We took 5 minutes to get to know Sarah Santosa, owner of Calla Bridal boutique in Seattle, WA. Calla Bridal is a new stockist of KWH are we are excited to show you around her beautiful boutique and some of our gowns that she will be stocking.
Your name? Sarah Santosa
Store name? Calla Bridal
Where is your store located? Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started your store? I was a freelance interior designer, working with contractors on remodels around Seattle, and started part-time at Calla for work that engaged a different part of my creative brain. I guess I just fell in love. It really snuck up on me, but soon I was so enraptured with bridal! I had the opportunity to become the manager and buyer over the next few years, yet was eager to be involved even more. Then the previous owner (the best boss I have ever had) offered to sell the business to me. She believed in me, and she was ready for the next phase of her life. It was a mind-blowing opportunity and, I thought, a little crazy. But my husband, friends and family encouraged me to make the leap and I am so glad I did. Other fun facts: I am married to my high school sweetheart, have a love-hate relationship with my curly hair, and love being “cozy” more than anything.
What does a typical day for you involve? Well, I always start my morning off with kiss goodbye from my husband and a good long snuggle with my two ridiculous kitties. But I bet you mean a typical day at the shop :) Everyday is different! We are appointment only, so we know a little about our brides before they walk through the door, but each day is filled with new love stories and new personalities. I always know I am going to laugh, witness the strength of women, twirl with a veil on my head, and also probably tear up when the bride has her moment.
Why do you love your job? I really do love pretty dresses. But if that was all it was, I would have been done after a month. I love the puzzle solving of finding the right match for a bride. I love seeing a woman feel confident, beautiful and like her true self. I love the art that is fashion. I love being a witness to an incredible cultural touchstone that has been going on for generations and generations.
What are your favourite KWH gowns and why? Beatrice. I brought my mom with me to bridal market (she is the best) and when she and I both saw Beatrice we truly gasped. The detail is incredible and yet from a few steps back, it seems so relaxed. An ancient queen could wear it, a flower child could wear it, an urban fashionista could wear it.
What is it your clients love about a KWH gown and who do you see as the ‘KWH bride’? Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest, loves style and originality but don't love flash. KWH gowns really feel special, have sparkling detail for such a glorious day yet they achieve these things without shouting. I see the KWH bride as someone who wants her gown to be a little daring, but also not take away from who she is. These are double take kind of dresses. You take a closer look and just go “whoah”.
Any great proposal stories from clients you have worked with? One of my brides told me she met her future husband “in the ocean”. She told me of swimming in the warm waters of Hawaii, popping out of the waves, wiping the salt water from her eyes and just seeing him. She just knew that was her husband. She swam over to this stranger and they were engaged 2 weeks later. Pretty sure she was a real life mermaid.
What are your tips or advice for brides searching for their gown? Really be careful with who you bring with you. Dress shopping is most successful, and most poignant when you bring only those who let you truly be yourself, and let you have some quiet moments. It is sort of a ceremony in and of itself, so reflect on what you want that ceremony to really be like, and who will support it.
What is your coffee order? When I’m feeling fancy: peppermint latte. When I just need a warm cup of caffeine: drip with room.
Favourite city? I’m really more of a country mouse, but I am going to say London. My husband and I spent 24 hours of our honeymoon there and had such a whirlwind romance with that city. We really want to go back!
Best way to spend $50? Pizza, a cheap bottle of wine, a good scented candle and some new cat toys for the boys. What can I say, we party hard!
Anything else you would like to share with brides-to-be about your store and what you offer? We are rapidly expanding our sample size range! It is truly our passion to have every bride feel welcomed, at home and beautiful at our store, so we are widening our size range so everyone can try on the best gowns.