COLUMBIA — When Kathryn Dinkins was planning her wedding last year, she traveled from Charlotte to Charleston to Augusta looking for just the right attire for her bridal party.
A year later, the former lawyer is launching her own boutique in Columbia to give brides more options closer to home.
“I really noticed what a need there was … in Columbia,” said Dinkins, who practiced law for nearly four years before changing careers. “I wanted to make a change and do something different.”
Dinkins opens Sash Bridesmaid Boutique today at 614 Holly St., near its intersection with Devine Street. It is in the same house where her in-laws opened the Cox & Dinkins engineering and surveying firm half a century ago. The 1920s-era house has hardwood floors, original fireplaces and a built-in hutch that Dinkins will use to display a Kate Spade jewelry line next year. It also has curtained dressing rooms and a larger fitting room big enough for the whole bridal party.
“It’s a really great building,” she said. “It just has a real special feel to it.”
The store features racks of dress samples – from simple shifts to more ornate and colorful options – in a range of styles and prices. Dinkins also sells flower girl frocks and has several lines of “little white dresses” – a hot new trend in the fashion sector.
While Dinkins doesn’t sell traditional wedding dresses, the pieces in her little white dress collection can be worn by brides in less formal settings, as a getaway dress to be worn after the wedding or reception, or for wedding-related events, such as showers, she said. They also are popular as cocktail dresses and graduation attire for schools that require girls to wear white dresses, said Dinkins, a Columbia native who graduated from Hammond School in 2002, the College of Charleston in 2006 and the Charleston School of Law in 2009.
Dinkins also will team up with nearby Britton’s on Devine Street to offer tuxedo rentals for groomsmen.