As a kid, Emma enjoyed watching old movies with her family. Since her mother was an avid seamstress in her spare time, she would point out particulars to her. "My mom would lean over and be sure I could see how well the stripes were matching on a suit or how an evening gown was beautifully layered." The costumes of those films made Emma excited to learn to sew. Her mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother all played a part in teaching her when she was ten years old.
After having made many costumes and high school dance dresses over the years, Emma decided to pursue an Apparel Design degree at Louisiana State University. As an undergrad, she was recommended for an internship with New Orleans couturier, Suzanne Perron. During this internship, she learned couture techniques and the intricate process of custom gown work. After graduation from LSU, she returned to Suzanne Perron, LLC to work and continue learning.
Emma then went on to manage I Do Bridal Couture in Baton Rouge, returning to her college town to be closer to her now husband. Here, she fell in love with the business and customer service aspect of bridal. "I still love being around beautiful fabrics and handmade gowns. But I also love getting to know new people. And this way, I get to meet a lot of amazing women and match them with the perfect dress for their style and personality. "
In February of 2016, Emma moved to Charleston and joined the Maddison Row team. She works very closely with MR brides during appointments and is there to oversee fittings as well. She enjoys using her way with words to manage our social media accounts and website content.
Kira Elizabeth Schlepp is originally from Minnesota and began sewing at age eight. She was first driven to sew when she wanted to create outfits for her stuffed animals. "I started with fabric, glue, and staples," she says. "Then my mom started teaching me what she knew about sewing."
Having been taught the basic skills and given a sewing machine, Kira's skills quickly surpassed her mother's and her talents began to take shape. She continued to make her own stuffed animals, dress them, and eventually create clothes for herself.
After high school, Kira attended the University of Minnesota. She first declared an art history major before switching to clothing design. During her studies, Kira interned with Japanese designer Junko Yoshioka as well as a small scale, custom designer. She trained at David's Bridal for many years doing small alterations and this is where she found her passion for bridal design.
In 2009, she launched her own bridal line called Kira Elizabeth Designs. Through her own work, she continued to perfect the art of bridal construction. She showed her complete collection at Charleston Fashion Week in 2011 and was quickly featured on multiple media platforms. Weddingdresses.com named Kira one of the top 20 wedding gown designers to watch in 2012. She has also been featured in Charleston Weddings Magazine as well as Charleston Style and Design.
When asked what she loves about what she does she replied, "I'm passionate about having such an impact on other people's lives. Especially during one of the most important and exciting times in their lives."
Kira works exclusively for Maddison Row as their premiere seamstress. She also does incredible work restoring and redesigning heirloom gowns and veils.