MBA Alumnae Continue Entrepreneurial Success with Launch of Local Boutique

Originally Posted by: Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. 

MBA Alumnae, Mallory McKewen & Kaleah Baker

MBA Alumnae Mallory McKewen and Kaleah Baker are the two minds behind BridesMade, a company designed to make bridesmaid dress shopping better for millennials. The pair graduated from LaunchPad and have since grown the company to a team of 16. They recently opened their Kitchener boutique after operating as a predominantly online service since they started the company in 2015. They mentioned that opening their own physical store was not a part of the company’s original plan, and actually represented a key pivot and unexpected customer insight.

“One of our [original] three pillars of our value prop was it’s all online, you don’t need to try it on. Whereas now one of the pillars of our value prop is we’ve got tons of options for you to try it… and we make sure every customer tries it on before their wedding.”

Both co-founders have been heavily involved in the startup community since starting their venture, having been a part of LaunchPad, AC JumpStart, and Fierce Founders. The pair even returned to LaunchPad as mentors, advising a handful of companies, including previous Lattes with LaunchPad highlights; Hi-Ride and Verda. Both Mallory and Kaleah expressed how they enjoy mentoring LaunchPad companies and shared what they, in turn, get out of the experience.

“Sometimes they talk about things, and I’m like I don’t know if we’ve even thought about that… There are definitely things you learn from a company with fresh ideas.”