What would make a young woman give up her career as a certified public accountant in lively Chicago and open a bridal shop in Michigan’s struggling economy?
“I love weddings, and wedding dresses are just my favorite part,” Kristy Koryzno said.
The Linden woman will be opening her own bridal shop, The White Dress, in downtown Brighton today in the former Next Generation shop at 209 W. Main St.
She hopes her place will become a regional draw for shoppers. She said brides usually take along a few people while looking for dresses, and they visit other stores and eat at local restaurants during their search for the perfect dress.
“There is usually an entourage with them,” she said, adding brides often shop with their mothers and sisters.
Kristy Koryzno, who married in 2010, said she liked the wedding preparation so much that she “never wanted to stop.” While looking for dresses, she realized her true passion was wedding dresses and not working as a certified public accountant. Even her father, who owns a construction company, saw the spark and suggested she should open her own place. Her father, Mark Krueger, purchased a building in downtown Brighton, had it gutted and renovated the place.
The shop has an open-space design, making it easy to wander among the racks of dresses.
There is additional space available for another shop in the basement, and Kristy Koryzno said it would be an ideal location for another wedding-related business. Shine Salon continues to operate in the basement of the place.
Kristy Koryzno said she couldn’t have opened the shop without all the help from her parents, Cathy and Mark Krueger; her husband, Andrew Koryzno; and her sister-in-law, Aleksandra Koryzno. Her mother was pressing all dresses in the backroom in the days leading up to the opening.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own business,” she said.
Her shop features four private fitting rooms where brides can stand on a wooden pedestal in front of mirrors so family members can see the dress from all angles. She carries 100 wedding dresses, 80 bridesmaid dresses, veils, jewelry and accessories.
She said her wedding dresses range from $700 to $2,000. She carries Canadian designer Lis Simon and a plus-size line called Callista, whose tagline is “for brides with curves.”
She said she wanted a shop where brides can feel comfortable and relaxed while shopping for a dress. Refreshments will be served to customers in the fitting rooms.
Said she did a lot of research about location before she opened her store. She wanted a downtown feeling, and Brighton came in tops when she looked at income, education and population growth.
She said her fascination with wedding dresses began when she was a little girl. She loved “Cinderella” because of the beautiful dress, and at her prom, Koryzno wore a white dress that looked exactly like a wedding dress.
“I have always loved wedding dresses,” she said.
Aleksandra Koryzno, who has been helping at the shop, said a bridal shop “is definitely her thing.”
On a recent morning when the two arrived at the shop, she heard her sister-in-law say, “Good morning, dresses, I missed you.”
Kristy Koryzno said brides should call ahead and make an appointment for viewing dresses, which usually takes an hour-and-a-half.
For more information, call (810) 588-6147 or visit www.the-white-dress.com.