After its initial opening seven years ago
at 422 Bridge St. in Grand Rapids’ west side, bridal boutique Renee Austin Wedding
is making the move to the Creston neighborhood, setting up shop in an expanded retail space in the Beckett Building at 1555 Plainfield Ave. NE.
Purchased a few months ago by Renee Austin Wedding owner Maggie Feil, the Beckett Building’s 3,400-square-foot ground-floor retail space features a larger selection of both bridal and bridesmaid dresses, and includes four fitting rooms, and four bridesmaid rooms. The 1,525-square-foot second floor living unit will be rented out to tenants as a separate living space.
“We’ve had so much growth over the past seven years,” says Feil, who also leases a space on West Fulton for her sister boutique, Renee Austin Prom & Special Occassion. “At the very beginning it was just me and one other girl, and then we needed another part-time employee and then another one and it kept on growing from there to now, where we have eight staff members…We just wanted to find a space that could be our home more long-term.”
Though the building was initially touted as office space when Feil was first introduced, she says she saw a lot of potential despite the low ceilings and clusters of dividing walls.
“When we got in there and started doing demolition and construction, we found windows that were covered up before and moved the ceiling up five additional feet and it all just opened up the space way more,” she says. “It was really exciting because it made the vision we had that much better.”
Now painted in neutral hues of white, grey and gold, she says when the new space opens at the end of this month, it will still have the same boutique feel as the space on Bridge Street, but with an overall more contemporary style.
Feil says although she loved her time on Bridge Street, recent new development along that business corridor has made it a little too crowded for a destination boutique that doesn’t rely so heavily on passing foot traffic.
“That neighborhood is just growing so much — it actually kind of reminds me of Bridge Street like seven years ago, and I love that about it,” she says. “It’s really exciting to be in a space where it seems things are going forwards.”
Renee Austin Wedding will officially close its Bridge Street shop on Oct. 24, using the week in between then and the Saturday, Oct. 29 grand opening to move into its new Plainfield Avenue space.
With appointments already booked for its first official day in the new space, Feil says she’s been in touch with a few neighboring businesses, like Sun Title Agency, which have already made her feel at home on Plainfield Avenue.
“After meeting with them, the neighborhood instantly felt super welcoming, and it really made it feel like this was the right place for us and like it was our home,” she says.
For more information, visit Renee Austin Wedding online or find it here on Facebook
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Maggie Feil/Renee Austin Wedding
Grand Rapids West Side boutique sets trend for bridal, mother-of-bride fashions