Something more than love is in the air at Everthine Bridal Boutique in Madison.
History and happiness seem to pervade the circa-1780 house. Windows pour light onto the exposed wooden beams, ornamented fireplaces and glass-door cabinets set into the walls. Personal photographs and family heirlooms compliment the displays of jewelry and other accessories.
For owner Chelsea Tyler, opening the shop was a physical, professional and artistic homecoming. And she wants her clients to feel that same warmth and welcome the moment they step onto the white plank floors.
"I knew it wouldn't have the same feeling if I did it in a storefront," she said.
The Branford native, 27, a graduate of the Parsons Fashion Institute, was living "the Manhattan life," working in public relations for French Connection and Yves St. Laurent among others, when she decided to seek "more rewarding" work in Connecticut as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant.
"Working one-on-one with women, making them feel beautiful, it was just so much more fun," she said.
Then her boyfriend — whom she had known since 5th grade and started dating in college — proposed, and she embarked on planning her own wedding and finding a dress. The adventure opened her eyes.
"I was just so disappointed in everything that was around. [Trying on dresses,] I felt like a big cake topper," she said.
She began to see both a need and an opportunity to cater to brides like herself — modern, but with a seriously individualistic, "bohemian" flair. She also realized that opening her own shop would allow her to use her fashion and consulting background on a "grander level." So she got to work, finding a location, stripping the glittered paint off the historic walls at 91 Wall Street and building relationships with the designers she wanted on board.
Everthine opened in October.
"The designers I carry can't be found anywhere else in the state," she said.
Tyler wants shopping at her store to be a meaningful, "intimate experience" that's as unique as her selection, she said. In keeping with her vision, she sees brides by appointment only. She also offers a "Picture Perfect Appointment" package for bride and guests, which includes champagne, catered hors d'oeuvres, a bouquet, a mini-makeover, gown discount offer, wedding design consultation and photographs.
If that sounds more like a party than a shopping excursion, Tyler wants it that way. She said she loves sharing the excitement of her brides.
"I just fell in love with everything bridal. I get butterflies everytime I think about it," she says smiling.