By Emily G. Peters
Getting engaged is arguably one of the most exciting milestones—until the planning starts. At Saint-Clark Bridal Suite, owner Lisa Saint-Clark keeps bridal stress at bay with deep expertise, high-touch service and a touch of romance.
Saint-Clark Bridal Suite is a fresh addition to Old Town Monrovia, brought to life in 2016 by co-founders Clark and former business partner Paulette Carlé. Now operated by Clark and her husband (with a name change from Saint-Carlé to Saint-Clark), the boutique is truly a realization of Clark’s lifelong dream of entrepreneurship.
“For 23 years I worked for two different bridal gown designers. I always wanted to open my own business, but being a single mother, I never in a million years thought it would be possible,” said Clark. “One day last January, I was approached and told that it was my last chance to jump on board. I was told, ‘you only live once, and you have to follow your dreams.’ By the end of the week, a partnership was established and Saint-Clark Bridal Suite was born.”
Clark’s years of industry knowledge came in handy. She’s seen the demise of enough businesses to know what distinguishes an average boutique from an extraordinary one.
“What sets Saint-Clark Bridal Suite apart is that we are private label, meaning that we do not carry national brands,” explained Clark, who hand-curates selections that are exclusive to Saint-Clark. Her gowns, which are customizable for all ages, shapes and sizes, are also reasonably priced—nothing in the shop is currently over $3,000. The environment is also critical to a positive experience; no bad lighting, no pushy salespeople.
“At Saint-Clark Bridal, brides get to enjoy an intimate experience with their entourage,” said Clark, who loves walk-ins, but recommends appointments for the complete experience. Private appointments, complete with light snacks, gives a bride and her crew the whole place to themselves. The appointment fee even goes towards the gown purchase price.
Over the years, Clark has developed a keen sensitivity to wedding stressors. When a big box bridal chain recently declared bankruptcy, the suite stepped in to help those who lost their gowns.
“I did not carry or represent that line, but offered any bride with a valid receipt 50% off their gown,” said Clark, whose generosity was recognized by the local chamber of commerce. She considered it a sign of goodwill towards her brides, many of whom still keep in touch.
“Most of my brides have my personal cell number,” she said. “I go into the supermarkets and run into my brides and they are so excited to come up and give me a hug.”
With her one-year anniversary around the corner, Clark has some celebratory plans up her sleeve, including a secret gown giveaway to her 100th bride (they won’t know they’re the lucky winner until after they’ve selected their gown). Yet a purchase isn’t required to receive the high-touch service Saint-Clark has become known for.
“I genuinely love my brides,” said Clark, praising Monrovians for their support of local businesses. “They become part of my family. Even when a bride doesn’t buy a dress, they still leave with a great experience.”
Saint-Clark Bridal Suite is located at 519 S. Myrtle Avenue in Old Town Monrovia. Contact Clark at 626.239.2222 | www.saintclarkbridalsuite.com and follow them on Facebook @saintclarkbridal, Instagram @saintclarkbridalsuite and Twitter @saintclarkbride.