It didn’t take long after walking into Yorktown boutique Maison Chic Bridal & Special Occasion for Meagan Bell, 24, to say yes to the dress.
The Edna resident had visited the store about a year and a half earlier when helping her stepsister search for her white dress.
When she first saw the store’s lacy, detail-oriented gowns, Bell felt she was in wedding heaven.
“I was just thinking, ‘I’m going to come back here whenever I get engaged,’” Bell said.
When that time came, Bell booked three appointments on the same day. Just minutes after she came in, she knew she would have to cancel with the other shops.
“The dress I got was one they had picked out for me, and it was the first one I tried on – I’d already seen it on Facebook,” said Bell, who recently celebrated her second wedding anniversary.
To better accommodate customers like Bell, Maison Chic, which specializes in bridal and special occasion apparel, has moved to a 7,500-square-foot shop in Cuero. The store will open June 24 and is replacing its Yorktown location, which closed in February.
The store got its start in special occasion wear in 2001. Owner Gina Mueller, who’d wanted to get into the bridal industry since she was in her 20s, expanded Maison Chic with a bridal store in 2011. Not long after its opening, Mueller said she knew she would need a bigger space to accommodate her growing business.
“We just felt like we weren’t giving our brides and our customers the experience we wanted,” Mueller said.
In its new, bigger location, Mueller said Maison Chic will not only better showcase its inventory of 300 wedding dresses but also offer a salon where brides-to-be can have their pictures taken.
Despite Maison Chic’s small size, it has been successful in the Crossroads and competitive with stores in nearby urban markets, Mueller said.
Another bridal shop owner agrees.
Christina Tidwell, who owns Victoria wedding boutique All About The Dress, said wedding business in the Crossroads has grown throughout her 20 years in the industry. She said stores in the area are able to be competitive because of their convenience to local brides and unique offerings.
“Each store has its own culture,” Tidwell said.
Cuero Main Street manager Sandra Osman said she’s excited for the store, which attracts customers from Austin, Houston and Corpus Christi, to bring its wide-ranging customer base.
“What they do for brides and special occasions is very unique,” Osman said.
The boutique will also be a nice addition to the collection of stores, like a flower shop and wedding venue, that call Cuero’s downtown home, Osman said.
“Maybe they can link up and connect to make almost a kind of one-stop-shop for weddings,” Osman said.
Mueller hopes the downtown Cuero location, once the site of a hardware store and bars like Troubadours Dancehall & Saloon and Wild Turkey, will help increase her store’s foot traffic. In Yorktown, she said, the downtown business scene left her wanting more.
“Cuero has already been a destination. There’s at least four boutiques on this one block,” Mueller said. “I should’ve been here all along.”