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Inmate escapes from Tri-County Regional Jail in Champaign County

Springfield bridal, tux business grows

Local store gets more space at Upper Valley Mall.


A bridal and tuxedo business that started in its Springfield owner’s home in 2007 continues to grow with a recent move at the Upper Valley Mall.

Lady Elizabeth Bridal and Tux has been located at the Upper Valley Mall for about four years, said Karen Nelson, who started and owns the business. This month, the business moved from its previous 1,700 square foot location in the mall’s JCPenney wing to an 8,000 square foot facility across from Bath and Body Works.

Nelson, who learned to sew when she was 11 years old, got her start in the bridal and tuxedo business several years ago but was eventually encouraged to start her own business. Initially called Lady Elizabeth Designs, Nelson’s business started out offering alterations for garments and a consignment service. But the business grew, and because she knew the bridal and tuxedo business, she decided to expand and open a small store in the Upper Valley Mall.

She now has three employees but still serves as the only seamstress. Nelson said she still takes pride in customer service, and still makes time to work with customers to repair jeans, suits and any other items they may need assistance with, along with the traditional retail business.

The new, larger location will allow room for her business to add inventory, a runway and a stage and put more items on display.

“We wanted the space for a long time, so when we saw the opportunity we took it,” Nelson said.

At 4:30 p.m. Friday, she said the business will host a prom and tuxedo fashion show at 4:30 p.m. featuring area high school students. The event will include a sale, vendors, a Dj and door prizes for the students.

The business does a good job of interacting with its customers and has been a successful tenant, said Brenda LaBonte, manager of the Upper Valley Mall.

“That’s a very personalized business, and they needed to grow,” LaBonte said.

It’s not yet clear what might fill the 1,700 square foot space Lady Elizabeth Bridal and Tux previously occupied, LaBonte said.



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