Sherry Matin can’t help but smile as she feels the smooth white satin between her finger tips.
“It’s just so pretty,” she gushes as she admires her handiwork.
Four years ago, Matin opened a tiny 48-square-foot clothing alterations shop on Lonsdale Avenue at 20th Street. Just last month, she took over the larger unit next door and has transformed the former medical office into an elegant showroom in which to display her new Sateen Bridal collection. With whitewashed floors, cream walls, chic crystal chandeliers, and plenty of mirrors to reflect the natural light streaming through the storefront window, the compact space feels larger than it is.
“When you come into this room, it makes you happy,” Matin says. “Pretty things make you happy.”
Matin has been working as a seamstress and dressmaker on the North Shore for more than two decades. Opening her own bridal shop has been a dream since she was 15 years old.
“It took a long time to get here, but we’re here,” she says.
She spent the last two years designing and sewing the 20 wedding gowns lovingly displayed on racks and mannequins in her new showroom. Matin opted not to follow fashion trends, rather, she created dresses that appealed to her own feminine tastes.
“I like all pretty things, I like laces, you know, I’m a very girly girl. I like rhinestones and elaborate things.”
Her collection features lots of romantic lace, smooth satin and flirty organza. Some of her gowns have tulle underskirts to add volume; others are embellished with beads, pearls, gemstones, handmade fabric flowers or feathers. There is an assortment of cuts to choose from: ball gown, mermaid, A-line or knee-length.
For an added personal touch, Matin has given names to all her creations. A gown with butterfly appliques is named after her mother; a dress with a train at the back and a raised hemline at the front (to show off the bride’s shoes) is named after her best friend.
“The thing I love about this place is everything has a story,” she says. “The dresses are all very special to me.”
If a bride falls in love with one of the gowns but the sample size doesn’t fit, Matin will create a brand new one in the customer’s size. It can take up to three months to make a dress, though, so Matin advises planning well in advance.
Prices for the Sateen Bridal collection range from $700 for a knee-length lace dress to $4,000 for a full-length satin gown with intricate rhinestone detailing. The collection also includes a handful of evening gowns which Matin was inspired to make after years of altering high school prom dresses.
Matin continues to run her alterations shop, but opens her bridal showroom by appointment. For more information, or to book an appointment, visit sateen.ca or call 604-763-4072.
Sateen Bridal is located at 102-1940 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver.