Every girl's dream OC alumna breaks through in the wedding industry
Most little girls dream of a fairytale wedding day. They also dream of what they want to look like when they walk down the aisle.
And whether they've always wanted to look like a princess or a movie star from the 40s, OC alumna Saundra (Umholtz 98) Traywick tries to make their dreams come true.
Saundra is a product of OC's interior design program. After graduation and a job with Bella Rose, a textile design firm, Saundra began looking for a way to exercise her creative talents more.
Debra Sanders, who worked with Saundra through Bella Rose, pitched the idea of the two women joining forces and starting their own custom wedding dress design business. This idea was the beginnings of D'Plazzo. D'Plazzo is an atelier design studio that creates couture designer gowns and custom, one-of-a-kind wedding gowns.
When a search for a dress for her own wedding didn't produce what she was looking for, Saundra took the initiative to design her own gown. Saundra's wedding and dress were featured by the Home and Garden Television website in a special on at-home weddings.
Saundra's own dress was similar to a dress she had seen in Italy on the Vienna Studies program in 1997. She is still inspired by the time she spent in Europe and uses fabrics from the area in her designs.
The path that she follows from concept to dress is very important to Saundra. After being contacted by a bride, there is an initial meeting so she can get the feel of the bride and her style.
Saundra brings sample boards that are filled with a wide variety of dress styles. Once the bride picks out what she thinks she wants in a dress, Saundra will sketch out multiple dresses for the bride to choose from. The bride then chooses her gown and a mock gown is created out of muslin to make sure it is exactly what the bride is hoping for. Oklahoman artisans then sew the dresses.
"I don't sew," joked Saundra.
The details are what make each of the dresses created by D'Plazzo unique. Whether a bride wants beads and crystals all over the dress or "I Love You" embroidered across the front (which D'Plazzo did for one bride), Saundra wants the dress to reflect the bride.
The company tries to incorporate faith into the business as much as possible, and Saundra says she prays for inspiration when she designs a gown. Saundra and Debra are being featured in an upcoming issue of Guideposts, a Christian publication that has a larger circulation than O magazine.
With a price tag of $1,500 and more per dress, Saundra works hard to make sure the bride is completely satisfied. The company can work with up to 10 brides a month. Most of the time, the process begins six to eight months before the wedding day.
Oklahoma may not seem like a hub for couture fashion, but Saundra says you don't have to be located in New York City to have great design. Staying local allows D'Plazzo to keep operating costs down. Saundra is even open to traveling to the bride so she can create her dream dress.
D'Plazzo has joined other wedding professionals in the area to create the Edmond Wedding Society. The purpose is to bring together experts in all areas of wedding planning to simplify the process for the bride. The group will be part of a show in April at the Gaillardia Country Club.
For more information about D'Plazzo, visit the company's website at dplazzo.com.
by Allison Shumate (05)