Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New years dreams + MoniRose gowns. perfection.

Like everyone else in.the.world, I have been thinking about my goals and aspirations for 2012. I don't have an overwhelming amount, just a hand full. Some of them seem out of reach, but I know you can't ever aim too high.
So, I pen them out and seal them close to my heart whispering them only to Robby in the night. I adore the promise of having a dream, just waiting to be fulfilled. It has so much expectancy to it. So much hope. There is just nothing like it.
One of the things that I desire to start doing on this here little blog, is to highlight vendors.
Vendors I believe in.
Vendors that have passion.
Vendors that are boutiques in nature and style.
...Vendors, well, I guess, like me. :) We always hear of the recognized vendors, but not as much about the smaller shops...many of them that work from home, and are pursuing their dreams one step at a time. I have absolutely nothing against the bigger buisness'-in fact, I give them a high five! But once a month, I want to bring attention to the small business owners. Maybe they are new to the industry, or maybe not as known in our circle.
With all that said {in maybe too many words necessary}, I want to introduce to you my first of 12 selected vendors: MoniRose!! MoniRose is located in Madison, WI and creates custom gowns for brides. I discovered her last year, and she provided me with a BEAUTIFUL wedding gown for an inspiration shoot I did with Ms. Emily Steffen {more on that in the next few weeks!}. Her work is quality, and her heart and love-super sweet.
And for those girls thinking Madison is too far away....it's not! Trust me. It's worth the short drive!
Enjoy this little {not so little, super informative} interview! :)


Give a brief description on your services.
Through my label monirose I create bespoke, or custom, wedding gowns. My design service allows a bride to have a hand in creating a one-of-a-kind gown to wear on her wedding day.  A monirose gown is unique in that is handcrafted, from sketch to bustle, by me, using professional techniques and quality materials and trimmings.  

Give your vision for this business.
Unique and joyfully handmade.  I want to provide each of my brides with an exceptionally crafted gown that is made to fit her uniquely and that makes her feel truly radiant, with a couture service experience without the designer price tag.
I am also introducing more organic and sustainable materials into my gowns whenever possible - because the impact of even one gown is great! Additionally, I donate a portion from each wedding gown sale to the Elizabeth House and St. Vincent de Paul Society of Madison.

How long have you been designing?
I grew up in a large family with a mom who was always creating something; sewn, painted, or woven, when she wasn’t canning or baking!  I didn’t start sewing “for myself” until college, when I grew frustrated with ill fitting and cheaply made garments in retail stores. As I was also student-poor, I picked up a sewing machine to craft a cocktail dress for a big event and sewing became a steady love affair!  For my own wedding (2007), after falling in love with a couture wedding dress at a local boutique -obviously out of my budget- I could not say yes to a cheaper dress. Thus, I undertook to create a gown that I saw in my mind’s eye but could not find in a store. Ever since, I have been helping other brides adorn themselves in bespoke gowns.
What is the process in designing a customized wedding dress?
It usually starts with a -somewhat nervous and eager- bride contacting me with her initial ideas. I adore when a bride comes to me with a whole inspiration board of pictures, silhouettes, or moods/themes regarding her wedding and dream dress - whether simple or elaborate. Through conversation, we distill these ideas into a cohesive vision and sketch. I suggest and search down the perfect fabrics, lace, and trimmings from a variety of local and online sources.  Often it is helpful for brides to have tried on gowns in a shop so she can get a feel for the styles of gowns she likes and look best on her.
Next, I create a cotton toile (or ‘muslin’) of the gown for fitting purposes. This allows us not only to perfect the fit on her body, but also the lines and details of the design. It is her first chance to see how the sketch translates toward a real gown.  
Once we’ve tweaked the toile, it is used as the pattern and I begin creating the actual gown from the fabrics we’ve chosen. Usually, there are one or several fittings as the gown comes together. In the final fitting(s), I make sure that everything fits perfectly and execute the finishing touches, such as bustle and veil.

Talk to me about prices.
Custom gowns can be surprisingly affordable!  I know that many brides struggle to match budget with the dream gown, and I want to eliminate that stress (girls, I was there myself once!!)  I am happy to work with a wide range of budgets: for most of my brides, their investment is between $400 to $2000.  
Beyond the price tag, the value of a bespoke gown is not only what you pay, but also what was put into it.  There is something exceptionally beautiful and intimate about owning and adorning yourself in a garment that was made uniquely for your wedding day!  A monirose bride walks down the aisle in a gown that reflects and celebrates her uniquely.
Additionally, having a gown tailors to you specifically, eliminates any secondary alteration costs to fit or modify the gown (an often hidden cost of ‘off the rack’ dresses).  The quality of both labor and materials is never compromised, and I work with mostly natural materials, such as silk and cotton.  For brides with limited budgets, I am happy to suggest options in styling as well as materials and trimmings (but never polyester satin :P) in order to make a custom gown possible.

What is the average length of time it takes to complete a wedding dress?
The length of time it takes to complete a custom gown varies! I have created gowns in as little as a couple of weeks, however, most clients work with me over the course of 4-8 months.
As I am limited in the number of completely bespoke pieces I can create at a given time, I encourage brides to contact me sooner than later to begin the creation process.

Can you make bridal party wear as well?
Absolutely! I adore working with brides to provide their bridesmaids and flower girls with special, custom frocks! Bridesmaid dresses can range from $120-300; flower girl dresses range from $50-150.00 (approximately).  I have also made other special occasion dresses, and have a special place in my heart for ANY little girls dress or baptism gown.

My name is Monica Rose Freng and I would LOVE it if you dropped me a line or let me take you out for coffee!

Website:  www.monirose.com
Email:  monica.freng@gmail.com
Tweet:  @monifreng
let’s be friends: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monirose-Bespoke-Gowns/170627526283461

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