Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Tiffinie Bleu

When Brandy Jones’ sister got married, Jones helped with the planning and went with her sister to a chain bridal store to get the dress.

Her sister found a dress, but something was lacking in the experience surrounding it. Jones knew other brides probably felt the same way.

Brandy Jones views one of the non-traditional wedding dress options at Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

“We didn’t have a bad experience, but we didn’t have a memorable one either,” said Jones, the owner of Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique on Broad Street.

Jones had other career plans, but giving brides that memorable moment surrounded by an inner circle of family and friends when the tears of joy overflow because she found the dress eventually won out.

“I worked at a law firm for almost 20 years. The plan was to go to law school,” she said.

But when the time came for law school, Jones took the money she’d saved for her first semester and opened a bridal boutique instead.

“Friends said, ‘you love wedding dresses. Why don’t you open a bridal shop?’” she said.

 Jones wanted an intimate experience for the bride, and she admits it wasn’t hard to make that happen with the first shop she opened to brides in Mother’s Day weekend in 2015. With only 600 square feet of space, the shop wasn’t big enough for more than one bridal party at a time. She scheduled brides by appointment only, and that was perfect for Jones as she still worked a full-time job.

When choosing a name, she picked another love.

“I love the color Tiffany Blue,” she said.

Tiffany Blue is the light medium, robin blue egg color used by Tiffany and Co.

Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique is located at 1251 Broad St. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

She uses spurts of a similar shade in her shop, and the unique spelling sets it apart from the famed New York jewelry shop.        

Since that initial shop, she’s moved to 1,200 square feet and then to the 5,000 square foot location about three years ago.

Jones said she was drawn to downtown. She didn’t want to be in a shopping center or off the beaten path. She likes downtown’s vibe, and she likes the foot traffic that downtown brings.

 While the business has grown to occupy about 5,000 square feet of space now, she still schedules appointments with no more than two brides at a time in the store. Bridal suites within the space give brides that intimate experience, and she schedules staggered appointments, so brides are in different phases of the dress purchase.

Her offerings have expanded to include mother of the bride and groom options as well as some off-the-rack dresses and accessories. She also carries dresses for brides to wear to the reception. More brides want to dance and move unhindered by a full skirt at their reception. The little white dress is perfect for that.

Jones has several designers she works with, and it takes at least four to six months for the time a dress is ordered until it’s completed. About a year ago, she purchased Sew Co., after its owner moved out of the area. Having her own alterations business is just another way Jones connects with brides. The alterations’ specialist has 35 years of experience.

 “She altered my wedding gown, so I trust her with my life,” she said.

Also, it helps that Jones knows what the bride’s vision is and can work as an intermediary in some cases to ensure that the dress turns out exactly as the bride intended.  

One of the suites at Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

But that’s not the only reason she purchased the business.

“I purchased Sew Co. with the intent of learning aspects of sewing and the construction of dresses. I would love to one day be a designer and make dresses,” she said.

Jones doesn’t see herself as the next Vera Wang, however. She wants to be able to talk to a bride, get her vision for a dress and create what she had in mind for herself — not start her own line of bridal gowns.

She did design a dress several years ago for a bridal expo to give people something to talk about, and it has a special place in her front window because it took hours to create. It’s made from pampas grass which is a theme in her shop. And before you ask, it’s not for sale.

It’s not a practical, she said, but people ask about it or the possibility of her making one once or twice a week.

The design area is one Jones sees as an avenue for future growth. She’s content not to have multiple appointments going on at the same time. She doesn’t aspire to be like the bridal shops featured on reality shows.

“I love being able to connect with brides. I’d rather have quality than quantity,” she said.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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