Everyone has a story worth sharing. This is our story, and how Bridal and Formal Boutique & House Of Tux came to be...
You’ve dreamed about this day all your life and probably wondered if you’d ever see those dreams come to reality. What day is this? It’s your wedding day! Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux in Gulfport can help make it special for your family as they’ve been doing for families since 1984. We are the premier superstore for all your formalwear needs in the Southeastern region.
Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux was originally opened in Gulfport in 1984 by Jimmy and Martha Hollingsworth. They sold the business to their daughter and son-in-law, Sonya and Greg Kidd, who later retired and sold the business to the current owners, Chavus and Adrian Holland, in May 2006.
The Hollands, who were newlyweds at the time, immediately began rebranding the dated business and began the long, exhausting task of remodeling and upgrading the 60-plus-year-old building that housed the original business. Investing countless hours of sweat equity and piles of cash immediately proved to be a great investment for the young entrepreneurs. After approximately 10 years of hard work and dedication to their customers, employees, and the community, the Hollands, along with a solid team of zealous employees, had grown their business beyond the available square footage of the original structure.
“We began searching for options to suffice the demanding growth,” Adrian said. “After months of searching and viewing available local commercial real estate listings, we settled on an abandoned, dilapidated warehouse just two blocks west of the original location.”
The demolition and construction of the new location proved to be the biggest challenge the ambitious couple had ever endured. “The new location started out as a 15,000-square-foot pile of crap. It had been a community eyesore for many years,” Chavus said. “It was infested with all kinds of rodents and insects and had obviously housed some less fortunate humans over the years. We had a dream and a vision and set out on a mission to make it a reality.”
The Hollands hired locals as architect and general contractor, and negotiated an agreement to use as many local vendors and contractors as possible throughout the massive project. “We encountered every obstacle you could imagine — and even some you could never imagine — throughout the build. From unforeseen, very expensive asbestos removal to the multiple permitting issues with the city of Gulfport, we wondered if we would ever get the green light for construction.”
Finally, in July 2016, permits were released, and construction began. The general contractor, Vision Constructors Gulfport, kept on schedule and handed the keys of the new building to the Hollands in mid-November 2016.
When entering the new building — located at 1720 Pass Road, Gulfport — you’ll immediately notice the hi-bay warehouse roof and the industrial chic feel. Many of the partition walls throughout are partial height to maintain the large open feel of the building, which is highlighted by the exposed HVAC and suspended lighting fixtures. You’ll instantly appreciate the huge antique fireproof doors suspended from a structure that was custom built by Chavus using an old I-beam that he salvaged from the demolition stage of the construction. As you make your way around the doors, you’ll step into what feels like a large, fancy department store complete with an extravagant, centrally located, custom built glass jewelry showcase and sales wrap system.
Next, your eyes are drawn to the massive second floor display mezzanine, complete with glass handrail. The lighting throughout the store is welcoming, and the store has a warm and comforting atmosphere. On the left side of the store you’ll find the largest selection of prom, Mardi Gras, cocktail, homecoming, and special occasion dresses on the Gulf Coast. Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux has a total of twenty-six fitting rooms throughout the store, along with multiple three-way mirrors and lots of guest seating to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
“It was nice to have a blank slate to lay out and design a custom floor plan that would maximize space and meet all the demands of the high customer volume that we tend to see during our busy seasons,” said Chavus.
Next, we move into the tuxedo area, which feels more like walking into a man cave than a dress store as its décor is heavy industrial mixed with automotive artwork. It’s a man’s dream space! Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux carries a large selection of tuxedos and suits for rental or purchase. “We have a huge selection of styles and colors to suit anyone’s needs. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with outstanding service and an unmatched selection of merchandise,” Adrian said.
A new feature of the Hollands’ business plan is a separate full-service alteration department, which is capable of keeping up with the high volume of alterations on dresses sold in-house.
The main showpiece of the entire business revolves around the bridal area. “With its elegantly designed layout we have been told by many bridal industry veterans that we now have the largest, most unique bridal store in the entire Southeastern region,” Adrian said.
The bridal area in the new location is state-of-the-art as it houses three large family bridal suites, with each suite having its own private fitting room. “The bride is our special guest at each appointment, and our staff is committed to work hard to make the bride and her family as comfortable as possible on this special visit,” Adrian said.
Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux also carries a large selection of mother of the bride dresses, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and a huge selection of jewelry and accessories. They have everything you need from shoes, veils, bridal belts, invitations, and much more. This truly is a one-stop shop.
As previously mentioned, you feel like you’re stepping into a big city department store when entering Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux. Another reason it feels this way is because the building is shared with another business creation of the Hollands. If you’ve never checked out their other store, the very popular upscale resale boutique known as Back on the Rack, then you are missing out. Back on the Rack is on the right-hand side of the building when entering and you can always find amazing prices on previously loved clothing, handbags, accessories and more by designers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Gucci, Tory Burch, David Yurman, and many others.
But wait...there’s more. The Hollands designed their new building around the idea of including a space for a coffee shop/café complete with a drive-thru, indoor seating, as well as outdoor courtyard seating. Chavus and Adrian leased the coffee shop space to another entrepreneur who has quickly proven himself as a respectable contender in the flooded market of coffee shops. With William Rester's creations, Dolcé Café, has instantly become a success. This is a fun, full service café serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, handcrafted soda, Dolce Bakeshop pastries, and more!
“We have customers who come in our store and go straight back to the coffee shop so they can enjoy their favorite beverage while browsing through our store. It’s a perfect complement to an already sensational shopping experience,” Adrian said.
Do yourself a favor and come take a tour of this amazing experience.