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Kathy’s Wedding Showcase designed as one-stop shop

When Kathy Niesen invests time and effort helping area brides organize their weddings and doesn’t hear from them again, its like one of her children has left home.

“They sort of become family when you’re working with them,” said Niesen. “Then, they don’t come back.”

“We go through everything with them,” Niesen said.



Niesen, 59, former owner of Kathy’s Hallmark, has carved a unique niche in the ever-burgeoning wedding planning industry. She owns Kathy’s Wedding Showcase, 101 Bank St., which is designed as a one-stop shop for brides.

Kathy’s joins other Grass Valley wedding businesses, including Vanity Faire and Lynette’s Tux-n-Tailor/Lynette’s Bridal Boutique.




Vanity Faire recently added traditional bride and bridesmaid dresses to its offerings through a store catalog. The store continues to offer nontraditional wedding dresses that it’s had since the store began 10 years ago, said shop owner Sherri Soares.

It wasn’t until the past week that Kathy’s Wedding Showcase, which opened its doors in July, had a broad spectrum of vendors offering services through the store.

The expanded services and last month’s wedding fair at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City bolstered business, Niesen said.

“We’re just jumping out of our shoes,” said Niesen late last week.

The shop’s 23 vendors include: photographers, disc jockeys, a bridal fitness business, wedding cake groups, wedding gown services and gifts for bridesmaids and groomsman. Niesen’s goal is to eventually have more than 100 vendors offer services through her shop.

Beyond the one-stop concept, Niesen said she’s offering what a wedding consultant or planner would offer without charging.

“I’m like a booking agent for them,” Niesen said. Most professional consultants could charge between $1,500 and $10,000, she said.

Niesen makes her money by charging the vendors fees for locating in her shop and she does wedding invitations herself.

“I don’t want them to fill in the blanks (on their wedding invitations),” Niesen said. She said she wants the brides to come up with invitations tailored to the couple personally.

Niesen organized her own wedding by herself when she was 25 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She sees her new business as living a dream.

“It’s just turning out wonderful,” Niesen said.

But Niesen and her vendors understand the business concept is so new that people still don’t understand its scope.

“She’s got the hurdle of trying to explain it to people,” said Charlie Abernathybettis owner of Maverick Designs.

Abernathybettis’ business offers making wedding photos into oil paintings through an elaborate computer program. He’s one of Niesen’s vendors but he has yet to get any business through Kathy’s Wedding Showcase.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gmoberly@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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