Our Volunteers

2013 Whimsical Wedding Event

On Sunday, September 30th, The Brides Project participated in Ann Arbor’s Whimsical Occasions Wedding Event Show. Held in Weber’s hotel, many of our volunteers came out to help with pictures, meeting brides-to-be, dress fittings, etc. The show also included vendor tables with offerings such as flowers, catering, and photography. It was a one-stop-shop event for a variety of wedding needs!

The event was hugely successful and a number brides left very happy to have found a perfect dress.  In addition to finding an amazing selection of gowns, one guest told us, “This is a cause that is very important to me.”  We wish all these brides-to-be a wonderful wedding day, and are grateful to have met you.

Below are some pictures of our volunteers hard at work.  Our consultants were available, as always, to walk brides the whole way through finding the dress to finalizing the purchase!

All photos courtesy of bamphoto.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Gloria Lam

Gloria first became aware of The Brides Project from another volunteer, Fiona Nowlin.  Fiona worked for Gloria’s company, Humantech, last summer, and they instantly bonded over their love of music, fashion (J Crew!), and new restaurants. Prior to working at Humantech, Gloria was traveling frequently to Florida for her old job. Now that she is settled in Ann Arbor, Gloria has been searching for a way to become more involved in the community.

 

Thanks to Fiona, Gloria learned about The Brides Project, and has been involved in consulting as well as with the recent fashion show at Briarwood Mall.  While Gloria is blessed not to have had a family member touched by cancer, the mother of one of her best friends unfortunately passed away at only 54 due to breast cancer. To this day, Gloria vividly remembers the night she took her friend’s long-distance phone call and heard her voice break when she shared the tragic news. Due to her experiences, Gloria admires and supports The Brides Project’s initiatives. It encompasses so many people: brides who can donate their dresses for cancer support, brides-to-be who can purchase gowns that might have been out of their financial reach and/or who want their funds to go a great cause, and the people who are able to participate in the thoughtful programs developed and provided by The Cancer Support Community of Ann Arbor.

 

Gloria has spent the majority of her career in reference publishing, including stints as a Macmillan Reference editor, and as a product manager for online newspapers and the National Security Archive. As a word geek, Gloria is looking forward to providing writing and editing support at TBP, and selling gowns to happy brides-to-be!

Meet Your Bloggers: Volunteer Spotlight

Hey! We’re Arielle Weingast and Emily Lisner and we are the newest addition to The Brides Project Team. We are currently sophomores at the University of Michigan.

Arielle, from Tenafly, New Jersey,  is double majoring in Communications and Psychology.  Outside of the classroom, she is a student representative for Rent the Runway (a website that allows students to rent dresses for cheaper) and is on the Public Relations committee for Shei Magazine (the largest student-run Fashion Magazine in the country).

Emily is from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and is also majoring in Communications with a minor in writing.  With a creative passion for writing, Emily is a member of Michigan’s Marketing and Advertising Club and and is the social media representative for Rent the Runway.

Together, we plan on having a featured bride story and community based story every other week.  We also launched a Brides Project Instgram!  Follow it at: @thebridesproject for your viewing pleasure.  We are excited to be a part of the team!

Volunteer Spotlight: Kellie Bambach

It’s hard not to be in awe over the beautiful blue color scheme and gorgeous logo we have for The Brides Project, but have you ever wondered who the genius is behind the design? Wonder no more – this edition of Volunteer Spotlight is all about our web and graphic designer Kellie Bambach!

Kellie was one of the very first volunteers to get The Brides Project up and running. When she got involved with her friend Ashley, then marketing chair, The Brides Project was just an idea on paper. As the need for marketing materials and a “face” to the project was apparent, Kellie was asked to develop the look and feel of The Brides Project – no simple feat! When reflecting on the inspiration for the design, Kellie says, “because the shop has unique, one-of-a-kind dresses, each comes with it’s own personal history. This individuality translated to a personal touch, and from there the hand-drawn dress form out of type was born”.

What inspired Kellie to get involved with The Brides Project during its conceptual phases? She loves working with entrepreneurial clients! Kellie had experience working with non-profit organizations throughout her career and understood the challenges non-profits face trying to find funds or resources to get their message out in a professional, strategic way. We more than appreciate and love her willingness to use her design skills for a good cause!

