Today’s FACE of Memphis, Molly Lambert, is the owner of Maggie Louise Bridal in Collierville, Tennessee. This accomplished and business savvy twenty-something scouts the best couture gowns for her brides with the goal of creating the perfect environment for finding THE dress—that perfect gown, for every bride. Molly will also be walking down the aisle herself this spring, and she shares with us some of the hottest trends in bridal at the moment.
Where are you from, and how did you get to Memphis?
I’m a Mississippi gal! I attended the University of Memphis and immediately fell in love with the city. My fiancé and I live downtown and really enjoy everything the neighborhood has to offer. Collierville is his hometown, so it felt like the perfect place to start Maggie Louise and to raise our family one day.
Tell us about your path to opening your own store.
Opening Maggie Louise is something I fell into after working for a local photographer, Allison Rodgers, throughout high school and college. Capturing moments of joy throughout the special day and watching everything come together behind the lens were always so rewarding. It is funny how often the one with the camera becomes the one that bustles the gown, reapplies lip gloss and makes sure everything goes smoothly–but this was one of my favorite aspects of it all! And, of course, I always loved the magical moment when a bride steps into THE dress she chose. So, with a love for wedding gowns and all things bridal, I set out to start Maggie Louise.
What do you love about owning your own business?
I truly adore every aspect of being a small business owner. When you love what you do and are in the business of making people happy, the gratification always outweighs the challenges. Maggie Louise was definitely a leap of faith, but the adventure is worthwhile.
What do you feel sets “the Maggie Louise experience” apart?
At Maggie Louise, our top priority is creating priceless memories for you and your loved ones—uniting a bride with a gown that complements her individual beauty and celebrates her love story. Each bride is given a private bridal appointment to ensure she receives the utmost attention and care while finding the dress of her dreams. Our goal is to make the process of selecting a gown as easy as possible by offering one-on-one service in an intimate, cozy atmosphere.
Maggie Louise also has some of the most sought-after designer lines, exclusively found in the Mid-South within our boutique. With our couture lines, we have the luxury of being able to customize gowns to match each bride’s specific needs and bring her vision to life. From timeless lace classics to the latest trends, Maggie Louise has something for every bride.
What are your favorite parts of the bridal industry?
First, I love that the wedding industry constantly changes. Every year tons of new trends hit the runway, and today’s brides are always looking for something different. It keeps things exciting at Maggie Louise.
Second, I’m always dealing with happy people. Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a girl’s life, so when they get to me they are typically bursting at the seams with excitement. Getting to share that special time with them is fulfilling.
Do you have a favorite story about helping someone find THE dress?
My most favorite story would have to be the very first bride I ever had. Molly contacted me before Maggie Louise opened and requested an appointment on Labor Day Weekend 2012—15 days before our grand opening! I was extremely nervous, yet trying to play it cool. We had paper on the windows and so many things left unfinished, but Molly and her mom didn’t care one bit! Molly found her dream dress with me, and I was like a kid on Christmas morning. That appointment with Molly was an answered prayer; that was the day I knew this was where I was meant to be.
Speaking of THE dress, you are going to be an April 2014 bride! How did you fall in love with your dress?
We are getting married April 4 at ACRE Restaurant in Memphis. It will be a Friday night wedding and a very easygoing affair. I chose a gown by Rivini, a Maggie Louise designer. Before we were even engaged, I spent countless nights trying to create my dream dress out of elements I liked from all different styles, but I had yet to run across a gown that was everything I wanted. Last April at bridal market, I saw THE dress walk down the runway, and I knew it was the one for me. It had everything I had dreamed of all rolled into one—It has a sleek, fitted bodice and a fun, ruffled organza bottom. The gown reflects both of our styles and our wedding day perfectly.
Which Memphis event are you most looking forward to this spring?
Aside from our wedding day (HA!), I’m most looking forward to Memphis Fashion Week (MFW)! I’m honored and thrilled to take part in MFW this year. Maggie Louise will be showcasing my designer, Olia Zavozina of Nashville, Tennessee, who will be debuting her 2014 collection at the runway show. We will have a trunk show the entire weekend at the boutique, so Olia’s collection will be available to all of our brides. She will even be working one-on-one with brides for custom creations!
What are the biggest bridal trends for spring/summer 2014?
Brides right now are loving the bold, beaded gowns that have the vintage, Great Gatsby feel. Soft layered skirts are a big hit, as well, which gives an amazing whimsical effect to the bridal gown. The illusion neckline is still getting lots of love—beaded and lace illusions were seen on all the runways for 2014. Metallic fabrics, chic sleeves and halter necklines are big. And lots of lace, which my Southern brides love!
What are your spring 2014 fashion must-haves?
Unfortunately (and embarrassingly), I’m the opposite of a fashionista. Put me in a room of 100 bridal gowns and I can name trends, styles and designers galore. When it comes to what is in my own closet, I’m a mess. I’m a clean-slate kind of girl and will purchase just about anything that comes in black, so let’s just say I’m pumped that the monochromatic look is trending this spring.
What inspires you most in your professional and private life?
Following God, by a long shot. As long as I keep my focus on Him, I have the faith to know that anything is possible and the ability to share my love and passion with everyone who walks through my doors. My hope is to be able to look back knowing that I’ve seized all the opportunities at my door and diligently used the gifts and blessings I’ve been given to make the most of my time here. If you had told me that by 25 years old I’d have Maggie Louise, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that alone has inspired me and shown me the sky is the limit. My family, fiancé and friends are also the backbone and inspire me daily to do my best.
What are your favorite ways to unwind?
The way to my heart is through my stomach, so good food and a glass of wine paired with good company would probably take the cake. Because of that, I attempt to keep working out on my list of special interests, as well.
Do you have a favorite travel/vacation spot?
Take me anywhere with sand and sunshine! That said, a piece of my heart is in NYC, and I always look forward to visiting the Big Apple for market every April and October. There is something about the good food and the hustle and bustle of the city that does the heart good.
What three lighthearted things could you not live without?
Mascara, my Lululemon pants and coffee make my world go ’round.
Thank you, Christen Jones Photography, for these lovely images of a blushing bride and bright businesswoman! Our best wishes for a lifetime of happiness to you, Molly!