Kathy Lipps and her daughters are the faces behind Our Shop Bridal.
Kathy Lipps had only been in the bridal industry for three years before diving head first into being a boutique owner.
“I worked for the previous owner of Our Shop Bridal … I have a relationship with Jesus, and I just kept hearing that I had to ask the old owner to purchase it,” Lipps says. “We never talked about it before, and I asked if she wanted to sell. She was interested, so I said, ‘OK.’ … It just came to me.”
Now, the Hudson, Wisconsin, resident is in her seventh year of owning Our Shop Bridal. Lipps moved the shop to its current location in Woodbury Lakes from Stillwater and says having other bridal shops in the area was a draw. “I see the benefit of people being able to come from all over and hitting us all,” Lipps says.
Lipps adds that the shop prides itself on its inclusivity—from carrying a wide range of sizes to a unique set of dresses and accessories. It’s also happy to recognize itself as a Christian-based bridal boutique, though Lipps says they certainly welcome anyone through the doors and strive to make everyone feel comfortable.
Emma Fry, one of Our Shop Bridal brides, says she enjoyed the “loving and calming environment” so much that she began working at the boutique. Fry and her husband, Tanner, met at Woodbury’s Eagle Brook Church, and she says Our Shop Bridal was the only dress shop she visited. “As someone with a lot of anxiety, I was at peace the second I walked in to look for my dress,” she says, noting that her consultant was kind and respectful of her budget.
“The entire atmosphere allowed me to feel beautiful even though I’ve always been self-conscious in my skin, and my consultant helped make sure I walked away with the dress of my dreams,” Fry says. During her dress shopping experience, she saw a sign looking for new employees. At the time, she was a full-time student studying nursing, and her job in a nursing home was demanding and stressful. However, three months after saying yes to the dress, she found herself with more time and an application in her hands.
“One of my favorite things was getting to meet so many amazing brides and hear their stories while truly embracing and loving them,” says Fry, who is now a full-time nurse at a local hospital. “It is a great honor to be a part of life moments that many people dream of their whole life. But above all, I love how Kathy has based Our Shop on a strong Christian foundation that sees everyone as loved, beautiful and valued no matter who they are.”
“Coming in here, whether a person has the same belief or not, they will feel loved and cared for,” Lipps says. “With everything that’s going on in the world, I want people to come in and not feel the outside stresses … They get to focus on the wedding and celebrating their futures.”
Lipps makes it a personal point to ensure that everyone who steps in the bridal boutique feels special—not just the bride. “What we say is that every person—whether it is mom, bride, a friend—every person is seen and noticed and heard from,” she says. “It’s not just the bride, though we are protecting them and gathering a relationship with them, but we want every person to feel cared for.”
She sees several types of family dynamics in the store, and Lipps understands it all too well, since all of her daughters work with the boutique in some fashion.
Her eldest daughter, Breanna Ellevold, handpainted floral murals and Bible verses on the walls and created an exclusive line of bridal earrings for the shop; Chelsea Peterson, who owns Chelsea Photography, is the boutique’s photographer; Jenna manages the boutique; and the youngest, Isabelle, works at the boutique as a consultant when she’s not at Colorado Christian College studying business.
Lipps says it’s special getting to work with her daughters each day and support their journeys, too.
“I am so proud of my mom’s business and the work she has put into making it a success. To be included in that, even in little ways, is an honor,” Ellevold says. “… God blessed us each with special gifts and talents, and I think it is amazing that we each get to be a part of the shop’s success in our own ways.”
Lipps is thankful for the support she and the boutique have received from the area residents and is happy to share that passion with her customers.
“We want to love people well,” Lipps says. “… We hope to feel like the people who come in have been blessed. If we can make a small difference in their time, that’s where we will be set apart.”
Lipps says the bridal industry is slowly moving toward creating more unique gowns and accessories through including new and exciting textures, and even new colors, too.
“There’s a lot more lace and unique lace, including 3D aspects in the lace,” she says. Lipps also notes that she’s been seeing color come into play, whether in accessories, such as shoes, the veil or the gown itself. “There’s more freedom, so we can do colors, and that’s unique,” she says.
“A bride-to-be now is so unique … Personalities are showing. It’s more about the bride and the groom,” Lipps says. “It’s your day, it’s your vision and it’s our shop.”
Meet the Artist
Lipps’ eldest, Ellevold, is a full-time artist, jewelry designer and the face behind Breanna Ellevold Art. Although she doesn’t have formal training, she says she’s always tapped into her creative side.
“I painted every day, and I created a lot of very bad work,” she says. As her creations improved, she says she began investing in higher quality materials and joined an online community of artists. “I created an Instagram account specifically to share my artwork. The biggest turning point for me was participating in an online course that was geared toward creative entrepreneurs,” she says.
During the brunt of COVID-19, and after having several successful collection launches of original artwork, Ellevold began creating clay earrings. “My first collection was not great,” she says, noting the first pieces were adorned with hand-painted florals. “Now, polymer clay earrings are the focus of my creative business and the perfect creative outlet for me.”
Her pieces are sold online via Shopify, in boutiques all over the United States and have even sold in other countries, too. She’s collaborated with other artists for exclusive collections and notes that these earrings almost always sell out.
“It completely blows my mind that strangers all across the country own earrings that I made with my own hands,” Ellevold says. “It’s crazy and makes my heart so happy.”