After spending eight years in the finance world and having a solid career under her belt, Ashley Krauss decided it was time to do something she was a little more passionate about, so she set out to open a bridal boutique.
After doing extensive research on the bridal fashion market, the area of Fairfield County, and how to start a business, A Little Something White opened at 1292 Boston Post Road on Sept. 10.
"I'm not going to lie, sitting here and looking at wedding dresses all day versus looking at spreadsheets and numbers, this is much more interesting," Krauss said, laughing.
The 30-year-old said the real push for her to open the store was the birth of her son a little more than two and a half years ago.
"I felt like I know that I want to work and I love working, but if I'm going to be working I have to be doing something I'm completely passionate about," Krauss said. "When I walk out the door every day and drive him to school or leave him with the sitter, I have to know that what I'm doing is really meaningful and absolutely what I want to do with my life. I wasn't finding that in finance."
Krauss runs the store with only one other employee, Amber Carleton, who is the assistant manager and a sales consultant.
"I'm really happy I found a store where I can grow with the business, and where I feel like a part of the family," Carleton said, who is originally from Oklahoma.
Carleton had started out in the bridal business, and then moved into sales, until she finally decided to go back into bridal industry when she moved to Connecticut in June.
One of the things Krauss said she loves about Carleton is that she came to the store with her application because she "truly wanted to get back into bridal fashion, not just because it was something that could work for now."
Both women want the store to be something that brides will remember.
"We want them to think they're coming here for an experience," Krauss said. "They walk in and they already know that the quality of the gowns is excellent, but when they're here they're being treated like they're family."
The store also carries accessories, such as veils and jewelry, and bridesmaid and flower girl dresses designed by Moore and UK designer Nicki MacFarlane, who was responsible for the junior bridesmaid dresses in the royal wedding last year.
Though the store has only been open for about two weeks, Krauss is excited about future possibilities.
"Looking into the future, possibly the near future, we want to sell dresses that can be used for graduation and communion dresses. It's something that we're hoping to focus on. We're trying not to get too ahead of ourselves right now," Krauss said.
Krauss said the response from Darien "has been fantastic."
"When it's your first month open it's anyone's guess as to how you'll do," Krauss said. "But we've had more appointments than we thought we would, we've had more sales than we thought we would. We just feel really fortunate."
A Little Something White will host an open house on Thursday, Oct. 4, from noon to 4 p.m. followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Darien Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m.
For information, call 203-309-5110 or visit www.alittlesomethingwhite.com.