Brides choose alterations at Ellen & Company for their impeccable service, years of experience and an incredible eye for detail
When we interviewed past brides about Ellen Shute, owner of Ellen & Company in St.Mary’s, an alterations house specializing in bridal and formal wear alterations, we couldn’t believe the response. From feedback like, “I was so impressed, I now have her alter all of my dresses” to, “Ellen is the ONLY person I trust with my alterations,” it was quickly clear that this fashion-loving alterations specialist plays a crucial role in many happy wedding days.
For clients, it’s Ellen’s exceptional attention to detail, years of experience and a deep passion (and great eye) for making sure you look fabulous that keeps them coming back long after the honeymoon.
If you’re looking for a alterations house you can trust, it’s definitely worth the short drive to St. Mary’s. Let us tell you more about this wonderful alterations expert…
For Ellen, a passion for custom sewing dates back to high school. And so, after taking some sound advice from her mom to, “do what you love,” she finished high school and quickly enrolled in the Fashion Design and Merchandising program at Fanshawe College (she later became a course instructor, teaching portions of the program like construction and manufacturing of clothing).
Ellen went on to work for several prestigious companies like Sunburst Sportswear Inc. and Kayser Roth Intimate Apparel Inc., working on design, pattern drafting and sizing of their intimate apparel lines.
But it was nine years after Ellen had been the alterations specialist at a local gown shop that she was able to realize her dream of owning her own business. When the shop closed, Ellen saw it as an opportunity to venture out on her own. And she hasn’t looked back since. Today, Ellen works out of a home studio and has done so many alterations that she has trouble keeping track, “I’ve lost count… I’ve done many, many, many… hundreds and hundreds!”
Today, Ellen works out of a stylish, bright and clean workroom where brides and their wedding parties can go over the necessary alterations in a relaxed (and gorgeous) setting!
So what keeps Ellen inspired after so many weddings? It’s all about happy brides, “I try to make sure there is a smile on their face and a tear in their eye all at the same time…that’s a happy bride!”
July bride Julie Jordan says that Ellen truly does just that, “She made me feel comfortable with choosing her from the very beginning – I never worried about anything to do with alterations. Standing in front of the mirror, with my perfectly altered wedding dress, knowing it was exactly as I wanted it she turned “a dress” in to “my perfect dress” for my wedding. I was so impressed I actually had her alter a few summer dresses as I knew she would do a great job.”
Lacey Berlett was married on July 7th 2012. She told The Ring, “Ellen had done alterations on bridesmaid dresses for me in the past and her work is so articulate and perfect. She’s such a wonderful woman and she makes you feel comfortable in her presence. She can do just about anything and has so many suggestions for what would work best for that particular item. She wants to make sure she has you fitted perfectly and that you feel good in what you wear. She would never let you walk out without looking your best!”
The Ellen & Company Style
Ellen describes her style as “friendly, discreet, with a sense of humor.” But most importantly, she says the key to her success is her ability to really listen to what her clients want, “We listen to the bride and accommodate her style. When we first meet with the bride] most of our job is to listen to what the bride wants and then offer helpful advice.”
Bride Jaemyn Rowswell-Nguyen had alterations done by Ellen in the past and knew that she was the perfect person to alter her dress for her June 9th, 2012 wedding day. “Ellen knew exactly what needed to be done. Ellen listened to what I wanted done and did exactly that… a sweetheart neckline, additional beading and built in bra. My favourite option was the built in bra. She gave me a few different options for the bustle but in the end, I went with her recommendation.”
Julie Jordan says she recommends Ellen to anyone looking for alterations, “Details matter. Ellen is going to notice every detail, fix every imperfection, do every stitch perfectly. Yes, it is a thirty minute drive outside of London to her place, but trust me, it is worth it and you will not regret it. There will be no wondering about what the cost will be, no wondering when the job will get done… the dress will look perfect. Among all the things to worry about with a wedding, using Ellen will take away a huge worry.”
Custom Creations: from gowns to jewels
On top of alterations, Ellen can also design and create a custom gown; for the bride, bridesmaids, flower girl, mothers, or anything else you might have in mind.
Ellen also offers some beautiful custom-made jewellery that is perfect for brides, maids and mothers! There’s something for every budget and style and it’s a great opportunity to accessorize while you’re having alterations done!
Lindsey Rundle has had two dresses made by Ellen and has had five bridesmaids dresses altered by her, “She is very friendly and customer oriented and her prices are very reasonable considering the time and effort put into her work. She wants to make the bride, bridesmaid or anyone else look great and love how they feel. I’m not married yet but I will be getting my dress altered by Ellen when I do!”
Christina Rapson chose Ellen to alter her dress based on recommendations from other brides in the community. “I really liked how flexible Ellen was for all of my fittings through the entire process. She was able to book fitting appointments based on my work and wedding planning schedule. This wasn’t available to me with other alterations specialists in the community.”
And with Ellen’s background in fashion and her eye on the latest trends, she truly knows what brides are looking for at the moment. For example, right now, brides are choosing dresses with bigger, fuller skirts. Shoulder straps are also coming back- all of which Ellen is happy to add or alter.
Walking you through it
To get in touch with Ellen, send her an e-mail or give her a call. From here, you’ll meet to talk about your alterations and Ellen can give you some ideas for achieving that picture perfect look. You’ll schedule your fittings and, Ellen can give you an approximate cost for your alterations.
Lacey Berlett remembers her first meeting with Ellen, “She welcomes you with open arms, books appointments that work for you, and gives you as much time and undivided attention you need. She couldn’t of made it any easier for me! I will be going to Ellen with any other items I need altered in the future. It’s about a 45 minute drive from my place, so that tells you how good she is!”
If time and distance allows, Ellen is even sometimes able to help put the bride in her dress on her wedding day!
Christina Rapson told The Ring about her experiences with Ellen & Company. “My favourite memory was when my mom and maid of honour came along to get a one-on-one lesson on lacing up my dress. There were a lot of laughs and Ellen made sure they did it 100 percent perfect before we were able to leave. As well as my final fitting!! Everything turned out perfectly.”
Bride Jaemyn Rowswell-Nguyen agrees, “Ellen & Company was recommended to us by more than one person (the shop where I purchased my dress as well as our florist). I was advised that Ellen was the best around and that her prices couldn’t be beat! I told my fiancée I just can’t risk using just any old alteration company for my wedding gown. I paid a lot for the gown and it would be devastating if there was a mishap. Ellen & Company came with high recommendation from two different people and I really feel confident that Ellen is the best person to alter my dress.”
Details, details, details
• The average bride spends $200 to $500 on their alterations.
• There is no deposit required ahead of time.
• Ellen recommends that bridal parties see her three months before the wedding to allow time for alterations.
Contacting Ellen & Company
Ellen Shute at Ellen & Company can be reached directly by email using the form below. 🙂 or by phone at 519-229-6395.
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