Since starting The White Box, we have met the most inspiring, innovative, and unique partners that we are lucky to call friends. One of the reasons we created The White Box was to be able to share a curated list of businesses and brands with our couples to help make their planning a cinch. We hand select vendors and products that not only have a positive impact on couples but are tailored to their budget, needs, and style. We believe in finding like-minded businesses with a similar mission to ours, which at its core is to help couples affordably and easily plan (and to have fun while doing it).
Anomalie is one of those beautiful businesses and we have had so much fun learning about their story and the experience that they provide for brides. They saw a need for a more honest approach to wedding dress shopping and set out to save couples money, promote body inclusivity and to offer customization and value in such an emotional time of a bride’s life. We had a Q+A with their team and couldn’t be more impressed with the quality, experience, knowledge, and mission of their business. So, read on to hear about their story, how Vera Wang and Stitch Fix play a part of Anomalie, and why long sleeves are not going anywhere!!
Image Via Feather and North
What inspired the journey to creating Anomalie?
The idea for Anomalie came from my own frustration with not being able to find a wedding dress that fit my size, style or budget. I had many friends in similar situations and was shocked someone hadn't created a better way for this broken industry.
I'm a mechanical engineer with a background in product development + supply chain management, so I did some research and contacted the top workshops and realized that dresses which sell for thousands at the boutiques cost mere hundreds to make. I brought pictures of dress elements I liked and they created my dream dress without the insane boutique markup. I learned we could scale this magical process. Today, we have an online interface where brides can submit inspiration pictures and work with our incredible stylist team to bring their vision to life
Image Via Meghan Rose Photography
If I were a bride, how would we work together from concept to creation?
The coolest part of working with Anomalie is that you get to watch your dress come to life from the comfort of your home! The first step is to speak with your dedicated stylist about your wedding dress vision. We ask that you upload photos to your Lookbook that showcase design details such as the silhouette, neckline, train length, etc. that you want to include in your dress. You can think of this as your wedding dress Pinterest board, only we'll actually bring your vision to life! On that call, we'll provide you with a price quote for your dress (prices typically range between $1,000-2,000). Next, to ensure we're aligned on your vision, we'll create a custom sketch of the front and back of your dress. You'll receive your fabric swatches in the mail to confirm the color and type of material for your dress. Finally, we ask for you to submit your custom measurements based on your dress design. After these boxes are checked, your dress will be sent into production. and delivered upon completion Once you receive your wedding gown, our post-delivery team will consult with you and refer you to a tailor to make sure you are all set for your big day! Here's a video outlining the process in a bit more detail.
What is the mindset of a bride coming to Anomalie? Are they frustrated with high costs?
I've spoken to thousands of brides in the past year, and nearly every one has a dream vision in their mind but can't find it at the right price given the extremely limited selection (and insane prices) at boutiques.
Brides want a simple process where they can submit photos of their inspiration dress elements, and the vision magically comes together at a fair price. This process is very complicated operationally on the backend, but our goal is to make it efficient and delightful for the bride. Anomalie is comprised of designers from Vera Wang, engineers from Stitch Fix and operations experts from McKinsey to accomplish this.
Are they excited to try something different?
Absolutely! The majority of brides we speak often feel left out from the traditional boutique experience. Brides struggle to find a dress that fits their body, style, and budget. With Anomalie there are no compromises!
How do you help them create dresses that are the most flattering on their bodies?
We've worked with thousands of bride's of all shapes and sizes to create their dream wedding dresses. The best part of the Anomalie experience is that we are 100% body inclusive, having created gowns for brides sized 00 to 32 and up. Our dresses are made to the brides' custom measurements, ensuring a closer fit than if you were to purchase a sample size gown from a boutique and taking the brides' true proportions into consideration. From petite to curvy, we've got you covered for your wedding dress! Don't just take it from us, we worked with plus-size model and body positive activist, Chelsea Miller, who wrote about her experience here. (https://dressanomalie.blog/anomalie-wedding-dresses-are-answer-plus-size-brides/
Do most brides come to you with a specific dress that they want to re-create or a vision of a dress that has never been made?
Anomalie is perfect for bride's who know exactly what they want but can't find it in a traditional boutique. We get a lot of brides posting inspiration photos to their lookbook where they want to pull design elements from multiple gowns to create their one-of-a-kind dream wedding dress. You like the sleeves from one dress? The silhouette from another? The neckline of a third? No problem! We like to think of ourselves as bringing brides' wedding dress Pinterest boards' to life.
What do brides love most about working with your team?
Our stylist team and workshop partners are our true competitive advantages. The empathy and dedication of our team is hard to articulate. Before starting Anomalie, I vetted over 50 wedding dress workshops and chose the two top ones. At Anomalie, your dress is being made using the same fabrics by the same factories as the top luxury brands - except we cut the insane boutique markup!
Do you suggest that brides try on dresses at a boutique before working with you?
Trying on dresses is always an added benefit, but not a requirement. It's important for brides to come to the design consultation with a high level of confidence in what they want in their overall design. There are so many different options when it comes to silhouette, neckline, train length, etc. you want to make sure you are comfortable with the details being incorporated into your dress.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I did this earlier! Working with our brides has been the most challenging, rewarding professional experience of my life.
What is your favorite wedding dress trend right now?
Long sleeves! I loved this trend so much I actually incorporated it into my own dress when I got married last year. After the royal wedding, I don't think it's one trend that is going away anytime soon. The selection for wedding dresses with sleeves in boutiques is extremely limited, so I think this is why we see so many requests for this on Anomalie wedding gowns. You can get so creative with them as well. Here are a few ways we are seeing sleeves being designed on wedding dresses right now!
What are your goals for Anomalie in the future?
Our goal is to be the first great "mass customization" brand. For all the change in retail over the past decade, there hasn't been much innovation in the underlying operations of how clothes are made. By using data and re-organizing how a factory floor is set up, we are working to provide women with more body inclusivity, customization and value in one of the most emotional/important/expensive garment category (wedding dresses). Right now, our focus is solely on making every dress perfect. But our long-term vision is that processes we develop will be transferable to other garments (evening dresses, workwear, etc.)