A lot has changed in Tina Rutherford’s life over the past 44 years, but her love for dressmaking has remained.
Tina opened Brides and Maids in Shepparton back in 1974, after seeing a niche in the market for a bridal supplier.
“There was a need in Shepparton for a true bridal store,” Tina said.
“At the time we opened there was only one other store in town that fiddled with bridal pieces.
Growing up with a professional seamstress as a mother, Tina quickly became accustomed to having pins and scissors in her hands.
Tina worked alongside her mother selling fabric, veils and accessories which were used to create custom pieces for the women in town.
“It all started when I got hold of some manufactures and was sent a handful of wedding dresses,” Tina said.
“I selected ten of them to keep in store and it all grew from there.”
Over the years, Tina has used her passion for wedding dresses to help many brides-to-be from around the Goulburn Valley find their dream gowns.
Tina hand picks each gown herself; purchasing from Melbourne designers twice a year to ensure she has a wide variety of bridal, bridesmaids, debutante and mother-of-the-bride gowns in store.
While wedding dress trends continually change, Tina believes the classic ball gown is a style that will never die out.
“I have always loved ball gowns; they are perfect for the girl that wants to look like a princess.”
Tina now spends most of her time finalising gowns with intricate detailing, beading and other delicate tasks, while a dressmaker focuses specifically on alterations.
“The best part of the process for me is the fitting stage; I love seeing a gown fit exactly the way you want it to fit.”
Tina credits her success to the continual support she has received from the community over the past 44 years.
With four decades of service under her belt, Tina hopes to continue her journey doing what she loves for as long as her body lets her.
“I am passionate about Shepparton and giving people the best service I know how.”
“We have loved Shepparton, and Shepparton has loved us back.”
Visit Tina at 45 High St, Shepparton from 10am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 10am to 6pm on Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.