The spring of 2003 was a pivotal time for The Bridal Collection. We had known for some time that we needed to expand if we wanted to grow, but did we really want to be bigger? The decision was easy when an unexpected answer dropped into our laps.
SPRING BLIZZARD OF 2003
Denver’s #1 biggest snowstorm occurred March 17–19, 2003, when over 30″ of snow fell. Lynn was already safe and snug at home on bed rest expecting her first baby. Like most businesses, I closed the store early on the 17th due to the severity of the blizzard. Little did we know how that record-breaking storm would change our lives!
On the 20th, as we were trying to dig out at home, I received a phone call from the property manager telling me I had to get to the store to check for damage. The roof on part of the shopping center had collapsed! Our home was east of the store where we had well over three feet of snow, with six foot high drifts! Driving a car out of the neighborhood was impossible. Mary, who was home from college on spring break, called a friend who called her boyfriend who had been able to drive on a nearby, plowed main road. The plan was to meet him down on Parker Road, then he would drive us to the store. But, we lived one mile, straight uphill from that intersection! Determined to get there, we bundled up in down overalls, parkas, hats, gloves, and boots and started our trek. Fortunately, Mary is tall so she went first, stomping down the snow for me to follow in her footsteps.
Once we arrived at the store, we were grateful to find only a few minor cracks and wet spots in the ceiling. We couldn’t re-open for days because a structural engineer had to verify that each unit was safe. About 3 or 4 weeks later, we learned that the tenants in the space where the roof had collapsed were not going to stay. Would we be interested in moving across the courtyard to that unit? There was our answer! We could expand from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet, without even changing our address!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY GIRL
The most important event that also changed our lives happened just a month after the blizzard. Lynn and Brian were blessed with an early, but perfect, baby girl. And, I was blessed beyond my imagination with my first grandchild. So, as we worked with our general contractor again to plan the new space, we added a nursery! As we had originally planned, an advantage of owning and running our own business was the ability to keep baby Kathryn with us. After a few whirlwind months filled with business, building, and baby, we were ready. With the help of family, friends, and our team members, we moved into our big, beautiful new space in early February 2004!