The Brides Project is a great source of revenue for The Cancer Support Community and there isn’t a person around that hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another. The Brides Project is a great cause and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. – Kellie

Kellie runs her own company (launched in 2010), Sparklefurry, that provides full service branding solutions. What’s the story behind the creative company name? Kellie explains, “Sparklefurry is such a fun, memorable name. If you think of things that are sure to attract attention… it’s sparkles.  It demonstrates what we try to get our clients to do everyday … Attract attention, get noticed!” Of course, Kellie also focuses on providing results for her clients, and she certainly has provided The Brides Project with results oriented designs and strategic thinking in every detail of the marketing materials we use to support our mission. Her work has been so meaningful that she won TWO Addy Awards (see picture at the top) for The Brides Project, as well as People’s Choice and Best of Show. Very well deserved and we are proud and thankful that Kellie is receiving great recognition for all she has done for us!

In true bridal spirit, we asked Kellie if she had any tips for new brides, and she gave us great advice from a design standpoint: “Planning any event can be overwhelming, but particularly your wedding! When planning, think of one element that you are really passionate about (could be a color, the flowers, a location, a cake, a season…) and build a theme around it. Once you’ve chosen your one key component, take your design cues from that. Being involved in The Brides Project, I have become involved in designing wedding invitation suites (save the date, invitations, programs, menus, thank you cards, etc). The invitation is the first real opportunity to set the tone of the upcoming event and it’s a perfect opportunity to be able to put your personal touch into it. The option of having matching programs, menus, thank you cards, etc. is just the icing on the cake. This level of consistency takes a beautiful wedding and makes it an extraordinary event. It’s your wedding day, your dream, and it shouldn’t be like anyone else. Don’t be afraid to make it your own.”

We love Kellie’s thoughtful insight and eye for detail in everything she does. Kellie has been instrumental in bringing life to The Brides Project and we are forever thankful to have her on our team! Thank you, Kellie!

Kellie can be contacted through her website, Sparklefurry.

A Donation Story From One of Our Volunteers!

Love this beautiful dress? You can thank one of our volunteers, Hilary, for donating it to our salon!

Hilary learned about The Bride’s Project from viewing the great logo on our salon door. Soon after, she replied to a request from one of our founding photographer volunteers, Melanie, to help photograph the larger dresses available for sale. Hilary photographed about 7 or 8 of our beautiful dresses and was hooked.

“It all seemed so organic, that these cherished dresses would more than double their value by being donated to support such a crucial cause. And allow brides to wear high end unique bridal gowns for a great savings. Beyond that, I love that the dresses live again, rather than getting stiff in a box in the attic.”

After learning about The Brides Project, and getting to know the better designers, Hilary saw a wonderful 2nd-hand Maggie Soterro Dress, for such a great price, and knew she had to pass it along to the project.

“This dress is so easy to wear, to move in comfortably, and to look like a movie star. I love the rhinestone spaghetti straps, and the flattering line. It feels like a summer dress, with the added grace of really good lace.”

Hilary hopes the bride that wears this dress feels amazing, gorgeous and at ease. We hope so too!

Thank you Hilary, for your wonderful contributions!

You can contact Hilary through her website.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Davies

On Saturday, at our temporary location, Kathy rounded up a couple of beautiful bridal models, Liz and Eva, to help The Brides Project showcase a few of the gorgeous gowns waiting for their perfect bride. Kathy is a Detroit based photographer, who graciously travels to Ann Arbor to volunteer her time with us. She found out about The Brides Project when one of her best friends purchased a dress from us,  “I came with her and everyone was so helpful and amazing.”

Kathy wanted to get involved as a volunteer because she believes in the mission of The Brides Project and the support provided by the Cancer Support Community. She knows first hand how much help additional support can be for the family dealing with cancer. Kathy’s uncle was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, passing away last week; “It makes me even more determined to make people aware of what a great thing The Brides Project is.”

What does Kathy love about volunteering for The Brides Project? “Taking pics of the beautiful dresses of course!” She especially loves being involved because all the dresses are different; “there are some super cool vintage ones that you probably wouldn’t find at any other bridal shop!”

We asked Kathy to tell us her favorite thing about weddings: “I love capturing the moment, when no one is watching. I love bringing out the beauty in everything, and being a part of someone’s special memories. I also LOVE my couples, they are always so amazing, and I have so much fun with them.”

We have a lot of fun with you too, Kathy! The energy Kathy brings into the salon is incredible, and she does a fantastic job of showing off the dresses we have for sale.

Pictured above, Kathy and awesome models Liz and Eva. Thank you Kathy for all you do!

Kathy can be contacted through her website.