Hana Abboud has a unique eye for dresses worn by modest brides across cultures and religions. She is the owner of L’Amour Bridal in Dearborn. This week she’s going to New York Bridal Week for the 12th time.
Abboud says she has loved bridal fashion since she was a kid.
“I used to buy bridal magazines as a nine-year-old, and then I had my own experience when I was engaged at 21 and I did not like my experience anywhere I went. So I decided to follow my heart and open my store to make brides feel as comfortable as possible.”
Abboud was working as a branch manager for PNC Bank, when she realized she didn’t like working for a corporate company.
“I kind of had this epiphany that maybe I’m meant to do my own thing. I decided to follow my passion and came up with a business plan and that’s how we went about it.”
Then she opened L’Amour Bridal. She has customers from out of state and across cultures.
Abboud offers bridal gowns at the mid-range price point, $2,500 to $12,000. Many brides spend about $4,000-$6,500 for the base price, she says. Customizations have additional costs.
“You literally can change everything about it to make it modest for you and no one will know the difference. So we’ve been able to sell one dress seven different ways, it’s unique for that bride when she buys it.”
Abboud says she caters to Muslim, Jewish, Romanian, and American brides, oftentimes who are looking for more modest options.
“We’re able to do what we need to do to kind of make their dream dress happen,” she says.
During COVID-19 her business was temporarily closed. She says that created a ripple effect on the industry.
“Dresses are made to order so it’s not available. The minute you want it, it takes like four to six months. That used to be the timeline before COVID started, now it’s more like five to eight months.”
Abboud says along with carrying designer dresses, she has her own collection.
“If you can’t change a neckline to make that more conservative or drop it to make it a little bit more, you know, sexy, they’re not going to want to buy that dress from you. So when I started my collection, that changed everything for me. It’s been so rewarding. I love doing it.”
This week, Abboud is attending New York Bridal Fashion Week, one of the biggest industry events, to see next season’s gowns.
“We’ll kind of pick the dresses that we think Michigan brides would want to buy and wear,” she says.
Abboud is a first-generation Lebanese American. Her parents immigrated from Lebanon. She says that her identity plays a huge role as a businesswoman.
“It’s given me my independence. It’s changed the narrative for me as a woman and it’s shown, like my family, my friends, we really can be independent. We can still get married, have kids have our families do what we are supposed to do and want to do, and still be a figure in the community.”
As a Muslim entrepreneur, Abboud says she’s breaking barriers.
“I love being able to show other Muslim women that we can do it. We’ve been told for so long that as women, we can’t make it. We’ve made it. I’m making it and I want to help the next generation of Muslim women do it.”
She says the biggest challenge has been being a female entrepreneur.
“I’m actually running this company from the ground up. I started it, there was no one helping me make those business decisions. So it’s been interesting.”
She says she hopes to inspire more Muslim and Arab American women to follow their dreams.
“What we do as Muslim women is so important because we want to help everyone else around us. I mean, that is one of the core things that I want to do as a businesswoman.”