Attention Brides-to-Be: Kinsley James is Now Open on West 3rd Street
The wait is over – and just in time for summer wedding season: designer bridal store Kinsley James has landed in Los Angeles, with a new flagship on West 3rd Street.
Known for their personal, curated approach to bridal wear, Kinsley James is led by co-owners, co-founders and sisters-in-law(!), Amber Silva and Dawn Silva Rigney, who create a warm and friendly environment so that their brides and guests don’t feel rushed or pressured to make such a big decision. Due to Amber and Dawn’s close working relationships with their designers, they are also able to partner with them to create the perfect dress for their clients.
The new 3,900 square foot location on West 3rd is the perfect setting for brides to find the dress of their dreams with its modern aesthetic and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. We caught up with Amber and Dawn to find out more about what to expect from the new space.
1. Tell us about Kinsley James and what it offers.
Dawn Silva Rigney: After seeing the need for a couture bridal salon in San Francisco’s East Bay, we decided to open up Kinsley James Couture Bridal in 2013 in our hometown of Walnut Creek. We offer excellent customer service and unique bridal designers. We specially cater to the bride, with bridal gowns, veils and accessories available for her to try.
We’re thrilled to be opening our second location on West 3rd Street. We can’t wait to bring our Los Angeles brides gowns in a range of pricing, styles and sizes, as well as easy access to hard-to-find, couture designers. Some of our Los Angeles area exclusives include Persy, Idan Cohen, Liz Martinez and Pallas Couture.
2. How did the two of you meet and how did Kinsley James come to be?
Amber Silva: Dawn and I are actually sister in laws! I met her brother Derik in 2008 and at the time, Dawn and I were both pursuing event planning in the bridal industry. We decided to team up in 2009 and have had A Touch of Grace Event Planning ever since. Through our experiences with our event planning company, and our own personal weddings, we knew that something was missing in Bay Area bridal shops. We decided to go for it and we feel brides love the experience we provide.
3. What makes your store different from other bridal stores out there?
Dawn Silva Rigney: At Kinsley James, our brides are our number one priority. We strive to create a warm and friendly environment where brides feel like their every need is addressed and the staff is truly excited for them. We never want our brides and their guests to feel pressured or rushed. We don’t enforce strict appointment time limits, and we offer champagne and mimosas for the bride and her guests. We want every bride to feel like VIP.
We love our entire team and treat them like family. Also, when a bride buys her dress at Kinsley James, she is a #kjbride and becomes part of the tribe!
4. What are some common misconceptions women make about bridal stores?
Amber Silva: A lot of women are afraid to go to high-end bridal salons. They can be intimidating and a bit overwhelming. The reason we opened is because we want anyone to be able to walk into our store and feel comfortable and at home. Our goal is provide the high-end experience, but with a welcoming environment.
Some women also think that couture salons only carry small sizes. That may be true for some stores, but we pride ourselves in ranging up to a size 22.
5. What are some ways women can prepare to make their wedding dress shopping experience better? Should they do some research and bring photos of what they like? Or is it better to be open minded and let you (the experts) do the job?
Dawn Silva Rigney: We love when brides have an open mind! It is always helpful when a bride brings in a couple of photos of her inspiration, but we also like when they have an open mind to try on what the stylist might recommend. I guess we as stylists love when the bride gives us a direction, and then lets us make our recommendations as well!
6. What are some new trends you’re seeing in bridal wear. Does the bride always have to wear white?
Amber Silva: Trends this year have been detachable skirts, which allows the bride to have a full dress for the ceremony, and then something more form fitting for the reception. We have also seen bridal go extremely sexy! With the influence of Israeli designers, bridal gowns now have sexy cut outs, skin tight fits, and low backs.
Also: the bride does not have to wear white! We actually sell mostly Ivory and Champagne-colored gowns, and a lot of blush as well. True white is sometimes not flattering on all skin types as well.
7. What is the difference between this store and your store in SF?
Dawn Silva Rigney: We’ll carry designers in Los Angeles that are not available at our store in Walnut Creek, like Marchesa and Persy. The space itself will have a less rustic feel than our first location, too. We are excited to take the KJ experience to the Los Angeles bride!
8. Why did you decide to open on West 3rd Street? What do you like about this neighborhood?
Amber Silva: We researched locations in Los Angeles for over one year and when we came upon West 3rd Street, it just felt like home! We love that there is a community established there, and it feels like a small town within a very large town. It appears businesses work together to support each other. We also love that there are a lot of unique boutiques and lots of amazing restaurants. The energy on West 3rd is exciting!
9. Everyone stresses about their wedding day. What advice do you have for brides who are planning their wedding?
Amber Silva: From the event planner in me, I’d say hire a planner! Planners really can take so much stress out of the day. The other big key is communication. Make sure your guests and family members have all of the information they need (start times, attire, details about photos) well in advance. The last thing you want is people calling you on your wedding day to clarify instructions.
And lastly, things will go wrong! Just mentally prepare yourself to go with the flow and enjoy the day. You’ve worked so hard to plan every little detail– and everything will be beautiful. But with the amount of details and logistics on the wedding day, something is bound to happen unexpectedly. The way you respond to it will affect your mood and happiness, so just roll with it!
10. Most memorable or touching experience from a customer?
Dawn Silva Rigney: We were able to participate in “Wedding of the Century” at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley in 2016. The bride and groom had gone through a lot of medical hardships and were selected to be given a free fairly tale wedding by the Claremont. We were able to donate a gown to the bride, and helping her pick the perfect one is an experience we will never forget! We will never forget her and her family. It was a rewarding experience to say the least.
Kinsley James is now open at 8231 West 3rd Street. To book an appointment, email: [email protected] Walk-ins are also welcome.