SYLACAUGA, Ala. – When owner Kim Windsor decided that she wanted to open a bridal store in Sylacauga after working in Birmingham for four decades, many told her it was a fruitless endeavor.
McClendon Bridals opened in February 2019 with the aim of giving brides-to-be a stress-free environment to pick out wedding gowns for their special day. Instead of limiting their guests to a time-limited visit, Windsor and her daughter Ginger Watkins strive to give the girls interested in their dresses the “VIP treatment.”
“We only take one appointment at a time,” said Windsor. “She’s the only bride in here.”
At first, the bridal shop would see around ten customers a month. In the past three years, even through dealing with the COVID pandemic, that number has “tripled.”
Women from all across the country have come to Sylacauga to work with McClendon Bridals, and Windsor takes pride in the fact that her dresses have been worn in exotic locations.
“Our gowns have been worn on the Amalfi Coast in Italy,” Windsor remarked. Alaska, Hawaii, Paris, Greece, and Central Park in New York City are some of the other destination spots the dresses have visited.
Summer Ernest and Skye Owens work as consultants at McClendon Bridals, and their helpful, personable natures cultivate the experience that Kim and Ginger want the store to deliver.
“We think we have a really special place,” said Windsor. “Sometimes I will stand at the back of the store and think, ‘Wow, how did this happen?’ My biggest wish is that my parents could see it now.”
Kim’s father Joe Duck ran J.M. Duck Jewelers for over half a century and some of Kim’s best memories from childhood come from the family business. McClendon Bridals is named after her father as McClendon was his middle name. As a way of honoring the late Mr. Duck, McClendon also has a selection of jewelry.
The bridal shop is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.