For eight years, Cherry Blossom Bridal Salon has provided curvy women choices that most bridal salons don’t. A plus-size woman herself, store owner Keba Marshall says when she was a bride 12 years ago, the selection of dresses for figures like hers were hard to find. So Marshall left a career in real estate and opened the salon catering to women sizes 8 to 28.
After styling more than 2,000 brides from our region and beyond, Marshall says her business took a big hit during the pandemic, leaving her no choice but to shut down.
“We’re an unintended consequence of the industry in general,” Marshall said. “Brides can’t picture tomorrow, they can’t envision what their day is going to look like, so it just became really challenging and I thought if I can’t make projections then the business decision has to be to hit pause for now.”
Marshall received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program in April, however, that money quickly ran out. She was hoping for another stimulus package to help keep the business open, but time ran out and on October 11th, her bridal salon will close.
Marshall says she isn’t letting this get her down. She plans to return to the career she loved before starting the salon. Instead of helping women find their dream dress, she will now continue to help others find their dream homes.
A lot of other small businesses are facing the same fate as Marshall. That’s why, now more than ever, is a good time to support your local shops and restaurants, especially as the holiday season approaches.