The owner, Lori, and her staff are disorganized, unprofessional, and dishonest. When you notice one of their many mistakes, they won't acknowledge it, and if you persist, they'll be entirely unapologetic, because it's never their fault. When something really bad happens, she?ll either lie or tell you that nothing like this has happened to her in 25 years in the industry-but after two or three of these happen to you, that one wears pretty thin.
The first problem was the deposit. When I bought my dress at the end of December, Lori said that while they needed a deposit to order it, I could put down whatever amount I'd like. The contract stipulated 20%, and I put down 25%--so you can imagine my surprise when I called the store to submit another payment, and she said the dress needed to be ordered in the next few days and they couldn't do so without 50% down. Great--that put delivery at one month before my wedding.
Once the ship date came and went, I flew across the country for my first fitting. I called the week prior to leaving to ensure that the gown was still on schedule, and was told that it had already arrived in the store; however, when I arrived on July 6th for my fitting, the dress they had was certainly not mine. If she actually ordered the right one (not convinced), and someone had bothered to open the box, they'd have noticed the big white tag on the dress that quite clearly displayed the wrong style number and color. While her salesgirls scurried around whispering to each other, Lori stayed upstairs in her office for a good fifteen minutes. You'd expect that when someone has just presented a bride from 2000 miles away, a month from her wedding, with the wrong dress, that she'd apologize--and you'd be wrong.
The ?correct? dress, rushed from the factory, didn?t arrive until after I?d left town, meaning that I didn?t even see it until the week of my wedding, and surprise! It was wrong again. The gown I actually ordered had plain lace?no beads, no sequins; the one in her store, not so much. When I told Lori that the gown was once again wrong, she was incredibly condescending, insisting that the company (the same one she blamed for sending the wrong dress three weeks earlier) didn?t make these kinds of mistakes. It was only after I sent pictures of me in the sample dress that she even acknowledged the problem, and she continued to be resistant to my demand that either all of the beading and sequins be removed at no cost to me, or I'd take the dress home and remove them myself.
I spent all day August 4th either being put on hold by the ?customer service? reps at Jim Hjelm, or getting an earful of excuses from Lori. By the afternoon I?d decided to take the gown to another (truly wonderful) bridal shop for alterations. When I picked it up, Lori said that the hem and the side seams were done; she NEVER told me that the beading had been removed, and with good reason--whoever removed it completely destroyed the lace, leaving holes big enough to put a finger through. The seamstress also cleverly covered up one of the holes by lowering and stitching the ribbon belt over it. In the end, I had to have the designer overnight new lace, because none of the existing lace could be salvaged; the belt, which gapped a half-inch around the zipper, was so badly stitched that it had to be replaced with new ribbon as well.
The only thing that saved me was taking the dress from her store--and in the end, it still wasn?t perfect, because there was just no time after fixing all the damage.
You deserve a shop that cares as much about your dress as you do, and this isn't it.