Ruby Bridal Boutique opens at historic building in New Milford
NEW MILFORD — Weddings are often elaborate affairs with hundreds of people attending, but the focus is always on one person: the bride.
Allison Eng, the owner of Ruby Bridal Boutique in New Milford, keeps that focus in mind when it comes to running her business.
“Other shops do proms, mother of the bride, bridal parties … you walk in and there’s an explosion of things to see,” Eng said. “I like the idea of focusing only on the bride. It’s all about the bride here.”
Eng, 31, opened Ruby Bridal Boutique at 5 Booth House Lane late last year after working for a wedding catering business on weekends. The New Milford native has a small-business management degree from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.
“I was in a lot of weddings as there was a spurt of my friends getting married,” Eng said. “I didn’t think the boutiques around here were as personal as they could have been. If you’re spending $10,000 on a wedding dress, you get Champagne and other special treatment. I think all brides deserve that no matter what they are spending. I saw a void to fill.”
Eng sells dresses from a handful of designers and her prices typically range from about $1,000 to $6,000. She also sells handbags, shoes, hair accessories and veils, which she makes with the help of her mother and grandfather, who is 93. They recently sewed a custom-made, 20-foot veil.
Eng has about 70 dresses in stock from designers Sophia Tolli, Olia Zavozina, Barbara Kavchok, Love Found True and Lillian West. Olia Zavozina and Barbara Kavchok are American designers and the dresses are made in the U.S.
“Brides come here and we open the Champagne or prosecco and they can look at the dresses,” Eng said. “They and their friends or mother can relax on the couch and the changing room is right here. It’s a nice bonding experience for the girls and their moms.”
Eng said some recent trends in the bridal dress industry include sleeves, lace, the off-the-shoulder look and dresses with a separate skirt so brides can be more comfortable and have a different look at the reception.
Ruby Bridal Boutique is located in The Manor, a historical home built in 1812 in downtown New Milford. Through much “sweat and tears,” property owner Joe Mammano renovated and converted the building for office or retail use.
“It’s a perfect fit for that space. It speaks to the elegance of the property in a lot of ways,” Mammano said. “I was happy to wait to get the right tenants.”
The Manor had about 1,800 square feet on each of two levels. Ruby Bridal Boutique occupies the first level and the second floor is vacant. Eng hopes to expand her shop to the second floor and have more dresses in stock in the future.
“I hope she does because I want her to do well,” Mammano said.
Eng said working with the Small Business Administration was instrumental in getting Ruby Bridal Boutique off the ground. In turn, she likes to help other small businesses in the area by giving referrals. She uses The Fitting Solution of New Milford for alterations.
“My grandparents moved here from Hong Kong in the 1950s and opened a dry-cleaning business,” Eng said. “Small business runs in our blood. My grandfather is very proud of me.”
Eng named her boutique after her favorite gem stone, which is also the birthstone of her mother and grandmother.
“I wanted to honor the two strong women who shaped me,” she said.
To reach Ruby Bridal Boutique, call 860-717-4040.