Dress style

Mayra Jaimes-Ortiz, owner of Kassie Bella Bridal Boutique, holds up one of the wedding dress styles that will be for sale at her new bridal shop on Bridges Street in Morehead City. (Anna Harvey photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Mayra Jaimes-Ortiz has spent her entire life infatuated with the significance of wedding days, and now her dreams have led her to opening a new bridal store, Kassie Bella Bridal Boutique.

“I’ve always loved weddings,” she said as she looked around her new storefront. “I’ve always loved the meaning of a wedding.” 

The store is named for her 12-year-old daughter, Kassandra, while “Bella” means beautiful in Spanish. 

The shop at 2213 Bridges St., Suite 4, offers a cozy and intimate experience for the bride who wants personalized, devoted attention as she finds her wedding dress, Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz said.

She said shopping for a wedding dress is one of the most “iconic” moments of a woman’s life. “The dress is very symbolic,” she said.

She noted that her bridal boutique will offer a positive experience, with no pressure or stress while shopping.

The shop is open by appointments only, during which the bride can bring family and friends with her to make the process a celebratory event.  The guests are treated to drinks and cupcakes, and once the bride decides on a dress, the group will celebrate with a champagne toast.

Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz said she is very intentional in offering bridal dresses in all sizes – including plus sizes, which can be difficult to find for some brides. She noted she has already had some customers who were successful in finding plus-size dresses, after being unsatisfied with what sizes were offered at other stores.

Kassie Bella will offer several dress collections, including Enzoani Beautiful, Justin Alexander Bridal, Lilian West, Sincerity Bridal, Sweetheart Bridal and more.

All of the dresses offered are in the new 2016 collections and start at $700, and go up around $2,000.

The shop includes the lobby where all the dresses are on display, and a second room, that has been outfitted to include a single dressing room for the bride, and seating for family and friends to wait. 

Kassie Bella is offering only bridal dresses – no men’s wear or bridesmaid dresses – for a reason. Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz wants the experience to be solely about the bride on that day.

“I noticed that when coming here, I visited a few places down here and they were all very nice, but I felt that something was missing for the brides,” she said. “Something more personalized.”

This approach will include having a seamstress on hand for each appointment to help a bride with any alterations that will need to be made to her dress.

The store will offer accessories for the bride, such as earrings, but does not currently offer shoes. A footwear selection may come later, but for now, Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz said she is focused on maintaining the small, intimate setting.

Although this is her first time operating a bridal gown store, Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz has had some experience working with brides before, as a former employee with Zales, a jewelry store chain that specializes in diamonds.

In addition to her new boutique, she is currently a personal banker with Wells Fargo. 

She explained that her friend, Maria Montoya-Cook, will help as a bridal consultant.

Ms. Jaimes-Ortiz, who will marry her fiancé Addam Baker in January in Beaufort, followed by a larger ceremony in California in 2017, said she has been so grateful for the support of family and friends as she ventures into her first business.  

With the help of her fiancé, Ms. Montoya-Cook, and her husband Ron Cook, she was able to create the bridal shop. She also said her daughter was instrumental in helping her achieve this dream. 

“Everything was just put together by family and friends,” she said. She noted that Derek Jenkins, a flooring and tile specialist in Morehead City, helped put down the floor, but the rest of the work was done first hand.

The space is done in cream tones and white to offer a positive energy for brides.

Brides who want to schedule an appointment can call 619-274-2226, email kassiebellabridal@yahoo.com, or visit kassiebellabridal.com.

Contact Anna Harvey at 252-726-7081, ext. 229, email anna@thenewstimes.com; or on Twitter @annaccnt.

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