Kimberly Phillips, of Brandenburg, offers a unique service that is getting harder and harder to find. She makes custom dresses for weddings and formal events and does so at a price that’s more affordable for the community.
Phillips has always been a creative person. Her grandmother taught her to sew at a young age, and her mother bought her a sewing machine for Christmas her senior year of high school. When her sister told her that one of her friends was studying design merchandising and textiles, Phillips decided that she wanted to do the same. She set off to Western Kentucky University, and while there, she would work for the costume shop in the theater department.
“That’s really where the making of the clothes and the design come out,” Phillips explained.
She then spent a summer in Utah at a Shakespeare festival making costumes. During her senior year of college, she did alterations for David’s Bridal, which brought her into the bridal world.
She graduated in 2008 and returned to Brandenburg to open her business. Up until last May when she acquired her location at 455 Broadway, she was working out of her home. Though she says not having prom last year was difficult, it allowed her to set up her new studio.
“I wouldn’t have been able to have prom and set up the studio at the same time, so quarantine was a little bit of a blessing in that sense,” Phillips said.
Phillips started by doing mostly alterations for formal attire, with an occasional custom set of bridesmaid dresses through the years. In 2015, she launched her first dress line, which led to her doing more custom work. In 2019, she launched her own bridal line, and now, bridal work is the majority of what she does. It’s drawn attention from far beyond the city limits of Brandenburg.
“I have people travel 17 or 18 hours to come get their dresses made.”
Still, Phillips says that she is focused on serving her community. Her custom creations and bridal line range well below the industry average pricing. Phillips says that people have commented that they expect to pay more, but she’s steadfast on keeping her prices at an affordable range.
“I don’t want to price out my community,” Phillips expressed. “I want to service my community and selling $5,000 wedding gowns doesn’t fit the budget of the community. There are millions of other bridal designers out there charging $6,000 or $7,000 for a wedding gown. I don’t need to be one more in the crowd. I am one here, and I want to serve my community.”
She says that her focus is never on the price, but on the person wearing the gown. It just so happens that she can do so at an affordable price.
“Inclusion and representation are always on my mind,” said Phillips. “Accommodating, balancing form and function, and meeting the clients’ needs are my top priority.”
She also has no standard sizes or size caps.
“Our bodies are made differently, and our most special occasion clothes should be too,” explained Phillips. “All my gowns are made to order and measure.”
Phillips, who is also a mother of four, says she and her team made almost 300 dresses, not including alterations. Though that number is large, each dress is special to her.
“I love going on the journey with the bride,” Phillips said. “That’s such a fun experience. It’s such a special time in their life, and I love being able to be a part of that.”
For more information on Kimberly Phillips Clothier, visit her website at www.kphillipsclothier.com.