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Keasha Rigsby Explains How She Fell in Love With Wedding Dresses

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Keasha Rigsby, esteemed bridal consultant and television personality, opened her first bridal boutique in downtown Detroit on Thursday, February 4, 2016. Housed in a converted 20th century mansion located at 2921 East Jefferson Avenue, Beautiful Bridal with Keasha Rigsby is the first of its kind in the Motor City. The upscale boutique not only offers brides an elegant shopping experience, but features a custom collection of designer gowns and one-on-one consultations with Keasha herself. She spent nine years mastering her consulting skills at the Kleinfeld boutique in Manhattan, so it’s no secret that Keasha knows how to dress a bride. She brought her bridal expertise to Detroit and continues to pride herself on understanding what styles and fabrics look best on bodies of all shapes and sizes.

During her time at Kleinfeld, Keasha became one of the most lovable characters on TLC’s hit reality series Say Yes To The Dress. She began building a dedicated fan base that grew even more when she starred in her own reality series in 2015. Keasha’s Perfect Dress aired on TV One and Canada’s Slice Network. Keasha continues to build her brand as a world-renowned bridal consultant, but we want to know how she started down the bridal path. Basically, why wedding dresses?

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Surprisingly, selling wedding dresses was something that Keasha stumbled upon. Her cousin was getting married and asked Keasha to be her wedding planner. As someone who loves planning, events, and “all of that girly stuff,” she accepted the offer. Keasha purchased her dress from Kleinfeld, so when her cousin started looking for dresses Kleinfeld was at the top of the list. “I said you have to go to Kleinfeld. I’m not going any place else. If you want to hang with me, we’re going to Kleinfeld.” While searching for dresses at the boutique, the owner Ronnie Rothstein approached them. He was “doing his Ronnie thing” and complimenting her cousin, who says to him “my cousin can sell your underwear back to you while you’re wearing them. That’s the kind of salesperson she is. She’s amazing.”

Rothstein took her word for it and asked Keasha to return the next day for an interview and to meet some of the managers. She sat with Dorothy and Roseanne, they bonded, and she admits that she couldn’t have asked for better managers at that time. They offered her the job and “I just fell head over heels in love with dressing brides.”

She remembers dressing her first bride. She pulled a gown by designer Edgardo Bonilla and began perfecting the bride. “She’s in the mirror, and I’m not noticing anything because I’m so into the dress and sculpting and molding her, and all of a sudden I look up in the mirror and I caught a glimpse of that girl and I just started to cry. The dress was so beautiful. She was like an angel. I’m looking at her, she’s red as a tomato. Her mother and her grandmother’s crying, all of these people are crying, and I didn’t even notice that at first. Then it just hit me. I fell in love with her, I fell in love with the dress, I couldn’t believe it. None of the other saleswomen cry, I’ve never seen them cry so I always knew to be businesslike. And then it hit me, boom, right in the center of my heart. I just fell in love with dressing brides. I fell in love.”

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Just as Keasha didn’t know she’d become the amazing bridal consultant that she is today, she also didn’t know that she wanted to open a bridal boutique.

“At first I didn’t know that I could do it. Once Say Yes to the Dress came, people came after me for my own show. I thought, you know what, if I had my own store, and this was maybe 8 years ago; I thought if I had my own store I would do this, this, and that. I started writing stuff down because it’s very important to write down your vision. I used to write everything down and I said ‘wow I can see myself having my own bridal salon. But I don’t have any money, so I started to pray and ask God for a miracle.’”

Sure enough, things started to happen. Keasha’s Perfect Dress happened, her move to Detroit happened, and things continued to evolve from there. Keasha was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Detroit to pursue her bridal boutique. She discovered the Motor City through her business partner, Vallery Hyduk, a television executive, Vice President and Co-Owner of Peace Point Entertainment Group.

Keasha asked Vallery to go into business with her and become her business partner. They decided to open a store, find a location, and handle other things of that sort. They searched all over, from LA, Atlanta, and Chicago to Ohio, Brooklyn, and Canada. They searched all over the globe and couldn’t find the perfect place. “Val asked me ‘what about Detroit?’ I said ‘what about Detroit?’ I didn’t know anything about it. I said I’d come down there and check it out. The first time I came it was like 15 below zero and I’m like ‘what in the world is this kind of cold?’ I said this kind of cold hurts people; this is like little knives are in my skin. I said I’m not interested and drove back home.”

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Vallery prompted Keasha to give Detroit another try, and asked her to come down when the weather was warm. Keasha returned and wanted to see not “the good, the bad and the ugly,” but “the bad, the bad, the ugly, and the good.” They drove down Cadillac Boulevard and by the time they hit the end of that street Keasha admitted that she was in tears. She drove down Gratiot, and was in tears again. She remembers going home that night and Googling Detroit.

