Kleinfeld Bridal is world-renowned thanks to TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” but this bridal gown emporium has been helping brides find their gowns since way before it became a television sensation. We sat down with Kleinfeld Bridal’s Mara Urshel to find out more about her and the store that specializes in making bridal dress dreams come true.
Mara Urshel’s sharp focus is on the power of Kleinfeld Bridal and its goals of pleasing its clients. “Kleinfeld specializes in making wedding dress dreams come true. We create a memorable dress shopping experience with our top bridal consultants guiding the bride to the perfect dress from a selection of over 1000 styles from 60 designers.”
While there are many options for brides out there, three things stand out to Urshel that set Kleinfeld apart from its competition: “Kleinfeld offers the largest selection of designer wedding dresses, the staff is trained to connect with the bride and find the perfect dress for her vision, her body, and her budget, and the Merchandising team searches the world to find the best wedding dresses from the US to Spain, Israel, Italy, France, and as far away as Australia.” Urshel also stresses the importance of carrying a wide range of sizes in her store, “Size inclusivity is very important to us. At Kleinfeld, we have over 250 dress samples in size 18 – 28 for brides to try on.”
And even though “Say Yes to the Dress” has been a game-changer for this venerable bridal institution, (after all, it airs in over 150 countries!) Mara points out that every bride is special, “We strive to make every bride in the store, feel like the ONLY bride regardless of if there is filming going on or not.” No matter how many times she’s seen a bride find their dream gown, her favorite part of her job is still “Watching a bride say YES! As well as witnessing the bride and the bridal fashion evolve thru the years.” In fact, this is one of Mara’s favorite aspects of the bridal business in general, “I love the emotion of this business and I enjoy watching the changing trends in fashion which match the new generations.”
While catching up with Mara we had to get her tips on bridal gown shopping: “At Kleinfeld, we suggest that brides shop 9-12 months prior to their wedding date however, we can accommodate brides with less time but it may limit the selection and can sometimes affect the budget due to rush fees, etc. Also, the bride should bring 3 guests maximum. The guests should include people who have the bride’s best interest at heart.” If it’s hard to decide who your “top 3” are, consider spreading the love at future appointments, “Keep in mind, if you need to bring more people because they want to experience Kleinfeld with you, you can bring them to 1 of your 3 fitting appointments.”
And now, a little more about Kleinfeld Bridal’s Mara Urshel. Her daily routine starts by exercising and walking her dog, Lucy. After that, it’s off to Kleinfeld. “My day at Kleinfeld can consist of meetings with the managerial staff, meeting with partners or designers, as well as spending time on the sales floor and the alterations department meeting our customers.”
After all these years, Urshel never tires of the creativity in the market, “I am inspired by seeing designers who create fashion-forward designs for bridal. I am always looking for young designer talent. I am on the Board for the High School of Fashion Industries in NYC and we have created a new curriculum which includes bridal design classes and a contest to encourage and grow designers.”
In our Lightning Round Questions, we strive to give you an inside look at a bridal Insider that you might not have seen before. Here is our Lighting Round Q&A:
Q: Describe yourself (or your business) in three words:
A: Kleinfeld: Magical + Traditional + Service
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Wedding?
Q: Red or White?
Q: Heels or flats?
Q: Veil or no veil?
Q: Black Tie or Farm to Table?
A: Farm to Table is more my style!
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Q: Milk, Dark or white chocolate?
Q: Beach or ski vacation?
Q: Country or City?
Q: What’s your go-to comfort food?
Q: What is your favorite board game?
Q: Favorite music genre?
Q: When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A Chemist
Q: Who would you like to sit next to on a plane?
A: Prince William and Kate
Q: What’s on your night table? A good book? (if yes, which one?)
Q: What’s on your desk at work?
A: Computer, staff directories, a photo of my beloved dog, Oscar.
For more Kleinfeld inspo, check out our chat with Randy Fenoli about how we pulled off Say Yes to the Dress America.