When Bree DiMucci of Barrington was getting married about two years ago, she had 12 weeks to find a dress before the ceremony. Yet many boutiques and bridal salons said she'd never have her dress delivered on time. Or they would charge her extra fees to get it quickly.
Her friend of 15 years, Eva Pristera of Crystal Lake, went through the wedding experience a few years earlier. Both women had a hard time understanding why wedding gowns were priced so high.
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"When you'd see the price tag, you'd go, 'Really?' I'm only going to wear it for about 8 hours," DiMucci said.
The two friends decided to help other future brides avoid such an experience. They recently launched an online boutique that sells bridal gowns at a discount of 30 percent to 60 percent. Bellini Bridal at http://bellini-bridal.com/ offers about 90 dresses and more are expected soon. But inventory is limited because most are in sizes 10 or 12, with just a few other sizes available in one-of-a-kind dresses.
"They're not cheap, but we do provide discounts," DiMucci said.
One unique aspect is called VIP Bride Service, where they will go directly to the future bride's home with up to 10 gowns so they can be tried on in private. The cost for VIP is $99, which can be applied toward the purchase price of a dress.
They offer samples, overstock and used gowns. They're sold as is with no special orders. Brides are on their own for alterations, she said.
"What you see is what you get," she said.
Returns can be made, but within a 10-day period and with specific requirements, like returning it unused and with tags still intact.
The website also may offer mother-of-the-bride dresses and some accessories down the road.
"These may be last year's fashions, but it's not like buying the newest car model," DiMucci said. "Wedding dresses have a classic feel to them and they're not that much different from year to year."
Top salesman earns trips to Europe
Angelo Parhas of Hoffman Estates, and his wife Kristy Parhas will be traveling to Italy and Greece this year, a gift from his employer, Bolingbrook-based Zepole Supply Co. Parhas earned the trip as a top sales performer and for his 25th anniversary with Zepole, a supplier of restaurant equipment, supplies and integrated kitchen design founded in 1982 by Nicholas Thiakos Sr. Parhas was 12 when he immigrated with his parents to Chicago in 1967 from Levidi, near Tripoli, in Greece.
Advocate exec goes to D.C.
Lee Sacks, Advocate Health Care's executive vice president and chief medical officer, traveled from the Oak Brook headquarters to Washington, D.C., last week to talk with White House officials about efficiency and quality health care. Sacks talked with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Deputy Chief of Staff Mark Childress, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy Jeanne Lambrew, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
Part of an international brand
David Brown is the local owner of the Forever Yogurt in St. Charles. The St. Charles location is part of the brand's plan to add 15 locations, including 10 in the Chicago region, so far this year. Also, the company has signed 32 deals with many being in international locations, such as Panama, Pakistan and China, the company said.
Bradley Markovic and his father, Barry Markovic, are owners of The UPS Store that recently opened in Addison. ... Palatine resident Chip Miceli, president of Des Plaines Office Equipment, has been elected to the board of directors of the Phoenix, Ariz.- based International Business Products Inc. ... Thomas Gray is the author of the new book, Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success. The former Ameritech executive is now founder and president of Telecom Expert Group in Lisle.
Vimal Patel is the owner of the new Pancheros Mexican Grill, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant in Schaumburg. Burritos are customized and mixed with "Bob the Tool," a unique plastic spatula. ... Mohan Iyer of Oakbrook Terrace is the new chief information officer and head of the Information Technology department for Mesirow Financial in Chicago. Iyer had been serving as interim CIO at the firm since January. ... Amy Derick, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Derick Dermatology LLC in Barrington and Crystal Lake, is offering tattoo removal with the new PicoSure tattoo removal laser. She is promoting this laser as removing tattoos up to twice as fast as previous technologies.
Sandra Cotovsky of Palatine and Allison Kamienski of Naperville have become an independent consultants with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct sales company featuring about 60 foods. ... Terry Kurzynski, founder of Halock in Schaumburg, was in San Jose, Calif., to accept the FireEye Outstanding Partner Performance 2012 award for services innovation and integration. It was presented at FireEye's conference. ... Thomas Schoenig its new regional chief information officer at Adventist Midwest Health in Hinsdale.
Pediatrician Alison Escalante is now practicing at the DuPage Medical Group's RollingRidge Road location in Naperville. ... Gerald Rixie of Naperville has been appointed wealth management consultant at The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank in Chicago. ... Rob Young has been appointed as vice president of sales and marketing for Covenant Retirement Communities Inc., which has 14 communities nationwide, and will work in the corporate headquarters in Skokie.
Sandra Faeh, co-owner of Elmhurst Animal Care Center, said the center marks its 10th anniversary with an open house on Saturday, May 11th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will also announce its partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization's Veterinary Outreach Program. ... Lake Forest resident Diane Poljak has been promoted to senior vice president of staffing practice leader at Schaumburg-based Assurance. ... Erica Buss and Kim Falco-Sennish are new account executives at Elk Grove Village-based Tasty Catering, corporate catering and event planning services company.
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