The day Sposabella Couture opened this past summer three lesbian couples came in to pick out custom gowns and custom tuxedos—the first the owner ever made.
Since then, business have been booming, with a swath of clients the owner, Alice Sena, has never had before: gay couples looking to tie the knot.
“I am the busiest I have ever been,” Sena said on Wednesday while she was organizing wedding gowns in her store. “Thanks to gay weddings I have doubled business.”
Sena, can thank on June 24, 2011, which extended marriage rights to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender couples (LGBT), Park Slope, which has one of the highest lesbian populations in any neighborhood in the five boroughs, or she can give a nod to the display in her window for drawing in a new demographic of patrons.
In the shop’s window, between Berkeley and Lincoln places, there are two female mannequins, one in a white silk tuxedo she made by hand, and the other one in a white, flowing gown.
Sena said that the lesbian wedding scene has done its fair share of drawing in business.
Her store used to be in Bay Ridge for 26 years, but after a fire she decided to pack up and move to a new neighborhood, and she landed on her feet in Park Slope.
“Thank God we are doing well, we have had a tremendous response,” Sena said, explaining that she was afraid opening up a new shop in a new part of Brooklyn, physically separating herself from her old neighborhood and life-long clients.
But the obstacles of starting fresh proved to be blessings. This past November, a month that is usually slow in the wedding industry, she sold 27 dresses, compared to less than ten in a hypical November.
She has sold seven gowns and tuxedos to gay couples since she opened, a number she is proud of. And this weekend, she hopes to get even more same-sex clients.
This Sunday, Sena will be putting on a same-sex wedding fashion show for .
The fashion show, which will start at 2 p.m., will have 15 women and 15 men strutting down the catwalk styled in gowns and tuxedos styled in designs inspired by the 1930s, 1940s and 1960s.
She said the female couples will have one bride in a gown and the other bride in a tux, and the men will all be in tuxedos.
“I was the first person in Brooklyn with a window accepting gay marriage and they have accepted me with open arms,” Sena said. “I feel fantastic, I am so honored to be part of this historic moment in Borough Hall and the fashion show will be mine, with all of my gowns.”
The wedding dresses the models will be wearing are by designers like Manuel Mota, Pronovias and Rina di Montella, with a price tag over $2,000. They are made from silk mikado, silk shantung and silk organza.
All the tuxedos are handmade by Sena in the store.
“My motto is that I carry ‘everything for the bride…except the groom,’” Sena said. “But that is no long true, now I carry everything.”