The White Dress Portland: A Small Business Success Story

FROM COFFEE SHOP IDEAS TO REALITY.

This month I’ve been putting some of the finishing touches on one of my favorite projects to date – the White Dress Portland. The White Dress is an amazing small business that has had incredible success with their bridal boutique, which is located in downtown Portland Oregon. I’ve had the pleasure of designing their website, logo, print ads, and more over the last year. The business is owned by a talented couple who were raised in the Pacific Northwest. They moved to California to study product development and merchandising for 10 years before returning to Oregon. With a monumental amount of experience in running national bridal shops, they had decided it was time to open their own. It was around this time that they contacted me to help them design a web presence for the small business that they had been putting together. We met at a coffee shop in Portland where we spoke about what they wanted “The White Dress” to look like. In only a couple days they had decided on a logo and color scheme from a variety I had created and presented to them. The logo we created together can be seen standing beautifully outside their location on Yamhill St. in downtown Portland, and the colors we chose are represented in the decor throughout the building.

Happy new brides associate the White Dress website and its logo with the qualities its owners have worked so hard to instill; elegance, luxury, and an unparalleled experience.

This project means a lot to me because it was the first time I truly realized how the services I provide can influence and help another small business achieve its’ goals. The White Dress was destined for success because of the incredibly intelligent people who dreamt it up and put in the hard work: and every time I see their storefront and the logo on the window I am reminded of the part I played. It wasn’t very long ago that I was meticulously aligning the “W” pixel-by-pixel within that circle (to be sure it wasn’t uneven), and sifting through thousands of colors to find the right shade of gray to go with the pink that we selected for their couch pillows. What I created has become their business’s identity; it is what is seen in national magazines, bridal shows across the country, and on the wall right when you walk in their store. Happy new brides associate the White Dress website and it’s logo with the qualities its owners have worked so hard to instill; elegance, luxury, and an unparalleled experience.

I am deeply honored to have been part of their journey.

CREATING BEAUTIFUL GALLERIES TO SHOWCASE PREMIERE BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNERS

One of the primary purposes of the White Dress’s website is to showcase the variety of breathtaking wedding dresses that they offer. With this in mind, creating galleries for a number of different designers, bridesmaids, and events while keeping it a fun and modern experience was a challenge. The website is full of beautiful images, so making them aesthetic, interactive, and shareable was something that we were keen on doing. The solution was the implementation of fully dynamic “light boxes” to allow users to enlarge and admire the details of the dresses that are available in store, ensuring a pleasant and organized experience.

A growing aspect of the wedding industry has become connecting with social media. Pinterest, in particular, is a central hub for sharing wedding dresses – and I wanted to make sure we were capitalizing on that as well. All of the images on the website are equipped with a quick “pin” button that appears when the user’s pointer hovers over them. Not only does this help to drive more traffic, but it also makes the website relevant and modern in ways that the competition is missing.

FULLY INTEGRATED FACEBOOK EVENTS

As I mentioned before the White Dress is a national award winning bridal boutique. They are constantly traveling around the country attending bridal shows, as well as hosting parties and events. Keeping their customers informed is of the utmost importance. Previously they had struggled with organizing and planning events on their website and Facebook. I wanted to reduce the amount of work that was needed by allowing them to simply add their events on one site and have it update the others. Something that the owners do very well is maintain their Facebook presence, so linking the website there made the most sense. Now, whenever they add a new event on Facebook, it is immediately visible on their website. This feature creates a much more engaging and dynamic website that connects all of their customers from across the web.

Pinterest, in particular, is a central hub for sharing wedding dresses – and I wanted to make sure we were capitalizing on that as well.

VIRTUAL TOUR AND MORE FEATURES THAT SET THIS SMALL BUSINESS APART

As technology and the internet grows we are constantly meeting new and exciting innovations. The White Dress recognized this and with the help of Visiting Media created an amazing virtual tour experience of their showroom. This platform connects potential customers in entirely new and unique ways. With their proprietary system, Visiting Media filmed the White Dress’s building in 360 degrees and made it available to tour on the computer, or a virtual reality device (like the Gear VR). These features were incorporated into the website so that they can be easily seen and experienced. You can view the virtual tour here.

The website also features a “real brides” page where women can submit their wedding pictures to be featured. Alongside these images are a few of the outstanding testimonials that the White Dress has received this past year.

The White Dress has been a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to continuing business with them in the future. By creating a website that captures their core values and the atmosphere of their storefront, I’ve been able to play a critical part in helping this small business achieve success.

David Meents

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