When Alfred Angelo bridal store suddenly closed its doors for good it sent thousands of brides into a panic, but an Oklahoma seamstress saved the wedding day for a lot of those brides.
The Alfred Angelo store has been locked up since its corporate headquarters announced it was filing for bankruptcy two weeks ago. But on that last day, Rose Ellis hurried to grab every dress that was paid for and ready for alterations and took them home with her.
“It’s me being part of a girl’s special occasion,” said Rose as she fussed with a bustle on a dress. Her sewing room is stuffed with about 60 wedding dresses all from the now closed Alfred Angelo. She was a contract seamstress for the company, and on the day she found out she was losing her job, her first thought was all those brides.
“Wheels are turning in my brain,” she explained. “What do I do next? What’s the next step? I’m thinking first thing I got to do is make sure I have all the gowns.”
Not only did she grab the dresses, but shoes, veils, belts and anything else the brides had paid for but not picked up.
“I had little baggies with their names and stuff on them. I was sticking them with their dresses when I got to the house making sure they had all their merchandise.”
Word quickly spread among Angelo's customers of Rose's heroics.
“You know these girls were frantic trying to find out where their dresses were.”
Araceli Para was one of those. She learned about the store's closing on Facebook.
“I called her right away and she was like, I have your dress,” said Para.
Rose has since been working almost round the clock to complete all the needed alterations, even though she doubts Angelo will ever pay her for the work. The brides already paid Angelo for the alterations.
“I say you don't have to give me anything. my gift is for you to wear your dress and be happy with it,” said Rose.
And once a week Rose drives from her home in Tulsa to Oklahoma City deliver the dresses in what may at this point be the Bride's second happiest day of their life.
“They’re in tears, they’re just so grateful they have a gown and the moms are like you’re a lifesaver and I’m like I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.”
The Holiday Inn Express at Penn Square donated a conference room for Rose to work out of. They even offered her brides a free night in the bridal suite.
One of Rose's Brides has started a Go Fund me site to help Rose out. GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/offset-costs-for-hero-seamstress
short code: gf.me/u/bg7gdk
Rose says she plans to continue to do alterations through her own company "Rozetia Ellis Design and Alterations".