I've been meaning to spend some time writing a post to update all of you on my new job at Madeleine's Daughter. So many of you have been incredibly supportive of me throughout this career change and my move back to New England. I feel I owe it to you to let you know how things are going. I don't want this blog to turn into a "ME ME ME!!!" type of forum, though, so if at any point you get sick of hearing about all the personal stuff, just let me know! I'll be sure to get right back to the fashion and shopping.
Anyway, as you know, my previous job was working as a costume designer and wardrobe manager for a large theatre. This definitely prepared me for the work that I'm doing now, so although I'm glad to have moved on, I still appreciate what I learned and experienced at AMT. If you were to look back on the jobs I've held since graduating college, you might think, "That girl is all over the map!" But the truth is that each position I've held has very clearly led me to the next one, so whatever ups and downs I've had in the last ten years, I'm grateful for it all.
As for the position at Madeleine's, I'm really enjoying myself, not only because of the work, but mostly because of the people. It's true there are ridiculously beautiful bridal gowns around every corner, and that is amazing. It's also true there are ridiculously fabulous people around every corner as well. You know how when you start work at a new place, most people seem pretty nice, but there's always that one person who just rubs you the wrong way? Madeleine's doesn't have that person, as far as I can tell. Now, I've only been working for two weeks, and maybe when the honeymoon phase is over I'll feel differently. You never really know, right? But I'm optimistic. I thought that with a company full of women, there would be an estrogen overload and lots of catty-ness (sp?). Instead, I'm inspired by the amazing diversity of women who all have one great thing in common: confidence. I love seeing women so sure of themselves, but not in an arrogant way, just pure self-confidence. Women who are comfortable in their own skin. Women who are great at their individual jobs, but who can also work well together to keep the company running smoothly and doing well. I'm inspired by each and every woman at the company and I hope that at some point I'll be able to inspire them as well.
As for the specific job duties, I've mostly been handling the alterations department for now. At this time of year, it's not that exciting. We only have a couple of fittings a day (if we're lucky), and a handful of brides picking up their gowns each week. In the summer, it's non-stop with both fittings and pick-ups. I supervise the staff of seamstresses who execute all the alterations. Once a bride has been assigned a seamstress, that person handles her gown to completion. It makes for a very personalized experience, which we hope is positive for both the bride and the seamstress. I have to admit, I've seen not only amazing gowns in these fittings, but also some amazing sewing. These women make my little home-sewn dresses seem like small potatoes. They are fearless, too! I don't know if I would have the nerve to cut apart someone's $5,000 wedding dress! It's intimidating! But they handle it like the professionals they are.
The other part of the job is working the sales floor- I mostly act in a supportive role right now, but I hope to be more involved in the future. I help brides pick out accessories like veils, headpieces, jewelry, shoes, etc. It's fun, but I'm looking forward to the more busy season when I'll get to do more of that. I also help the bridal consultants if a client has a question about altering the gown she is considering. The other day a bride was considering buying a "sample" dress out of stock. This is a dress that has been tried on by dozens of women, maybe even hundreds of times. It's in good shape when you consider that, but it's not in the flawless condition that a new dress would be. However, if the client buys the sample dress, she'll get a hefty discount on it. The question was this: since the gown is a couple of inches too big, when it's taken in, will the imperfections be able to be hidden in the seams? The answer was yes, about 90% of the imperfections would not be able to be seen after the dress was tailored to fit this particular woman. What great news for her! She walked away with her dream gown at a bargain price all because she was willing to be flexible and imagine what the gown could be versus what it was at that moment.
I'll try to post again soon about the new job. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the job, the shop or even wedding gowns specifically, just post a comment below and I'll be sure to get back to you. Have a great week, everyone!