10 Questions with Laurel Mungo, CEO of Mon Amie Bridal Salon
1) Give us some background. How did you start Mon Amie and how long ago?
Mon Amie just celebrated 41 years in business. I joined Mon Amie in 1978 working shoulder to shoulder with the founder, Verna Huson. Then took 18 years off to be a stay at home mom. When Verna passed in 2012, I came back to work and purchased it from one of her daughters.
2) Who is your bride?
The Mon Amie bride doesn’t fit into any one mold. We have brides that visit our salon from all over the world. Many times, we have a melting pot of fashion requests, customs, and trends. For the most part, our bride is the classic California girl who just wants to look and feel like the very best version of herself on her big day.
3) How important are designer names to your brides?
Designer names and labels are much less important to our brides today. They are more impressed and focused on the fit and actual design of the gown versus who designed it. Their mothers are still name conscious.
4) Your salon carries a vast selection of plus size bridal gowns. What made you tap into this market?
We were finding that a lot of our day to day brides were having trouble trying on dresses at other salons in the areas. We want brides to be able to step into a gown and feel beautiful no matter what their size. The bridal industry has a little bit of a skewed sizing system. We offer our La Femme some of the same gowns we have available for our other brides.
5) Are trunk shows very important? How so?
Trunk shows are important to highlight the entire collection to both our staff and our brides. However, they do not create the buzz that they did three years ago. Which ties into brides not coveting a gown because of the designer name.
6) If a bride can’t decide on her dress, how does your stylist help her reach a decision?
In the era of “Say Yes to the Dress”, most brides believe they will become overwhelmingly emotional during this process. Most brides just might not get that feeling. Our stylists will walk them down our mock aisle with a mirror in front of them. This allows our bride to see how her guests will view her on her wedding day. Often this process helps our stylists guide our brides to their decision.
7) What do you find challenging about the bridal markets today?
One of the main challenges we deal with during bridal markets focuses around timing. Trying to fit fashion shows, presentations, buying appointments, multiple line venues, and parties can become a logistical issue very quickly. When designers decide to make changes or additions at the last minute, it compounds the issue. We are always looking for new and unique collections but having only three days usually to work with everyone makes it very difficult to have time to discover them.
8) What are the challenges with minimums?
When there is an established relationship minimums should be up for discussion. The frustrations for stores is that many companies are not willing to play with this.
9) Do you travel to other markets such as Europe or any other countries to buy?
Yes. We currently go to Barcelona and London to view their markets. These cities host designers that do not always bring their entire collections to New York. The European markets are once a year for premiering their collections.
10) Your blog is really beautiful. How helpful is it to your business?
Thank you! Our blog is a way for us to drive traffic to our store and inspire brides to find unique ways to style their wedding day looks.