Located in Chamblee, Laine London is a minority woman-owned bridal store that allows brides to afford the wedding dress of their dreams through a rental program. The store was founded in 2018 by long-time friends Lundyn Carter and Tiffany Gaines.
In 2017, Carter, who has her MBA from Emory University, decided to pivot her career from working in corporate settings to becoming an entrepreneur. Carter and Gaines started Laine London not as experts in the bridal industry, but rather as two friends and brides-to-be that didn’t want to spend thousands on a dress that would only be worn once.
That journey then turned into creating a unique experience for other future brides to enjoy their wedding day with one less financial burden while also diversifying the industry.
“Around 70% of couples will take on some form of debt when getting married, and I’d like to believe Laine London has helped relieve some of that financial burden,” Carter, CEO of Laine London said. “We’re not looking to be just another bridal shop. We’re aiming high and working towards transforming the way brides all over the U.S. say “Yes!” to their dream dress. All the largest bridal retailers in the US are named after men. We want to change that!”
To Carter, Laine London’s mission is pretty simple.
“[We want] to help all brides-to-be say “I Do” in the dress of their dreams without breaking the bank,” Carter said. “The standard business model—purchasing an expensive dress, wear it once, then storing it, selling it or throwing it away, has been long overdue for disruption.”
The first few years of operation for Laine London was primarily focused on finding their place in the bridal gown market, gaining customer trust and finding the right suppliers to build relationships with. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Carter and Gaines had to adjust to “the new normal” while staying true to their goal of positively disrupting the industry.
“Over the last 2 years, we’ve driven our industry forward by introducing the sharing economy to bridal retail in a way that has never been done before,” Carter said. “If the last couple of years showed us anything, it was the validity of our business model and the need for change in an industry steeped in tradition.”
Their hard work has paid off, earning several awards for Laine London, including “Best Bridal Boutique” by Jezebel Magazine.
In 2021, Laine London was one of the recipients of a $5,000 grant from the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, which allowed the business to expand faster than expected.
Bridal packages start at $799 at Laine London, which includes any dress, one accessory and alterations as well. The rental process begins by booking an appointment with a personal stylist and then choosing the right dress for the client.
Clients then can pick up their dress after alterations and schedule the drop-off date and time for the garment. After the wedding, the client returns the gown in the garment bag it came in and Laine London handles all dry cleaning and minor stains or rips.
Brides-to-be can purchase brand new gowns as well if they don’t wish to rent. There is also a program available for anyone unsure of whether or not they want to rent their gown.
“We have a unique program that allows brides to purchase a brand new dress and return it after their wedding for up to a 40% refund,” Carter said. “While we offer this program, it is extremely rare that a customer decides to keep the dress. Why keep the dress when you can use that money for a down payment on a home or the honeymoon!”
Laine London has exclusive designer partnerships and carries gowns from popular brands Justin Alexander, Tarik Ediz, Oksana Mukha, Pollardi Fashion Group and more, along with Badgley Mischka heels and flats.
Carter would love for Laine London to continue to grow to help brides all over the country in the future.