Bridal Traditions was founded by Kelly K. Shumate, a Wilkes County native, at just 20 years old. She opened her first store front in April of 2000, and in 2020, we celebrated this milestone with nostalgia and gratitude.
In the beginning, Kelly worked part-time on her vision for Bridal Traditions, while also working a full-time job. She used a portion of each full time paycheck to buy inventory (think prom and wedding gowns to start), and pay for other startup expenses.
After a few years she was able to take her full-time job to part-time, and focus more on the boutique. By 2008 Kelly was operating as Chief of Everything at Bridal Traditions full-time! "I had so much help in those first years from my parents and friends, each of whom put in volunteer hours working along side me, making me laugh, being 'show up people' and helping me build my dream. I am so grateful for everyone of them, because there is no way that I could have done it on my own!"
From those early days right up to today, Kelly has worked hard to find and purchase beautiful gowns, dresses, suits and accessories that are of great quality and still affordable. Everything in Bridal Tradition is brand new, comes from a reputable designer and manufacturer, and has the consumers Kelly serves the most in mind.
Bridal Traditions does not sell used or consignment merchandise, and you will not find multiples of the same dress. Kelly: "I love to offer a variety of styles so our customers can have a dress that fits their singular style and personality. While my staff and I are well aware of trends that seem to overtake the bridal and prom worlds at times, we want each client to feel seen, well served and entirely unique. Our blog has story after story (Bridal Features), as well as entries about the incredible number of choices out there in the types of garments we sell. I'm proud of the effort we put into bringing variety and scope to our boutique."
Since opening the doors, Kelly has helped hundreds of women and girls find “the” dress for their special event. "What I enjoy the absolute most is being able to put a dress on a girl who thinks, 'nothing will look good on me,' and being there when she sees herself as beautiful! That glowing smile is EVERYTHING!"
Kelly also feels that it is very important to give back to the community and the world in which she lives. Every month, a portion of all Bridal Traditions gross profits are donated to local, national, and international charities. Some of these charities include Project GRL, which focuses on the fight against human trafficking of girls and the well-being of all girls, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and local charities in and around North Wilkesboro.