Valdosta Daily Times

Business

July 13, 2014

Focus On: Cinderella’s Bridal and Formal Wear

One-time family home becomes bridal shop

VALDOSTA — There’s a lot of history at 1400 Melody Lane.

Built in 1954, it served for decades as a family home. Sue Cheney was married there and it’s where she raised her children. When her husband suffered a stroke decades ago, it’s where Cheney opened a salon to support her family.

Her daughter, Barbara Moore, grew up there as a child, spending hot summer afternoons in the backyard pool.

Moore had her wedding at the house just like her mother, and her own kids spent a fair bit of time there as well, visiting their grandparents, enjoying the water.

Eventually, Cheney and her husband moved out of the house and rented it to tenants, but now the family is back, transforming the family home into Cinderella’s Bridal and Formal Wear.

They started remodeling the home and preparing it last year, but Moore, and her daughter, Alicia Yunker, have wanted to open a bridal shop for years.

Although it’s Moore’s first bridal shop, she has years of experience working in weddings, helping to plan, orchestrate and run things on the big day.

Yunker grew up assisting her mom and throughout the years they dreamed of opening a shop one day.

It’s a dream that became a reality a couple of years ago. Attending a wedding expo in Atlanta, they contacted David Tutera about carrying his gowns.

When Moore retired after 35 years with AT&T, she had planned to take a couple of years off before jumping into the bridal business, but decided to go ahead and get the shop going before taking a break.

“I believe that God made this opportunity for us,” said Moore. “I’m a true believer that if God gives you a gift and you don’t use that gift to help others, that you’re not fulfilling one of the callings he gave you.”

They haven’t had a grand opening yet, but before they had even opened the doors, they had customers.

Their first customer walked in while the building was still being remodeled. Undeterred, she found her wedding dress.

“Our goal was that anybody and everybody who needed a wedding gown or formal wear could afford it without taking out a second mortgage,” said Yunker. “So, our gowns start at $350 and go up. We want to take the stress of the money out when brides and customers come in. Don’t worry about the money, we will get you in something you’re happy with that you can afford.”

Which isn’t to say you can’t get a pricey gown at Cinderella’s; it’s just not the main focus.

“We can order as fancy as you want and as expensive as you want,” said Moore.

The shop carries designers such as David Tutera, Sophia Tolli, Da Vinci, Carrafina and Sydney’s Closet, among others.

They pride themselves on having an extensive selection of plus-size dresses.

“A lot of times when you get past a 10 or 12, they just add two inches everywhere. A lot of our lines are geared towards women, so they’re made for proportion.”

They also carry formal wear for pageants and special occasions, dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls, and mothers of the bride, destination wedding wear, tuxedos and formal wear for men, along with jewelry, shoes, boots, gifts and accessories.

Along with clothing, they rent tablecloths, chair covers, bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts and, starting later this year, wedding lingerie.

In the next couple of years, they plan on obtaining their own venue, making their one-stop wedding shop even more so.

There also might be other stores in the future, but for now, they’re focusing on the brides and customers who come to Cinderella.

“Every little girl’s dream is to be Cinderella one day. Now, Cinderella to her might be in a black gown with black hair, the goth look. Cinderella to me might be the white ballgown with all the bling. Whatever makes that bride feel beautiful.”

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