By Talyn Parker

Prior to beginning my senior year of college, I knew had to complete an internship to fulfill my graduation requirements, so I began looking for summer internships. However, finding an internship was harder than I thought. I was faced with so many “It was a pleasure reviewing your resume, but at this time we decided to pick another candidate – Thank you.” My luck changed when I landed an internship with Jeanette Kendall, the owner of Success in Style, located in Historic Savage Mill, Maryland.

Success in Style consists of three stores: Cherie Amour Bridal, Charity’s Closet/Phil’s Closet and First Picks. I worked in each store over the course of my internship, but Mrs. Jeanette wanted me to learn how to work in bridal. On the first day, Mrs. Jeanette, Mrs. Maria (her daughter) and the seamstress Mrs. Leona taught me everything I needed to know to become a successful fashion business owner. I learned visual merchandising, how to size wedding gowns, bridal terminology, how to determine a client’s size without taking measurements, marketing, management, tagging, styling and mannequin dressing.

After a lot of training, Mrs. Jeanette trusted me to open and close the store by myself. She provided me with the opportunity to see what it’s like to own a business. I will never forget the first day I was left to handle the store. There were potential brides were inside the store. One particular bride wanted to try on 10 gowns and wanted my assistance in fitting one. I was taught to select two gowns for the bride and have them try them on, because the bride will normally pick one the consultant selects. I selected two gowns I thought would best suit her personality and body. I was nervous! This was my first customer.

As I was fitting the corset on the gown, the bride started crying. She told me this was the one, and she wanted to show her friends and family. Everyone in the store was happy. The bride decided to purchase another gown for her reception and two veils from me. The bride asked me to take several photos and provide her with my contact information, so she may show me pictures of her special day. I helped make her dreams come true.

Being a part of someone’s special day is something that cannot be taken away. From my experiences at Cherie Amour with Mrs. Jeanette, Mrs. Maria and Mrs. Leona, I am ready to open my own boutique thanks to their guidance.