Get to know: Tracy Grier of Limestone and Lace
Tell us about your work.
We’ve always been in business. It started with a grain distribution seed commodities business. But I needed a change from working in our other family business and, with my kids grown, it was my time to do something I was passionate about.
We consider ourselves a one-stop bridal shop. We carry bridal dresses, mother of the bride, bridesmaids, prom, and we deal with alterations people to help with that process.
Andrea, my daughter, is my behind the scenes right hand lady. She works full time as an early childhood educator and helps me in her spare time.
We were a very new store when COVID hit, so it has been difficult to build a business during the pandemic. However, we have had such great support from our brides. They continue to support us and the community, which we are so thankful for.
I love the bridal experience. When girls come in, it’s not selling a wedding dress. It’s actually the experience we have with the girls when they’re in here. We’re all about building relationships.
Why should someone shop with you?
Buying your bridal dress is a personal experience. You want to look back on that and someday say to your daughter, “I bought my dress at this local store and it was really great, I had a great experience.” You want that personal experience. You may only wear it one day but you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
I still love my dress to this day. I remember the whole experience of getting it and wearing it. That’s one of the reasons I do this today.
So, how many of the TV show tropes about the bridal experience are true?
Much like “Say Yes to the Dress”, we always ask the very important question, cheer and clap, and celebrate with a toast. We have had lots of moments just like on the show from tears, special stories, a bouquet toss, and a trial walk down the aisle.
This is a special time for brides, it’s the most important dress they will buy, and it is a large investment. Making this moment special and memorable with fun and laughter is very important.
What do you love about Kingston?
Kingston is a good town surrounded by a lot of small towns. It’s not just Kingston – it’s outside of Kingston and the whole area.
Kingston is welcoming and supportive. We really rely on local people and relationships that are so important to us. I find Kingston is a very warm and friendly city.
Could you tell us about a customer you served recently that really made you smile?
There are so many. We’re a very personal business, and we build a relationship with our brides. When people call and support us, it goes beyond business.
My most memorable will always be one very special bride who came to us a few times, tried on over 70 dresses at different stores, and finally said “yes” to her dream dress with Limestone and Lace. She became a very important part of our Boutique family, also purchasing bridesmaids dresses with us and coming in for alterations.
Bridal is a specialized service where you get to know your clients on a personal level. Her dream wedding was not going to happen with Covid, so a small intimate wedding was planned and this very sweet bride invited myself and one of my employees to attend and be a part of this special occasion. It was one of the greatest compliments we could have ever received.
What are a few of your favourite businesses in Kingston?
There’s a lot. We work with a lot of local vendors which we recommend and support. Kingston is a bit smaller than the big cities but that can be good. It means a more personal experience.
Three businesses that are locally owned that I have had incredible experiences with include KKP, The Carson House, and The Glass House.
Small and medium businesses create nine out of ten Canadian jobs.
– Statistics Canada –
Canadian businesses have taken on tens of billions of dollars in debt, and many are struggling to repay.
– Statistics Canada –
At least half of every dollar spent at local businesses stays local.
– multiple North American studies –
Kingston was one of the Canadian economies most impacted by COVID-19.
– Conference Board of Canada –
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Tell us about the small business where you took your first date, where you had your first job, or where they treated you right.