A trip to the bridal stores featured on TLC’S “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” is a dream for some local brides.
Reality sets in when it’s time for their dresses to be altered, and several more out-of-state trips are not feasible.
That’s where Renée Lundin of Holly Springs steps in. The stores featured on the TLC reality shows, Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City and Bridals by Lori in Atlanta, refer brides to have alterations done by Lundin, the only seamstress in North Carolina to receive their recommendation. She currently is working on a dress by designer Pnina Tornai that was purchased at Kleinfeld’s.
Lundin, who runs Just Sew by Renée out of her home, was recently honored with a 2015 Couples’ Choice Award from weddingwire.com.
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“One of the things I highlight is that girls get custom service to look their most beautiful that day,” Lundin said.
Lundin learned to sew from her mother and grandmother while she was still in elementary school.
“My grandmother was so tiny that she had to make her own clothes rather than wear children’s clothes,” she said.
By the time she was in high school, she was skilled enough to make her art teacher’s wedding gown. In college, she designed her own gown.
“I’ve always loved bridal,” she said.
The home studio she opened when her children were born has evolved over the years.
“Now I specialize in bridal and evening wear,” she said, noting that she is busy with prom dresses this month.
“I sell all the accessories – from jewelry to veils – so that I can help the girls,” she said. “Especially with veils, I found that they were being steered toward things that didn’t really complement their gown. The girls were asking for help finishing the look they were looking for.”
While she reached out to bridal shops when building her business, she found that personal recommendations were even more effective.
“Word of mouth in North Carolina is wonderful,” she said. “I get girls from all over the state. I can do things a tailor who is not trained in bridal cannot.”
Lundin sees customers by appointment.
“They often bring a crowd,” she says of her brides. “I want it to be a wonderful memory, and a lot of girls need someone to help them make their decisions.”
After the dresses are worn, she sends them to be cleaned and heirloomed.
Some brides ask her to redesign their mother’s or grandmother’s dress.
“A lot of my brides in the last year have had me redesign their mother’s dress into a reception or rehearsal dinner dress,” she said. “I always recommend that they keep the train for a baptismal gown.
“It’s such a happy business,” Lundin said. “I want them to look beautiful. When they start feeling how good their dress feels when it’s custom fitted to them, they start feeling beautiful.”
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About Just Sew by Renée
Contact: 919-753-3898, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: By appointment; it is suggested that brides allow six to seven months for alterations and up to a year for a redesign.