiration to open a store in Newport?
In September 2011, I decided to come up to Newport to start a studio. In February, I did a bridal show at Oceancliff. All of the soon-to-be brides were asking about bridal shops and that’s when I realized that there wasn’t one in Newport. I wanted to open a small store where people could come in by appointment only and leave feeling that they’ve had a positive experience. The shop opened May 5, 2012.
In what ways is Andria Bird Bride unique?
The main thing about my shop is that I only carry independent designers whose dresses are handmade in the US. You don’t find that these days. Most of my designers are really open to making changes to their designs to cater to what the bride wants. I decided that my shop would be personal, cozy and charming. I want people to be able to walk in and feel comfortable and not feel the pressure of the more formal bridal shops. I’ve been getting extremely good feedback from the community and the bridal industry.
What designers do you carry?
I have two new designers coming to the shop in the next few months and a trunk show coming up in the fall. I keep in mind that not everyone has a huge budget so I take on designers who create dresses that range from $1,000 to $6,000 so almost everyone’s budget can be accommodated.
What are your goals for the shop and business? What do you hope to see in future years?
I love my shop so much. Ideally, I see myself hiring more independent designers so I can carry more dresses. Also, I hope that my accessory line can expand. I am striving to be the go-to shop for Newport brides. I love my location so much so even when I expand, I don’t even know where I’d want to go because this is such a good spot.
What advice would you offer to soon-to-be Rhode Island brides?
Take everything one-step at a time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the one [dress]. There are so many things that dictate your dress such as your venue, what looks amazing on you and what you just love. There are so many components so if you put too much pressure on yourself, you’ll never be happy with your dress. And, have fun with it! As stressful of a process as it is, enjoy it because you’ll only do it once… well hopefully once! Even if you think you know exactly what designer you want for your dress, it doesn’t hurt to make a bridal appointment when you’re in town. A lot of brides come to Newport to check out venues and photographers but now brides can also make an appointment at a bridal shop.
To see the shop, go to Andria Bird Bride, 225 Spring St, Newport. Summer hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10am-5pm. Call 401-924-3789 to make an appointment.
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