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Community Highlights: Meet Brittany Smith-Tukkinen of Bells and the Ball

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Smith-Tukkinen.

Hi Brittany, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to own my own business in the wedding industry. When I was 14 years old, I started working in a bakery/flower shop in Conroe, TX, where I got first-hand experience working with weddings. Seeing the couples come in so excited for their big day made me want to contribute to their happiness. Since high school, I have held almost every job in the wedding industry, from being a disc jockey assistant to catering and event sales to working for a bridal and men’s suit shop. I noticed through the years of working in the industry and planning my wedding that weddings are costly. As a bride, I was a member of a bridal group on Facebook, and I noticed a lot of brides selling their wedding items but getting scammed or feeling overwhelmed with the number of comments they were getting on their ads. I always thought it was so crazy and that there had to be a better way. I got married in February of 2020, right before the covid lockdown, when my mother and I lost our jobs. During the wedding planning process, my mother was with me every step of the way as she has been my entire life.

After much contemplating, she and I decided this was the perfect time to take a leap of faith and open Bells and the Ball Consignment – a bridal and special occasion consignment store in Houston, TX.

Bells and the Ball Consignment is a wedding and formal boutique offering new and once-loved items at an affordable price. What makes Bells and the Ball Consignment special is that we donate a portion of our yearly proceeds to Shriner’s Hospital for Children. When I was six months old, Shriner’s performed corrective surgery on my hip due to me being born with hip dysplasia. My mother was a single, first-time mom who faced financial hardship, yet from the surgery to when I had my final check-up at 17 years old, Shriner’s was with her every step of the way. Now, as business partners, we hope to express a token of our gratitude by supporting Shriner’s and helping brides and loved ones find affordable wedding and formal wear.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Opening a business in the middle of a pandemic has had its challenges. First, we had to push our grand opening as the safety of our guests is always our top priority. We then found that many brides who were getting married had already purchased their wedding gowns since many weddings in late 2020 and early 2021 were rescheduled.

As you know, we’re big fans of Bells and the Ball. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Bells and the Ball Consignment offers brides and anyone looking for a formal dress an affordable alternative. Many of our dresses are new with tags or gently used, and our selection is growing every day. We are also a women-owned business, a mother and daughter duo who has overcome financial and medical hardships. That is why we want to help brides save money and support our community by donating to different causes, including Shriner’s Hospital.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Consignment in the wedding industry is becoming more popular. Many brides realize that keeping their dress hidden in a closet for the next ten years is not beneficial. Brides who are getting married recognize that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars for the dress of your dreams. Consignment is a blessing to bridesmaids because they can sell a dress they are most likely never going to wear again, or they can buy a dress for a much more affordable price. The repurposing and reusing of formal and wedding wear also fights against fast fashion and is better for the environment and economy. Consignment is an affordable and sustainable option, so one can’t go wrong.

Pricing:

  • Average cost of our wedding dresses ($300 – $1,200)
  • Average cost of our formal dresses ($25 – $75)

Contact Info:

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