Company: Wedding Belles Boutique
Location: 1205 Tilton Road, The Plaza at Center Point, Northfield
Owners: Tina Conklin, 46, of Galloway Township, and Terry Raphial, 56, of Little Egg Harbor Township
Founded: Conklin and Raphial bought the store in 2005
Sales: Not disclosed
Before brides say “I do,” they often consult with Tina Conklin and Terry Raphial about the “don’ts” of wedding planning.
If there’s one piece of advice that brides-to-be should know, it’s that they don’t have to go to Philadelphia or New York to buy the latest in designer gowns or accessories, Conklin said.
“We have the same designers as in New York or Philly,” said Conklin, who co-owns the Wedding Belles Boutique with Raphial.
Wedding Belles, which outgrew its old shop in Linwood, held a grand- opening celebration June 23 at its new location at The Plaza at Center Point in Northfield. The new store features twice as much space as the old shop and a selection of bridal gowns priced from $500 to $2,800. It is also stocked with evening gowns, cocktail dresses, suits and jewelry.
“We’re very happy that we’re in a new location,” Conklin said. “We moved because we had a lot of good business. We are lucky that we have loyal customers.”
Conklin and Raphial also specialize in wedding planning. Together, they have nearly 20 years of experience in the bridal business. Their store slogan, “The Difference is in the Details,” reflects not only the designer gowns they carry, but also the attention they give to customers, Conklin stated.
“I think what we really pride ourselves on is making people feel special and giving them individual attention,” she said. “We try to create a nice, comfortable environment for them — a warm, friendly atmosphere. We don’t try to pressure them.”
With the new store comes new inventory. Conklin and Raphial make buying trips to New York and California to bring back the latest fashions to their shop, including gowns by up-and-coming designers.
“For us, we love making people feel beautiful on their most special day,” Conklin said. “We like making people feel happy. That’s what it’s all about. We want to make brides feel beautiful and like a princess.”