Although she had been looking into several other business opportunities in the Bismarck area, Bridal N’ More seemed to fall into place. After contacting the agents, Jody was able to meet with the current boutique owner. As it turns out, they were both looking for the same thing. The current owner, whose daughters had passed up the opportunity to take over the business, was looking for someone who was in it for the long-term and was willing to take the business further.
“She wanted someone who really had their heart invested in it too because it was a labor of love for her to get the business going…she wanted someone who could take it, do it, and go on with it. That’s exactly who I was.”
In 2009, Jody purchased Bridal N’ More. Along with merchandise ranging from bridal gowns, tuxedos, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, suits, shoes, and accessories, Bridal N’ More also offers custom alterations. Throughout these past eight years, Jody has worked hard to accomplish her goal of changing the way people feel and think about bridal stores in the Bismarck area. When she realized that her current shop did not offer room for growth and was not suitable for long-term operations, Jody started looking for a new place to relocate her shop. With her only setback being finances, Jody decided to seek help from her bank and was introduced to the SBA 504 loan program.
“When I saw the need to relocate I went to my bank and they suggested an SBA loan to help me out. Buying a building is a significant expense and it was nice to be able to go in, get qualified, and have some help out with that.
Jody worked in collaboration with the Kirkwood Bank & Trust and Dakota CDC in order to utilize this 504 loan program. She said it was because of the bank, Dakota CDC, and the SBA’s desire to invest in her and her business that she was able to get the help she needed to successfully relocate. “It was really seamless. The SBA gave us the information and the bank filled out all of it. Dakota CDC was really helpful and supportive,” expressed Jody.
This relocation has brought about many additional opportunities for Bridal N’ More. Since rent downtown had really skyrocketed with the oil boom, having her own space allowed Jody to keep the price down. To correlate with Jody’s desire to combine small town hospitality with a big city style shop, the expansion at her new location also allowed her to build private bridal rooms that offer a special atmosphere for the bride and her guests. The space has added a sense of freedom and privacy they didn’t have before. “In our old store, everyone was on top of each other. If you had ten people in there, it felt like 100. Now, if you have ten people in here, you might not even think there is one person”