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Black woman-owned bridal shop in Norfolk quadruples sales as business booms for wedding industry

Posted at 3:49 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 17:34:33-04

NORFOLK, Va.— After a year of canceled weddings, one Norfolk bridal shop says business is back in a big way.

“We’re excited and we love doing it, but we’re really feeling the pressure now,” Said Ellaz Bridal Store Manager Elisha Gaskins.

Ellaz Bridal makes custom gowns. Thursday, Gaskins was working on cutting fabric for six bridesmaid dresses that will be worn in a wedding next month.

“I’m working on three separate bridesmaids' [parties], which is almost 30-plus dresses… at least 20 of those are due in July, so we got a lot to do,” said Gaskins.

The Black woman-owned small business says they tripled and quadrupled the number of brides they serve in a normal year, going from around six to now 25 this month.

They say the boom is a result of last year being a bust for the magical day many had hoped for because of the pandemic. Now, two years of weddings are being fit into one.

The good news is that the shop says they’re managing and sticking to their three- to six-month time frame to get dresses to customers; the bad news is it’ll cost more than it did before the pandemic.

“The cost of fabric and shipping have definitely gone up,” said Gaskins. “I noticed during when it started, anything that was coming overseas was way more expensive than it usually is.”

The price tag for all their bridal gowns has increased at least $500 to adjust for the increase cost of fabric.

After surviving a pandemic, this is another unprecedented year for business- but in a good way - and they’re taking it all in stride.

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