KELOWNA – Ten Fashions Bridal Boutique has been dressing Kelowna’s bridal parties for generations.
After 38 years, owner Rosemarie Gottschlag, her daughter, Gabriele Gottschlag, and their team are now serving daughters and granddaughters of women who bought their own wedding dresses at the establishment.
Ten Fashions supplies attire for the whole wedding except for men, including dresses for bridal parties, mothers, grandmothers, and guests.
Before starting Ten Fashions, Rosemarie received her retail training in Europe, and moved to Canada with a desire to see the country’s natural beauty.
“While I was thinking about coming to Canada, I went to a party and met a friend that I grew up with,” says Rosemarie. “I told him I wanted to emigrate, and he wanted to as well. He ended up becoming my husband, and we ended up in Calgary.”
When Rosemarie first traveled through the Okanagan, she instantly fell in love with Kelowna.
“It had a small town charm that reminded me of Europe, with mountains, the lake, vineyards, and orchards,” she says. “We thought we were in paradise.”
The couple eventually moved to the area and started a retail establishment featuring business attire, clothes for special occasions, casual clothes, jackets, and other apparel.
“We stumbled into the bridal business when a bridal store was closing down, and some people came to me to see if I could help with their wedding needs,” says Rosemarie. “We were able to help them out, and I loved seeing the gratification of the brides.”
Eventually, bridal apparel was the main focus of the business, along with dresses for the wedding party and for graduation events.
“I love working with grads,” she says. “Grads get so excited when they look into the mirror and see how gorgeous they look. It’s such a cool and rare experience for them and for us.”
Since opening the store, a lot has changed. Rosemarie’s daughter, Gabriele, has come on as the store’s manager, they have moved locations several times, and new generations of customers are coming through their doors.
This year, the store moved into their new location at 592, Bernard Avenue.
“We just moved across Bernard Avenue, to the sunny side of the street,” says Rosemarie. “We looked all over Kelowna and ignored this place for a while, but once we met Alex Polacco, the leasing agent at Mission Group, we knew it was perfect.”
Rosemarie is happy to stay in the downtown area, as it’s close to the lake and has many places staff can go to recharge in the midst of a busy work day.
“It was a really quick move, and we just rolled everything across the street,” she says. “It could have been a stressful event, but the whole process was actually quite easy, thanks to amazing staff and help from good friends.”
Out of their new location, Ten Fashions continues to provide wedding and graduation attire for the community. They try to carry products from Canadian designers whenever possible, including Code Vitesse and Frank Lyman attire.
“Code Vitesse is loved by customers and staff alike,” says Gabriele. “The versatility, wrinkle-free fabric, colours/prints, and fit are amazing for all ages. We also love how pieces can be matched for a casual or elegant,dressy look-did we mention Code Vitesse is ideal for travel!
“We also carry the Frank Lyman collection, which is synonymous with gorgeous, ‘top of the line’, fashion, quality and fit! We love it-customers love it. Frank Lyman takes fashion to the next level.”
The team at Ten Fashions serve the needs of customers, helping them find the perfect dress for the occasion, and going above and beyond to ensure the dress shopping process is fun and stress free.
“Tuning into the bride and giving her what she wants is the ultimate service we can give,” says Rosemarie. “We never give false compliments, and always want our customers to leave smiling.”
“You don’t need to spend your inheritance to find a wedding dress,” says Rosemarie. “We can serve everybody, even those with the smallest budget. We make all our customers aware of any additional expenses, and we don’t oversell. It’s just not in anybody’s interest.”