When Anne Gonzales, a native of New York, moved to Kentucky, she opened her first boutique in an eight-foot section of a flower shop. Shortly after opening her boutique, she started selling wedding dresses.
Gonzales opened Madison Square Boutique & Bridal eight years ago in Leitchfield and never predicted how well her business would do. The 7,500 square foot store grew so well over the past few years, that she decided to open another store in Owensboro.
Nine months later, she said the new store is already outgrowing its space and it is time to expand. Gonzales will open a larger store later this month and she said she is excited about the new location and all that it has to offer.
“Our Owensboro store is 750 square feet right now,” she said. “Our new location will be 3,500 square feet. I’m looking forward to better visibility with our new location. We will be adding new things to our business as well.”
In addition to the expansion, Gonzales said she has enjoyed quickly becoming more involved in her community. Last year, her business joined the Chamber of Commerce and participated in Shop Owensboro. Gonzales, an advocate for small businesses is also involved with other businesses in the community, offering referrals from one business to another.
“The great thing about Owensboro is it’s a close-knit community, a blended community,” Gonzales said. “We have met great friends here and the schools are fabulous.”
Gonzales quickly found what she loved most about her new town was her neighbors.
One special neighbor became not only her friend but her business partner. Lorrie Nein, who lived just down the road from Gonzales, joined Madison Square Bridal in a connected space through her business, Skin Credible.
Gonzales said the pair hit it off right away, nicknaming Lorrie the brunette Dolly Parton and referring to herself as a New York Diva.
“People love us because we are crazy and fun,” Gonzales said. “I am outspoken and brutally honest; if I don’t like you in a dress I’ll tell you. I want to be honest; if they look fabulous, I will tell them. People like that.”
Gonzales said she is proud to be able to offer two services together in one space. Nein’s SkinCredible services include Botox, permanent makeup, fillers and Polydioxanone (PDO) threads.
“We have had lots of brides in our shop,” she said. “I enjoy meeting people, watching the girls fall in love with the dress. It’s a special moment when a daughter, mom, grandmother, all cry over the dress.”
Gonzales said they are entering into their busiest time of year with bridal season and prom season which is one of the reasons why they need the bigger space.
“We tell people that we don’t just sell dresses; we sell happiness,” Gonzales said.
The new location will be 303 W. 14th St., Suite A-1 at the corner of J.R. Miller and Parrish Avenue.
By Laura Murphy,The Owensboro Times