When Sherri Mosher first stepped into Madeleine's Bridal Boutique, she bought her own wedding dress. Then as a local wedding coordinator, Mosher always referred her clients to the boutique. So when the previous owner decided to move on and offered her the chance to buy the boutique, she jumped at it.
What's the nature of your business?
We can help outfit your entire wedding party, and we carry several designers. You've got your wedding gowns, you've got your bridesmaids, we can do social occasion dresses, flower girls, all the accessories. Now that we've added Madeleine's Mens, we can really take care of everything.
What's the history of your business?
The original owners named the store after their daughter, Madeleine. They sold the store to Jack Hurley, and his mom was named Madeleine, so he kept the name. In 2004, when the owner was thinking of selling or closing it, I bought the store.
Why did you decide to keep the name?
Madeleine's is a household name; it's always been a bridal store in this town. And Madeleine's Bridal Boutique sounds a heck of a lot better than Sherri's Bridal Boutique.
What are your biggest rewards?
The feedback we get from our girls of the experience that they have at Madeleine's. We pride ourselves on really making the bride feel special. When we get thank you cards with the pictures of their wedding — that is what's rewarding to all of us.
What are your biggest challenges?
The Internet and our competition. With the economy the way it is, people are always looking for a bargain so they're doing a lot of shopping around. Most girls still want that one-on-one interaction and don't want to buy their wedding dress online. Bridesmaids don't really care. They want to save a buck, so they will shop more online. But some of the times, you're not guaranteed you're going to get the dress that you're asking for.
What is your philosophy on customer service?
When they walk in that door, they need to be greeted. If you're coming in because you have an appointment with me, that bride is the most important thing. We just want them to have a fun experience.
How does your staff handle working with brides, who may be emotional at times?
We have to be on our game when we come in that door because you will get all kinds of personalities. Sometimes we're that little counselor that's listening to them and then we give them advice.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
That boutique feel that you have when you walk in. What sets us apart is our customer service and the honesty with the people. I don't think people are always honest. Most of the time, they just want to make a sale. For us, it's more than a sale.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6659, email@example.com or @DianaT_Aguilera on Twitter.