A Look at What We’ve Been Up to Behind The Scenes
With our shop officially re-opened after a tumultuous few months, we figured, what better time to highlight what’s been going on with the Sinders team behind the scenes and announce our big news? For starters – we’ve renovated the boutique!
Keep reading to learn more about our renovation process and what you can expect next time you set foot into Sinders Bridal House.
What prompted you to renovate Sinders?
We had long-term renovation plans for years (some we take on continually), but there were many pieces that we knew would need to be done when the shop was closed. But we never wanted to take the steps to close the shop for a week or even just a few days in order to get those done, so there were a few pieces we delayed. In that way, the pandemic gave us the opportunity to make the most dramatic changes we’d planned without inconveniencing our brides in the process.
What work was done to revamp the shop?
As Victorian home, our shop has a lot of old features and a lot of character. We took the hardwood floors back to their original look but they were definitely in need of professional help to make them shine. This was one of the biggest pieces we had planned, and one of the few projects where we asked for outside help. Other large projects included a new coat of paint in literally every room, every floor, and every nook and cranny in the building. We went with soft white to give a blank canvas for viewing the gowns, and to make the dark woodwork pop. Other changes include new chandeliers everywhere, doors instead of curtains in change rooms, new furniture, and a new set up for every bridal suite. Honestly, there wasn’t a room we didn’t overhaul in the process.
What was the process like? Explain the journey.
Since we’d be talking about making some changes for so long, those were obvious. We just had to find the right people to help with the more extensive changes. To start, several of us at the shop made lists of all the changes we’d like to see and prioritized the most important since we didn’t know how long we would be closed.
We most definitely added more to our plate than any sane person would have, but we do tend to push ourselves to go big! There were 2-4 of us working on it every day, and although we are not professionals, it took more than 4 weeks to get close to the end of the list we had created for ourselves.
What surprised you most about the renovation process?
How much we were capable of. Stacey and I were raised to try on our own but admit you need help when necessary. However, we have been so fortunate with our team, as they have the same mentality and are such incredibly capable women who will give it everything they have. Aside from sanding floors and painting one dangerous portion of stairwell, we were able to complete everything on our very extensive list and could not be more proud of what we’ve done.
The Sinders building has been around for so long. Did you unearth anything interesting?
Always! Every time we touch a wall, we know we’ll find decades worth of wallpaper, often 3 or 4 layers deep. It’s one of the best things to look back and see how the styles have changed – often the oldest layer is absolutely gorgeous and we would keep it there if it were salvageable.
How long did it take to complete everything?
It was flat out for about three weeks, then we got word that we could reopen, so we had to switch gears and make sure we were able to adhere to government regulations. In a way, we’re never satisfied and will always be tweaking and touching one last thing to make it better, prettier, and more helpful for our brides. So, in that way, we never are really finished. We’re always working to make the building and our business run as well as it can
What do you think is the most significant change to the shop?
One of the best changes was giving each viewing room its own individual personality. We named each room after the mother and her three daughters who originally lived in the house, then we gave each room a colour palette and new furniture to fit the feel of that room. It gives a one of a kind experience when you can say you found your gown in the Laura room with it’s beautiful blue décor and vintage chandelier hanging in the window.
What else were you working on behind the scenes over the past few months?
Besides building renovations, we had many things we wanted to implement and are still working on a few. We recently updated to an online booking system, and we took the time to reevaluate the designers we carry and how we want to move forward to best service our brides. Needless to say, we are always adjusting something!
What did you miss most when the shop had to close its doors?
Our team and the happiness of a bride finding her gown. We rarely take time away, and although the forced vacation was great for family time, it was heartbreaking to part with our girls and not have answers about when we would be able to open again.
Every one of us gets to share in one of the most exciting choices a bride can have, and we love the feeling of happiness we get to share when they find their gown. Missing that for several weeks/months was a noticeable change to our normal days.
What are you most looking forward to now that Sinders is open again?
Helping our brides shift and recover from a wedding that might have been postponed or dramatically changed from what they expected. In the very least, we can help them remember how incredible they felt when they found their gown and hold onto a small part of that excitement until they can get the rest of their plans set again.
Any advice or words of wisdom for brides that had to cancel or postpone their weddings due to the pandemic?
Try to stay positive and find the silver lining. We’ve had brides choose an intimate ceremony on their original date, with a bigger party when things are more normal. And we’ve had full postponements until the world has settled. No matter what, just remember that one way or another, you will get to marry the person you love.