After becoming engaged, many brides begin the feverish process of planning their big day. Arguably, a bride’s favorite part of preparing for the wedding is selecting a gown and accessories. This is where Christie Lauren steps in. She designs and handmakes headpieces, veils and jewelry at her store located in Manhasset, New York. Additionally, Christie offers gowns for communions, christenings and flower girls.
Christie grew up around what she calls a “happy business.” When she was 7-years-old, her mother began her own bridal headpiece business. Christie helped her mom create many pieces and eventually learned the trade for herself.
After graduating high school, Christie made her own bridal headpiece collection. Additionally, she attended Nassau County Community College to study business and took fashion classes at Parsons School of Design in New York City. But nothing can replace the knowledge Christie gained from her mother’s instruction over the years.
Unfortunately, Christie’s mom passed away recently; however, she always had a hand in Christie Lauren Headpieces and always will. According to Christie, she was still designing headpieces and she continues to carry her designs in the store, which have been some of her hottest pieces for many years.
“I know how to make them all, so even though she’s not here like I can still put her pieces forward because I make them and still show them,” Christie said.
Christie creates her pieces with wire, Swarovski crystals, freshwater flowers and freshwater pearls. She makes her tiaras and hand places the stones in store to create the finished product.
Brides make one-on-one appointments with Christie and her full-time employee Natalia to try on many pieces, deciding on which they will wear on the big day.
“It’s kind of like playing dress up in the jewelry box. They come in, then they try everything on.”
However, it’s easy for brides to turn into “bridezillas.” When brides become flustered, Christie said she tries to calm them down by presenting them with different ways to wear pieces or how to style their hair to create a fresh look.
Nonetheless, she revealed that the transition to “bridezilla” normally occurs when dress shopping due to varying body types and the challenges of finding the perfect dress. Although she only sells gowns for young girls, she said she would consider selling wedding dresses eventually but isn’t ready yet.
For her own wedding, Christie and her mother designed her headpiece and veil while her gown was designed by two of her best friends, known as “The Estrada’s.” She takes the happiness and passion she radiated on her wedding day in Lake Como, Italy and recreates it in her work for other brides.
“It’s a happy business. It’s weddings, its the happiest days of their life and hearing love stories, and all the brides come back to me when they have children and we do all the kid stuff. It’s always happy, thank God,” Christie said.
Christie doesn’t have children yet, though she said her daughter would be donning headpieces upon entering this world.
“If it’s a girl, the minute that they’re born there will be a hat, a headband,” we laughed. “I tell people all the time that they have to train a little girl to wear it so they’ll get used to it or else they’ll pull it off.”
The Christie Lauren Headpieces Instagram account has amounted to about 40,000 followers. The businesswoman said she gains a lot of exposure when her clients post her work in their wedding pictures. Additionally, she uses plenty of hashtags to draw more views to her profile. She also demonstrates how to wear different headpieces in a variety of video tutorials.
Christie advises aspiring business owners to ensure their idea is conceived from a place of enthusiasm and love for what they do, or else the business won’t progress.
“Make sure its a passion, because I feel like if it’s not a passion, you won’t keep going forward,” Christie said. “This is a passion of mine, I love it, I love to create something new and fresh and work with the brides.”
Lastly, Christie revealed that her greatest inspirations emanate from both her mother and her clients.
“My mom always was and still is my inspiration, but [also] all my pieces have names, so I name them after the bride I designed it for or I look up beautiful girl names and name them, kind of like children,” she joked. “So I feel like that’s my inspiration, knowing that I have brides to make happy and come into the store and see that every bride is different. Like three brides can all wear the same piece but all wear it differently and all look different. So I take pride in knowing that I have people coming to see my work in my store and that I can create something for their special day.”