Endicott Entrepreneur Finds Her Happily Ever After

Ever After owner Taylor Stupski
When Binghamton native Taylor Stupski sketched dress designs as a little girl, she never anticipated one day she would start her own dress salon. At the age of 23, the concept of an independent bridal dress shop was a perfect match for Stupski’s passion for fashion, experience in the wedding industry, and independent nature. In 2017, Stupski took the leap and opened the doors to Ever After Binghamton Bridal in Endicott, NY to offer upscale yet affordable dresses for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, and flower girls.

Stupski graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Mansfield University in 2014 and started her career as a wedding and event planner at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton, NY. While she enjoyed her position at the hotel and as part of the wedding industry, Stupski heard from local brides that they weren’t able to find their wedding dresses unless they traveled to Syracuse, Scranton and beyond.

Stupski recognized the lack of local options as a potential business opportunity: “I had always wanted to open my own business and I realized that I could enjoy a business where I’m bringing happiness to brides. You have to have confidence that you will make it work.”

Stupski’s entrepreneurial spirit can partly be attributed to her upbringing: her father, mother and brother all own their own businesses and have encouraged and supported her throughout the startup experience. In addition to her family, Stupski found the right resources for her business with the advisors at the Binghamton SBDC, a program supported by the SBA and Binghamton University, and sage advice from an industry mentor in Florida.

In late 2016, Stupski discovered a great location on Washington Avenue in downtown Endicott, a two-floor 4,000-square foot building that had previously held a wedding boutique. Stupski purchased the building and used an SBA-backed loan from Tioga State Bank for cosmetic renovations including new flooring, paint, and adding dress racks. With guidance from her dress sales representatives, Stupski opened in March of 2017 with a reasonable first-year sales goal that she reached in just six months.

As a new business owner, Stupski has had to learn how to handle unexpected challenges. After being in business for just three months, regional bridal retail chain Alfred Angelo closed without warning. Stupski offered stressed Alfred Angelo brides and bridesmaids discounts on Ever After dresses, veils and rush shipping charges to ensure their weddings went off without a hitch. Another unexpected test Stupski dealt with in her first year arose when her building roof began leaking. Fortunately, Stupski had planned ahead for unanticipated expenses and relied on her SBA-backed line of credit from Tioga State Bank to help cushion the expense.

Glowing feedback from customers on social media sites and word of mouth have set Stupski’s bridal salon apart from the competition. Stupski’s individualized attention to each bride ensures that nothing is overlooked in the quest to find their perfect wedding gown. Hand-written thank you notes mailed from the salon are just a part of the overall customized experience at Ever After. Stupski’s event planning experience help her execute dress designer trunk shows and Ever After’s first bridal show in November, when her company partnered with other wedding industry businesses to offer clients one-stop shopping. With two part-time employees, Ever After’s growing clientele is encouraging Stupski to consider converting one into a full-time position and adding another part-time employee in 2018.

The honeymoon period of the first year may be over, but Stupski is just as passionate about her company and the future: “It’s great! I love everything I do. Every time I walk in the door, I take a deep breath, look around and say to myself, “All of this is mine!” For this actually to come to life, so fast, and to be as successful as I’ve been is just amazing.”

Company Name: 
Ever After Binghamton Bridal
Location: 
Endicott, NY
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