NEW ULM -The boutiques on Minnesota Street have a new neighbor.
Ashlee Bridal, Prom, & Tux opened its doors a few weeks ago. Owner Valerie Pearson said she is happy to be part of New Ulm's downtown community, citing the number of fellow boutique owners in the shopping area.
The business has started strong, Pearson said, largely due to prom season. New Ulm schools have prom scheduled for April 25. Dresses and tuxes are now located at the front of the store. When prom season is over, Pearson plans to display different boutique items.
Staff photo by Clay Schuldt
Valerie Pearson, owner of Ashlee Bridal, Prom, & Tux , answers the phone in the shop located at 2 N. Minnesota St. in downtown New Ulm.
Staff photos by Clay Schuldt
Bridal gowns are displayed at Ashlee Bridal, Prom, & Tux
Tuxedos are displayed at Ashlee Bridal, Prom, & Tux
"We want to attract a wide range of ages," she said. Ashlee Bridal can sell a variety of items because downtown New Ulm is a known shopping attraction. "It is wonderful because we have this downtown hub of boutiques," said Pearson.
Ashlee Bridal offers top-selling dress designers, such as Casablanca and Maggie Sottero. Pearson explained that currently Maggie Sottero dresses are the most popular, and Ashlee Bridal is the exclusive dealer in the area. Pearson credits the line's success with the confidence the dresses instill, "The girls put it on and it feels good and it looks good," she said.
Pearson keeps up-to-date on the newest trends in bridal gowns. This year gowns feature heavily bead work, and lace patterns are becoming popular.
Pearson also sited a change in bridesmaid dresses, which are more diverse. "Brides choose a color and let their bridesmaids pick out the dress," Pearson explained. The most popular colors are pastels and vintage designs.
Pearson owns and continues to operate another bridal boutique in Mankato, but the selection is different in each store. Many of the same brands are sold at each store, but the individual dresses are unique. "Going to one store is not the same as going to the other," she said.
Pearson loves her location at 2 N. Minnesota St. in the old bank building. She has kept much of the interior to maintain the historic look. "It is a great feeling to enjoy coming to work," she said.
Ashlee Bridal, Prom, & Tux is open Monday through Saturday. Business hours change from season to season, but special appointment can be arranged.