You’ve found your dream dress, now you need to find someone who can make it fit perfectly on your body, and Rapids Alterations is here to do just that! With a staff that has over 150 years of combined experience, you know the quality and experience will be second-to-none. We talked to owner Cindy Battleson about how she and her team help brides feel beautiful on their wedding day.
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A. Our bridal team is top-notch. From the first fitting to the last hook going up on your bustle we strive for perfection. Alterations, bridal, formals, and prom, we also sew on uniforms, leather, and fur. I like to say baptismal gowns to boat covers. We pretty much do it all, but bridal and prom are our favorites!
Q: Where can we find you?
A: 621 North Benton Drive Suite 101, Sauk Rapids, MN 56370
Q: Tell us when and how Rapids Alterations began.
A: I have an employee who has been here since 1978. I became the fourth owner when I bought the business in 2012. I had 4 employees at that time. Since then, pre-Covid, we had 16 employees. Today we have 9 employees. Personally, I started sewing when I was 13. I have sewed from home and worked in bridal shops, and thought I could do this. I have learned a lot.
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
- Our customer service is fantastic. The best team works the front of the house and they are very good at their jobs.
- Excellence and expertise. Our seamstresses have over 150 combined years of experience.
- We are the best bridal alteration shop in Central Minnesota. Our past brides and reviews speak to that. So many big smiles from our brides when the dress is perfect.
- Each year we do 6-8 rescue brides who had their alterations done elsewhere and were not satisfied. The gown still didn’t fit, they were told the alterations couldn’t be done or the seamstress was not professional and timely with communication and fittings. Every and any alteration can be accomplished. The only barrier is your budget.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: I have been working with brides since 1987. The serger sewing machine has changed the wedding gown a lot. Before the popularity of the serger, most dresses — even top names — were not lined. To look at one compared with today’s dresses one would think it was flimsy. Today’s dresses have many more layers. Unfortunately, many also have no seam allowances.
Q: Walk us through your average workday.
A: Early morning networking. Shop doors open at 9:00 am. Check emails, talk to employees and answer any questions they may have for the day. The first fitting is at 10:00 and the last fitting is 5:00. I just move from one fitting into the next. When there is time in between maybe answer calls or grab a coffee or try to work on social media. There is truly not enough time each day.
Q: What would you want couples searching for wedding fashions and/or alterations to know?
A: Try to allow yourself enough time to accomplish what you want to do. Enough time to order a gown. Enough time to have leisurely fittings, enough time to enjoy your last month without being anxious about getting everything done in time.
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: 2-6 Months
Q: Are there any wedding trends you’d like to see fade away?
A: Chiffon bridesmaid dresses
Q: What trends can we expect to see more of this year?
A: “Hurry up” weddings
Q: What’s YOUR favorite recent wedding fashion trend?
A: Sleeves on gowns! Love them!
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for couples looking for their wedding fashion?
A: This is YOUR wedding. Do what YOU want, get the gown YOU like.
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Wedding?
Q: Veil or no veil?
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Q: Go-to comfort food?
Q: Which celebrity would you choose to sit next to on a plane?
A: I still love George Michael. He had such a great voice.
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: Criminal Minds
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: White Claw/Truly
Thanks so much for letting us get to know you, Cindy! If you’re ready to see how their team can make your dress fit you flawlessly, check out their site.
All images courtesy of Rapids Alterations and Repair