RACINE COUNTY — For 17 years, the Cruz family has operated the World of Bridal Anahi in Racine. It wasn’t until this spring that the family found a new home for their small business in Mount Pleasant.
The move comes with the intention to better serve customers on a larger scale while providing a memorable experience for shoppers.
The bridal boutique and formalwear store that serves both men and women are located at 5407 Spring St.
Living the American dream
The backbone behind the brand is Maria Cruz and her daughter, Anahi.
Maria was just five years old when she began sewing. She had looked up to her grandma, mom and sister and knew it was something she wanted to know how to do too, so she embarked on the path to do the same thing the women in front of her had followed.
“I started doing tall dresses. Then when I was done with middle school, my dad asked me if I wanted to start a career or something at high school or college, and I told him no, I want to go to school for sewing. So then my dad found an academy and I studied sewing,” explained Maria.
She was between the ages of 14 and 16 when she went to the academy.
In 1997, Maria made her journey to the United States from Mexico with her husband, Benito. She set out to live the American dream.
While she was leaving behind the family she loved, Cruz brought with her the ability to sew and the power to create a better life for herself and her future family.
During an interview with the Racine County Eye, Anahi translated her mother’s words, explaining that Maria feels extremely proud to come from another country and also take the skills that she learned in her studies, in another country, to live out her life, doing what she loves, every day.
That dream has been a lived reality for nearly two decades, and now Maria’s dream is expanding by leaps and bounds, all while passing off her knowledge to her daughter, Anahi, who joined her mom’s business in 2019.
“I went to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, double majored in molecular bioinformatics and Spanish. After I finished, I hopped into business,” said Anahi.
Over the years, she picked up the skill of sewing from her mom. Anahi would occasionally make a dress or two, sometimes even for friends.
But where this young entrepreneur really shines is on the business side of World of Bridal Anahi.
“After I had done my undergrad, I went ahead and did like a selfless act and got my Master’s in Business Administration. So my MBA has helped me this past year – after graduation in 2022 – to really crack down and get things going,” Anahi said.
The reopening of World of Bridal Anahi was fully funded by the Cruz Family. No state or federal loans were used or accepted for the new storefront in Mount Pleasant. In addition to Maria and Anahi, Benito serves as their right-hand man and go-to guy for any repairs or support that is needed. The shop is truly a family experience.
Now, the store is open, bigger and better than before, every Monday through Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can also be made.
World of Bridal Anahi is the place to be for any formalwear needs. The Cruz Family does not limit themselves.
The store carries a handful of bridal, bridesmaids, prom, First Communion attire, Quinceañera dresses, and accessories galore including shoes, crowns, hair pieces, jewelry, and more.
They offer tuxedo rentals, too. They currently work with Jim’s Formal Wear for adults and children.
Alterations provide an inclusive experience
“We always try to make sure we make the dreams of our customers come true,” said Anahi, “especially because a lot of the time, it is a one-day event. So we always like to think about the importance of your day.”
This is why Maria’s sewing skills are so keen.
They also tackle alterations and can work one on one with customers to provide custom-made clothing or dresses. If an item is purchased at the store, the alterations are included in the price.
The store is size inclusive carrying a wide range of sizes from a small to a 4X, with the option to make dresses smaller or larger if needed.
“Something that my mom has tried emphasizing over the years is that a lot of girls… like it because of the simple fact that even when a dress doesn’t come in their size, we are able to change a zipper, add a corset,” said Anahi.
If the store doesn’t carry it, the girls work to make it or create it, with the customer always at the forefront.
“I think the thing is loving what you are doing and having really good customer service too,” is the key to success explained Maria.
Video created by Juan Morales, music by Kevin Aguilar.
To learn more about this business, follow World of Bridal Anahi on Facebook and Instagram. Call 262 638-2380 for more information. They are also available on The Knot.
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