When Chelsy Lueth heard of the Black Friday sales offered at Something Blue in downtown Hays, she promptly booked an appointment for a wedding gown fitting and made a trip to Hays.
And it’s a good thing she did. Lueth, who is to be married in October, said yes to the dress Friday morning at the boutique, surrounded by family. She also got a bargain, as owner Kayla Rathbun offered a holiday flash sale on wedding gowns with prices up to 75-percent off.
“We’ve looked in other places, me and my mom, and everywhere it was just too expensive and outrageous,” said Leuth, who even shed a few happy tears after finding her perfect dress. “When I heard about the (sale here), it was like 50 to 75 percent off. We wanted to check it out.”
Lueth and her fiance live in Salina, but met while working in Hays a few years ago. Applause could be heard from the private, upper-level dressing area as Lueth and her family celebrated her Black Friday find.
And for Rathbun and her staff, that’s what it’s all about. Rathbun said she had been wanting to offer a Black Friday sale on wedding gowns, and this year had enough inventory to move forward.
Response to the sale had been so positive that the store was booked solid for wedding gown fittings all weekend, even through Sunday, though the rest of the store will be closed.
“I’m so glad we have the gowns. It’s so fun,” Rathbun said, noting she also was thankful for the opportunity to help women afford their dream wedding dresses.
“Wherever we can help out. (Weddings) are very expensive. So if you can get a good deal on a dress, you just automatically save some money right there.”
Holiday sales extended to veils and accessories, as well as the boutique’s offering of women’s and children’s apparel and gift items. Something Blue, 1008 Main, also has a selection of bridesmaid, prom, mother of the bride and flower girl dresses.
The business opened last October and added wedding gowns to its offerings in February. Their selection has been expanding since. Many brides from out of town saw the store’s Black Friday weekend promotions on social media and decided to make appointments while in town visiting family for the holiday.
Among them was Caitlin Brisendine, who lives in Mission but was visiting her grandmother, Barbara Perkins of Ellis, for Thanksgiving. The family also came across the Black Friday ad and decided to stop by to browse the selection of gowns, as Brisendine is to be married next spring.
“I’m very picky, so I figured if I look now, eventually I will find something I like,” she said.
Foot traffic was steady through downtown Hays on Friday morning, possibly encouraged by unseasonably warm temperatures that topped 70 degrees before noon.
And just a block away, Diamond R Jewelry, 807 Main, also was offering a holiday special targeted at couples soon to be engaged. In an unusual twist, the store is offering a voucher for a free gun from Joe Bob Outfitters, 4850 General Hays, for customers who buy an engagement ring valued at $2,500 or more. The voucher could be used to choose one of three guns: A rifle, a pistol or a shotgun. It also can be used in the store to select something different, if desired.
The special is intended to offer a reward geared toward men who choose to purchase the ring from the local business this holiday season, said sales associate Lucas Roths. The store also will offer a special trunk show Thursday and Friday featuring vintage and unique pre-owned jewelry.
This season is especially busy for the jewelry store, as many couples become engaged during the holidays and other customers purchase fine jewelry as a special gift.
“I would say, by far, this is our busiest time of year for engagement and for fashion, obviously,” Roths said.