STYLING: Natasha Duff-Cole from Ladies of Lineage

In 2010, Natasha Duff-Cole was so engrossed in her new business, an online platform for buying and selling designer wedding dresses, that she forgot to look for her own wedding dress. Four months before her wedding in April, she visited her future in-laws in London. “I was greeted by my future mother-in-law,” she says, “who reminded me that if I didn’t buy a dress soon, I would wear a dress from my closet at the end of the aisle.”

She landed in a small boutique 30 miles southeast of London in Royal Tunbridge Wells called The Pantiles Bride, where she had the entire showroom to herself. When she found her dress, she stood admiring it in a mirror lit by large picture windows which overlooked the street. Passers-by smiled and gave him a thumbs up.

She hurriedly ordered the dress from Spain, but the company wouldn’t ship to the United States. A month before her wedding, Duff-Cole’s stepfather flew from London to Charlotte with the dress in his lap. She had it custom-made and ready to wear with less than two weeks before the big day.

Duff-Cole, now 37, says this little bridal boutique has inspired line ladiesthe Charlotte-based boutique she grew out of the humble online platform that distracted her from her own wedding 12 years ago.

The idea for the business came from his work for Ardent Associates, a market research firm in Charlotte. She tracked textile sales on online platforms like Craigslist and noticed one item listed time and time again: designer wedding dresses. This realization prompted her to launch her own online platform, Lineage Bridal, in 2009. She still ran it when she married her husband, Grant, in 2011. That same year, she opened her first physical store. of the same brand. name in a 400 square foot space behind Bank of America Stadium.

Two years later, she moved her shop to Dilworth and renamed Ladies of Lineage, then expanded to a second store in Fort Mill in 2018. She added other high-profile designers and sold dresses for up to 4 $000. In September, Duff-Cole moved the Dilworth boutique to Phillips Place in SouthPark, where it offers dresses up to $15,000 from designers like Mira Zwillinger, Eisen Stein and Marchesa Notte.

Courtesy of Lindley Battle Photography

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363a7556Duff-Cole pairs each bride-to-be with a stylist who takes her into the store to choose each dress she tries on. Once a bride decides on her favorite dress (or two), she moves from her suite to a larger mirror in the middle of the boutique where family and friends wait and sip champagne. There, she picks out accessories and basks in her reflection, surrounded by natural light from the store’s windows, in what Duff-Cole calls “yes time.”

Ladies of Lineage never schedules brides to start their dates at the same time, so each bride has her own time in front of the “yes” mirror, just like Duff-Cole did in this little boutique. outside of London.

“Every bride is at a different place in her life, with elements that make her experience of finding and wearing a wedding dress different from each other,” says Duff-Cole. “Her family comes together to celebrate her life with her lifelong partner. This may be the last time a grandparent attends a big family reunion. Maybe the father of the bride is not not there to walk her down the aisle. We are not always aware of the elements of every bride’s day.

But what Ladies of Lineage can do, she says, is make sure the bride gets the time and personal attention she needs to pick out a dress she loves — and not have to rely on a brother-in-law to get her across the ocean on his knees a few weeks before “I do”.

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