Nicole’s Bridal, located at 111 East State Road in Seneca, is excited to mark 15 years in the bridal business as of January 15. Owner Nicole Snyder, a Cranberry High School graduate, opened the boutique shortly after graduating with a Fashion Merchandising Degree from Kent State University and completing a buying internship with Macy’s in Miami, Florida. Snyder thought the big city life was for her until she realized her roots and family were back home.
The boutique originated and sustained their location on Route 257 in Seneca for eight years until Snyder purchased a larger space, the former Dick’s Dry Cleaning building, in 2013. Nicole attributes much of the company’s success to the local support received from the community over the years.
“When I started the business, I was 22 years old and not much older than high school seniors and younger than many brides,” she said. “The most amazing part of this journey has been making lifelong friends with customers. I’ve watched girls shop for a prom dress, then come back as brides. Now many have families and are bringing kids in for weddings and social events. It has been such a blessing to see these young ladies grow into adulthood and share their special occasions with them.”
Snyder has seen many changes over the past 15 years in the bridal industry. Most recently, internet sales and overseas counterfeits are the biggest adversities in the industry, as well as an increase in Chinese tariffs. Although these are affecting the overall retail climate nationally, Nicole’s Bridal is proud to report a 50.4% increase in wedding gown sales in 2019.
In 2019, the company expanded their wedding gown selection to include the “Curvy Collection” which includes gowns designed specifically for plus size brides.
Snyder expects 2020 to be one of the largest wedding years she has seen. In order to accommodate this upswing, Nicole’s has brought in fresh inventory at affordable prices. Many of the gowns are custom made to the bride’s specifications.
Updates and hours for Nicole’s Bridal can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/NicolesBridalBoutique.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.