“They made I Am Legend Here, Eminem made his movie here, and I said ‘this is the pits, what the hell happened?’ I searched more, and then I learned about the riot. I had no idea. My parents didn’t expose us to too much of that. They didn’t want us to focus in on the negative, they didn’t want us to focus in on the hatred … They focused in on this one, that one, Dr. King, and positive speech. Once that rioting happened in Detroit I couldn’t stop crying. I said ‘what can I do, not to change anything, but what can I do to just latch on, to be the link with somebody else, to be arm in arm with other people that’s down there in Detroit making a positive movement?’”

Keasha continued to absorb the greatness of Detroit and learned that Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin were here, and she began “feeling the fire.” She learned that these individuals owned mansions, and then she “got happy.”

“There are mansions here, there are so many architectural sculpted designs that are just like wow. You can see the love and the passion that went into building these great mansions. Each time we would go up and down East Jefferson this building here, it was like a magnet. I just felt a pull from my stomach and I’m like I wonder what’s in there.”

Vallery called and said the mansion was beautiful and magnificent, so Keasha asked to see some pictures. “It looked like a hot mess, there’s holes everywhere, there’s mold, and then she showed me the staircase. My mom and I used to watch oldies from time to time. There’s a movie by Alfred Hitchcock called Vertigo and the same staircase is in the movie. I remembered the movie and I fell in love with this building.” After falling in love with the staircase, she was sold. Nothing else mattered, not the holes or the mold. Keasha saw past all of the distress and all of the pain. This building became a part of her, and it related to where she was at that time of her life.

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“When I came in here I was like there’s something in here that’s so magnificent, something in here that can be reborn. This building is the beginning of me. I’m just on cloud nine. Detroit opened up her arms, because I call Detroit a her, she’s a boss. It just basically tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Keasha you need to be here.’ I totally said yes to Detroit.”

When it comes to Keasha gaining inspiration from other designers, she has about 50 top designers that she absolutely loves. “These designers put so much of their blood and sweat into designing a wedding dress. What I would love to let them all know is to continue to keep up the hard work. A true designer is a designer that does not copy from another designer. If you can come up and create something fabulous and absolutely stunning from your mind, heart and soul, that is a true designer. I don’t like the designers that nitpick and cheat a little when it comes to designing. A true designer is a designer that can design from their heart and not deal with all of the nonsense and the “dark side” of bridal.” Keasha loves Pronovias, Angel Rivera, Alvina Valenta, Victor Harper, and the list goes on and on. “I have so much respect for these designers. I love them, I love them all.”

Keasha is a powerhouse in the bridal business, as well as a wife and mother of three. When it comes to balancing her personal and professional life, she’s mastered the art of multitasking. “I can have a bride on the phone, I can be signing my son’s homework, I can be cooking dinner, and I can be yelling at my husband while I put her on mute. I’ve become better at it, but we’re women so we don’t have a choice. It’s either do or die. I get things done.”

Keasha has three beautiful sons, one of which is autistic and the other two needed bone marrow transplants. Thus, some years ago her family moved from New York to Ohio for the boys to receive treatment. “They’ve been benign and it’s been a really great year. For the last 20 years I saw the world out of a hospital window.” Keasha was always in the hospital with her boys, many times throughout the whole night. Her mom would arrive around 7 AM. Keasha would go home, shower, and go to work. When she worked at Kleinfeld, the brides didn’t even know she had children, and sick at that. “I looked to those girls, as I’m helping them they’re saving me. They were an escape for me, a refuge for me. When I would see them and get into their world, it would be like they would rescue me. After my time was up at work, I would change again and go straight to the hospital.”

 

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Keasha is undoubtedly a busy woman, so what does she do when she’s not working?

“I don’t stop working. I’m a wife and a mother so the job is never done. I have three boys and that’s a job in itself. It’s no rest for the weary. The boys stay active, and they keep me extremely busy. I have three beautiful boys and sometimes they’re good, sometimes they want to kill each other, then I have to stand in the middle and be the referee. Boys will be boys. This is also why I’m into bridal. All of my brides, I’m going to pretend that you’re my daughters so that really means a lot to me.”

Additionally, Keasha recently got a dog, a Maltese and Pomeranian mix named Chanel. She’s very much involved in her church. She’s a Christian and Sunday school superintendent who occasionally preaches and brings forth the word. Keasha is also a motivational speaker, and goes to schools to have teatime with little girls and talk to them about bullying, sexual harassment, and other important topics. “It’s imperative for us to be as candid as possible with the younger generation. Stop hiding things, stop keeping things like it was in the older days. Now there’s social media and everything is just there.”

Speaking of social media, keep up with Keasha and her bridal boutique.

Twitter: KeashasDress

Facebook: KeashasPerfectDress

Instagram: keashamichelle

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Don’t miss the wonderful things she has for her brides and Detroit. Support Keasha Rigsby as she continues to set the world on fire.

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