For those with wedding bells in the future, Ella Bella RoZio provides a unique solution
Still decked with the fluffy white “snow” that earned the shop the title of Coral Gables’ best holiday window display, Ella Bella RoZio’s doors remain locked to walk-ins. The wedding dress shop is appointment-only, partly to give its high-profile clients complete privacy, and partly to ensure the undivided attention of both Rozio Sanchez and her daughter Ella Pena.
Inside, the racks are stocked with silk silhouettes and taffeta trains, simple lace bodices and extravagant crystal embellishments. While the dresses that fill the interior are certainly eye-catching, most customers at Ella Bella aren’t shopping off-the-rack. These clients are on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind look, made specifically for them.
“Our typical client isn’t a cookie-cutter bride,” Sanchez says. “She wants something that no one else has … that when she walks in everyone goes, ‘Wow.’”
While no two dresses are identical, the process for making them is about the same. At the initial consultation, the Ella Bella designers ask a series of questions to better understand the client’s vision. They then perform a full body and color analysis to advise the customer on their most complimentary shape, style, and shade, before sketching the dress out.
For bride Ely Mendieta, this step was crucial in finding a flattering fit. Instead of the fluffy princess-style ball gown she initially envisioned, Mendieta decided on a form-fitting style that would better suit her curvy figure.
“I originally had a completely different vision in mind,” she said about her wedding dress. “I appreciate [Sanchez and Pena’s] honesty because what I wanted wouldn’t have looked good on me.”
Once the design is completed, Sanchez and Pena refer to the client’s budget to select fabrics, as these can be one of the costliest components.
“Other stores looked at me judgmentally when they heard my budget and it made me feel defeated,” said bride Adriana Alvarez, who recently picked out a dress for her destination wedding in Spain. “[Ella Bella RoZio] was very accommodating and was able to work around my budget.”
The mother-daughter duo recommends coming in six months before the big event. However, they accept rush-ordered dresses, with a turnaround time of as little as one week. It’s also typical to see brides coming in for last-minute alterations before walking down the aisle. Mendieta, for example, had to get her dress taken in mere weeks before her big day after losing a substantial amount of weight.
“We don’t let our clients leave until they are happy,” says Sanchez. Often, she even has her clients come into the shop in full hair and makeup, just to guarantee their full satisfaction with the completed look.
Although brides and mother-of-the-brides are the type of clientele they see most frequently, Sanchez and Pena also dress their clients for first communions, proms, galas, and other special occasions. If you have a special event coming up and want to wear a completely original design, Ella Bella offers consultations in-store or via video call.
Ella Bella Rozio
246 Miracle Mile