Updated: Nov 16, 2020
The bridal world has been in a state of chaos due to the delay of dresses coming from China. But rather than adding to the uproar from the virus, we feel that we have a solution that will soon go viral – dresses that are made in America!
We are an independent designer who designs and produces our gowns in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania so we’ve been very lucky not to have felt any of the short term effects of the China crisis that a lot of other bridal stores & designers are dealing with. Our flagship store, Soliloquy Bridal Couture in Herndon, VA, (who carries solely our gowns) was asked how the Coronavirus in China was affecting their business... And the truth is, right now, it isn't.
This isn't a ploy for more sales, it's not some insensitive comment about the virus, we aren't trying to take brides from other designers... We're simply stating that right now, it's more important than ever to buy things that are made in America.
While the dresses are all made domestically, some of the fabrics and textiles do come from overseas, so if this continues we could see some delays in production because of not being able to order supplies.
It's saddening to hear from brides who know they won't be getting their gowns in time and are rushing to find something else at the last minute. We've accepted a few rush orders already to try and help these brides still feel beautiful and special on their wedding day - And we are sooo grateful that we have the power to do so!
Our close-knit team of women work day in and day out to make sure that the gowns we produce far surpass the level of quality you see in the gowns that are made overseas. They ensure each detail and stitch meet the highest standard of production quality. We love knowing who's hands have made these gowns and the creativity and hard work that goes into each one.
We're especially proud of the way we do things right now because the most important part of this business for us is helping brides, and we're elated we can continue to do that!
For now, we hope brides will join this viral movement and buy from American-made designers. Your wedding dress is safe with us.
- The Barbara Kavchok Team
When you think of bridal what comes to mind? When you think of a wedding what is the first thing you think of?
T H E D R E S S
The bride's attire for her wedding is what everyone remembers when they think back on that special day.
This little blog of mine is an attempt to give you a bit more insight into my world - beyond the dress. How I come up with new designs, how the dresses are made and our philosophy are all things you'll read about here... Today though, I want to share a concern that I have for the bridal world.
My hope is that when you read this post you will have a greater appreciation for my gowns (and others like them) and their value. I find that value, or lack there of, is becoming more and more of an issue when brides are dress shopping.
There was a time – and I know this because I’ve been in this business for 15+ years - when the average cost of a dress was $3,000! Today that number has been cut in half with averages near the $1,500 mark. How is this possible when inflation has increased the price of most things? The average cost of weddings themselves has increased in those 15 years from $20,000 to $40,000 yet the price we pay for the dress is half as much as it used to be? It's hard to wrap your head around. For comparison, a made-to-order Barbara Kavchok gown starting retail price is around $2,200.
This is a problem for the industry, especially those of us who still manufacture here in the USA using ethical and sustainable techniques. Everything that goes into making a dress here costs at least double what it would if I were to outsource my production overseas. So why do I still make dresses here, in Pennsylvania? Great question!
Sometimes I ask myself this question too, but then I remember all the joy I get from getting my hands on the dresses and overseeing the production and quality control, I take pride in employing a staff of talented seamstresses who are true artists at their craft and who have also become dear friends and family, I enjoy being able to control the fabrics and techniques used in production to maintain a sustainable and ethical product. Seeing my designs come to life right in front of my eyes is reason enough to keep doing what I do because none of these things would be possible if my dresses were made overseas.
Believe me, I like a good bargain myself, but I will also go out of my way to spend more money for locally grown produce, fair trade coffee, glass vs. plastic and on pretty much any female owned and operated business. I know first hand how hard it is for these businesses to continue to operate and still stay true to their philosophy.
"The struggle is real and it's real in the bridal industry."
If we, as a society, have become more socially and environmentally conscious then why hasn’t this trend crossed into the realm of bridal fashion? I think part of the problem is that we are used to buying cheap, disposable clothing for every day wear. We’re all guilty of it. It can be hard to justify paying so much for “something we only wear once”. If only I had a dime for every time I heard this...
Anyway, when I hear that concern from brides I can only think - What is the most important, meaningful thing you will ever wear that you will be seen by tons of people in at an event where you are the center of attention and photographed in for future generations to see???
How much is that worth to you?