DRESSED HERSELF: Kandra Dears on her wedding day 12 years ago in the dress she designed for herself.
DRESSED HERSELF: Kandra Dears on her wedding day 12 years ago in the dress she designed for herself. PHOTO SUPPLIED

On the biggest day of your life you want your wedding dress to reflect who you are, your beauty and hopes and dreams.

There is a good choice of bridal gowns in the island’s stores but what happens if you want to create your own dress; is this possible in Bermuda?

Fortunately, at theBeautik Kandra Dears can make your dreams come true.

Since making her own wedding dress 12 years ago, she has created many bespoke gowns for Bermuda’s brides.

“For as long as I can recall, I have always loved the magic of weddings,” said Mrs Dears.

“I constructed my first wedding dress, for myself, by taking the top and bottom of two separate dresses.

“I bought the dresses from a boutique in Reid Street and customized them into my dream dress (see photo below).

“I took a V-neck strapless beaded, open back top, and joined it to a straight A-line dress for the bottom. I also made a letter ‘K’ from beads and brocade for the back of the train.

“After that first design experience I knew that creating dresses was what I wanted to do. It all went from there really.

“I had been working as a wedding planner with a friend of mine but she moved to the UK and so I then decided to do something on my own.

“My family’s reaction was to ‘go for it’ and my husband Stephen was one hundred per cent behind me.

“Now I have been able to develop my dream business theBeautik, and I can honestly say that I am blessed.

“During my first year the business was not advertised, but travelled through word of mouth by customers, family and friends.

“I was then invited to participate in my first bridal fair by Anthony (Easton) of Anthony’s Annual Bridal Fair and Fashion Show, in 2010. He showed me a lot of support and encouragement.”

Mrs Dears said family and friends modelled four dresses at the event, from her supplier in Florida, US.

Brides-to-be at the show were also impressed by her designer dresses.

“Business grew from the bridal fair as potential customers began calling and asking for custom-made dresses for their weddings,” she said.

“Clients will bring in pictures of the styles they have in mind, the colour and fabrics, and we go from there.

“I take the customers’ measurements and details. Most clients are Bermudian brides-to-be.

“I work in satin, taffeta, elastic silk and chiffon. These fabrics come in all colours.

“Once you make the down payment (of half the cost), it takes four weeks.”

Mrs Dears’ bespoke custom dresses are made by her tailor and cost $600 and up.

TheBeautik is now in its third year of operation and also has an ‘off the rack’ line.

Mrs Dears said she started this in response to customer inquiries about ‘ready-made’ dresses.

“After some consideration I further developed theBeautik to supply ‘off the rack’ wedding, prom and flower girls’ dresses,” she said.

“I work alongside an American supplier in Florida to ensure customers have a good range of designs to choose from. It is proving very popular.”

The dresses are available in a wide range of colours, fabrics, shapes and sizes, including plus sizes. Traditional and modern gowns are all available at reasonable prices.

The current trend is for “pastels, particularly lilac”, according to Mrs Dears.

If theBeautik does not have your particular size or preferred colour in on a given day, it can be ordered direct from her Florida supplier in six days.

Special orders for specific dresses not available in her ‘off the rack’ range take six months.

Mrs Dears is assisted at theBeautik by Theresa Roban and Calshae Dill. n


TheBeautik is based at 5 Forest Hills, Warwick, and is open by appointment, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:30-8pm. You can also view what the boutique has to offer on Saturdays, from 11am-3pm. To make an appointment, call 238-3026. To find out more about Mrs Dears’ dresses made to order, see www.thebeautik.com