Kensington: Little Shop of Dresses Attracts New Customers to Girard Avenue

Grand opening decorations were used to attract new customers.
Grand opening decorations were used to attract new customers.
Grand opening decorations were used to attract new customers.

Little Shop of Dresses, formerly known as Once Wed Again, celebrated its grand opening last weekend with discount deals, hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a flock of new customers.

“­­­It’s an awesome store,” Yuliya Luts, a local resident, said. “It’s beautiful, [there are] lots of stuff here and the owner is a good girl.”

After having the store open since the beginning of February, owner Jennifer Waszak was finally able to welcome her family, friends and local residents on a warm spring day. With gran00d opening signs hanging along the store, people outside took notice and stopped in for the first time. From 12 p.m. until 6 p.m., customers were able to take advantage of the 10 percent off special promotion.

“I think it’s very reasonable priced. I think you get everything in this store for a bride,” Susan Bruzzese, who browsed the store for the first time with a friend, said. “I’m already married, but I wish this store was opened when I was getting married.”

Jennifer Waszak is the owner of Little Shop of Dresses.
Jennifer Waszak is the owner of Little Shop of Dresses.

In addition to wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ attire, Little Shop of Dresses sells jewelry and accessories.  With prices ranging from $10 to $2,000, Little Shop of Dresses makes the store affordable for just about anyone.

“I loved it. They had a lot of cute stuff in there, a lot of like home-made stuff, which I appreciate,” Anne Baranauskas, who bought gifts for her bridesmaids, said. “It’s one of a kind.”

With brands such as Ollin Arm Candy, Escama Studio and Sophia Tolli, the shop, located at 219 W. Girard Ave., includes a unique assortment of hand bags. While some are made out of animal print and color patterns, others are made out of candy wrappers, shells and soda can tabs.

Customers shopped and munched on hors d'oeuvres during the grand opening event.
Customers shopped and munched on hors d’oeuvres during the grand opening event on April 13.

“Every company I deal with is a U.S. wholesaler,” Waszak, 37, said. “I do work a lot with different recycled products. We do a whole eco-friendly recycled concept as well with some of my fashion accessories.”

Even though it took nearly three years to be up and running, the wedding boutique has been a dream for the owner for a long time. The only part missing was the perfect location in Philadelphia.

“I really wasn’t sure where I wanted to be, location-wise…but I liked Northern Liberties a lot- the diversity of it, the gentrification. I wanted to be a part of that for Girard Avenue and I knew that concept wasn’t anywhere in that immediate area from Fishtown to Port Richmond to Kensington,” Waszak, who is in the process of earning a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from Temple, said.

First time customers took advantage of the 10 percent off discount.
First time customers took advantage of the 10 percent discount.

The grand opening will not be the last time new customers are able to receive a discount. The wedding shop will also be offering the 10 percent discount as part of first Friday activities in South Kensington. Furthermore, first time customers can receive 10 percent off their purchase as stated on the website.

Little Shop of Dresses will be participating in the Philadelphia Bridal Expo on April 28 at the Philadelphia Convention Center and the annual Trenton Avenue Arts Festival on May 18.

“We want to showcase some of our hand-crafted items from some of the local artists that we work with,” Waszak said about her interest in becoming a vendor. “We just want to be involved with some of the local community events as well to support the neighborhood.”

Little Shop of Dresses is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, as well as by appointment.  For information about special deals and events, click here to visit Little Shop of Dresses’ website.