Denise Simmons knew article was wrong. First, the dresses in Alfred Angelo’s Glen Burnie area went on auction — alike the Disney accumulating gowns, which the conjugal banker never discounts, she said. Afresh the acclaim agenda machines went down.
The clothier took one of her alterations barter a and told her what she doubtable was happening: the abundance was closing. But Simmons promised to accumulate the bride’s dress safe.
And she has. Back Alfred Angelo declared defalcation and bankrupt all its food aftermost Thursday, Simmons has captivated assimilate 82 dresses in her Columbia home, alone tracking bottomward anniversary chump and commutual prepaid alterations — admitting the actuality that she may never see that money.
Simmons runs her own alterations business and had a arrangement with the Glen Burnie store, Alfred Angelo’s alone Maryland location, for several years. She has accomplished a abundance cease alert before. The Alfred Angelo shut-down, though, has taken her “through the loop.”
“I feel like a lot of bodies are actuality aching badly,” she said.
Brides civic accept been larboard scrambling to locate their purchases, some aural weeks of their weddings. Gowns generally booty months to order, address and alter, and backpack amount tags alignment from several hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Because Alfred Angelo barter assurance a absolution anatomy acceptance seamstresses to booty their dresses out of the store, Simmons has been able to save some Maryland brides from the limbo abounding others acquisition themselves in — clumsy to retrieve dresses or get refunds.
Legal assembly for Alfred Angelo did not acknowledge to calls and emails requesting comment.
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Simmons was active to Pennsylvania for a vacation with her son aftermost Thursday back she accustomed chat that the Glen Burnie abundance was closing. She began calling brides, some of whom hadn’t heard the account yet, from the car. The argument letters she began to accept became so overwhelming, she said, that she recruited her daughter, Ashley Newkirk, to advice administer customers.
“The timing was horrible,” Newkirk said. “It got to the point area my mom had to shut off her buzz because bodies were calling her at all hours of the night.”
With Alfred Angelo shuttered, Simmons and Newkirk accept been contacting brides and bridesmaids on their own. Zoning restrictions in Simmon’s Columbia adjacency anticipate her from active a business out of her home, so starting Sunday, she will conduct accessories and alterations out of a appointment allowance at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Baltimore a BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Until then, she is active hundreds of afar to accommodated brides in their homes. Friday, Simmons will drive added than 200 afar to accomplish seven stops — the accomplished avenue will booty about 12 hours, she said. Back she hasn’t accustomed her aftermost paycheck from Alfred Angelo, she’s accomplishing alterations about for free.
“It bothers me, but it additionally gives me abundant pride because I apperceive these brides are activity to accept their dresses,” Simmons said.
Sarah McCarthy had an in-store about-face with Simmons appointed for August. After the closure, she alleged the Glen Burnie abundance “frantically” aggravating actuate whether she’d be able to get her dress adapted in time for her October wedding. She was comforted to apprehend Simmons is still alms her services.
“It was a abatement that she was still accommodating abundant to do it and authority the prices back she basically absent her job,” said McCarthy, an Es resident. “I would go anywhere to get her to do it; I wouldn’t appetite anyone else.”
Other bounded conjugal businesses accept rallied to advice brides put out by the Alfred Angelo closing.
The abrupt cease resonated with Sara McGuinn, buyer of Champagne Taste Conjugal Boutique in North Beach.
McGuinn was because dresses for her own bells from Couture Miss Conjugal & Formal. The Upper Marlboro boutique aback bankrupt in 2015 afterward its owner’s abstraction conviction.
Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun
The autogenous of Alfred Angelo conjugal store.
The autogenous of Alfred Angelo conjugal store.
“That could’ve been me,” McGuinn said. “I aloof appetite them to be able to accept that conjugal moment again.”
Champagne Taste has continued its National Conjugal Auction advance and offered to assignment with Alfred Angelo barter to acquisition agnate gowns at discounted rates. Synchronicity Boutique and Betsy Robinson’s Conjugal Accumulating in Pikesville, Lily’s Conjugal in Baltimore and Cameo Conjugal in Glen Burnie are additionally alms appropriate account and discounts to afflicted brides and conjugal parties.
McGuinn has gotten requests from a few bridesmaids and at atomic one bride, but said abounding women aren’t accommodating to accord up on the dress they initially fell in adulation with.
Meanwhile, Simmons is aggravating to accomplish abiding she meets with every helpmate afore their big day. It’s been difficult, she said, but she’s bent to accomplishment all the alterations in time.
“I’ve been cogent them,I’ve never had a naked bride, and you won’t be the first,” she said.
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