In the 1920s, “urban set” was flapper slang to describe a new gown. In a modern move that recalls the retail of Church Hill’s heyday, Christine Haines hopes to have her Urban Set Bride open in the storefront at 602 North 29th Street by January.
Urban Set Bride will be a non-traditional bridal boutique focusing on handcrafted bridal gowns from independent designers and affordable yet trendy bridesmaid gowns, building on Haines’ 2 years experience planning weddings in Richmond and Charlottesville. The shop will offer new gowns priced between $500-3,000, vintage wear from Carytown’s Bygones on consignment, and locally sourced accessories. Haines also plans to host DIY craft decor workshops.
“There’s no bridal shop that caters to the typical Richmond girl,” says the poised 27-year-old, describing the available choices as either not affordable or a chain. Her audience wants something different than what Richmond has to offer and “drive to DC or Philly.” She wants them to come to Church Hill instead.
After looking for spaces across the city, Haines was lured to Church Hill in part by the Bon Secours SEED grants for new businesses. Even before winning a grant this year, she was planning on moving to the neighborhood. “I feel immersed in it already,” she says.
While opening a shop has long been her dream, Christine says that her mother’s recent successful fight against cancer has motivated her to get this going. Partnering with her mom in the venture is a big part of the plan, “we’ll be able to spend more time together.”