Meet the Moms: Shelley and Alyssa from Becker’s Bridal | Greater Lansing Area Moms

It is Meet a Mom Monday and this week, it is Meet the Moms!

Shelley Mueller and Alyssa Pung from Becker’s Bridal in Fowler join Greater Lansing Area Moms this week and we are honored to share this mother and daughter duo with you!  Both have three kids, both were born, raised and live in the area and together are the fourth and fifth generation owners of Becker’s Bridal.

Becker’s Bridal in Fowler is celebrating their 90th year in business and is a pillar in the wedding industry.  What started as the Frank A Becker General Store in the 1930s is now the largest bridal shop in the United States with over 2,000 gowns in stock from 40 different designers!  Learn more about Becker’s Bridal, how they keep their brand fresh while paying tribute to their family roots.  Also what to expect from planning your visit, the Phoenix Room, the new LUXE division – that is coming soon, their Lansing location and so, so much more!   

This duo offer lots of mom tips and tricks!  Between the two, they have 6 children and that makes Shelley a grandma too!  Both Shelley and Alyssa spent a great deal of time at Becker’s Bridal growing up and they share about being moms while owning and operating a business in a highly competitive, dynamic industry that keeps them very busy and how they harmonize family and work life together.  

Shelley and Alyssa, welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, please introduce yourself!  

(S): I was born and raised in Fowler, Michigan and graduated from Fowler High School. I currently reside in Ionia, Michigan. I’ve been working and building Becker’s Bridal from the age of 14.

(A): I was born and raised in Fowler, MI and still reside here after earning two degrees from CMU, one being apparel merchandising and design. During this time I was able to gain insightful industry experience while studying abroad in Paris and doing a bridal internship in New York City. I loved spending time in the bridal store with my Mom and Grandma growing up and they officially started paying me when I was a freshman in High School. I worked weekends and summers while in school, and when I graduated from Central I came back to Becker’s Bridal to build up my bank account, but ended up staying on board and became co-owner over 10 years ago. 

I married my high school sweetheart, Cory, in 2012 and after our first child was born he came on to work a major role at Becker’s as well. We built our forever home in 2017, out in the country, only a few miles from the store, which we spend an equal amount of time at! Together with our children, we enjoy playing outside in the yard, visiting with friends and family, going out to eat, taking trips when possible, and reading.

How old are your children? 

(S): I have three children in total: one daughter Alyssa aged 37, who I run the business with, and two sons aged 33 and 30.

(A): I have three boys, Ezra is 9, Ellis is almost 7, and Ames is 2.5. 

What do you think is one of the best parts about being a mom? 

(S): There are many joys of being a mother. One of the biggest fulfillments to being a mom is seeing and watching your children grow into productive beings and seeing them be happy in their personal lives and doing what they love.

(A): The blessing of being a mom never escapes me, not even on the challenging days. One of my favorite parts is watching them learn new things for the first time, knowing that you somehow made this spectacular, little, real life human. 

With three young boys, things can get crazy at times, but every once in a while they look directly into your eyes and you can just feel how much they love you just for being you, and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything in the world. Also, kids are just funny. End of story!

What is a piece of advice for new moms you wish you would have known when you were a new mom?

(S): I would assure new moms to enjoy each and every moment when you’re new to the motherhood scene. Knowing that your best is awesome and to not worry if doubts sneak in that you’re not experiencing each task perfectly.

(A): No one and nothing can truly prepare you for being a new mom. All of it: the good, the bad, the ugly can blindside you, but you are not alone. And you were made for this. It is all going to be okay, and truly will be the best adventure of your life! Ask for help and hold them whenever you can, but also don’t forget to love yourself, too. 

Please tell us more about the history of Becker’s Bridal!  How did this business come to be?

Becker’s Bridal is the oldest family owned Bridal salon in the country. It is currently under the leadership of the fourth and fifth generation – Shelley + Alyssa. Becker’s was a large general store back in the 1930’s through the 50’s. 

Bridal Gowns came to be in our existing store back in 1934 when the first gown was hand selected by Grandma Eva during a business buying trip in Chicago for another store owner on her upcoming marriage. Though, for a long time, bridal gowns lived alongside pickle barrels and any other dry goods that drew people to Fowler, MI. In the 70s and 80s my grandparents transitioned it from the Frank A Becker General Store to Becker’s Bridal and evolved into what we have today! After that, the rest is sort of history.

What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business? Most challenging?

(S): One of the most rewarding parts of owning my own business is witnessing the impact I have on helping people fulfill their own destinies and helping brides find their dream gown and partaking in their families special moments. Challenging aspects of owning your own business is keeping up with new trends and finding team members to always evolve with our growth.

(A): I find the most rewarding part of owning your own business is writing your own story and imparting pieces of that legacy onto the people you employ and serve. We get the liberty of choosing how our workplace functions and the people we surround ourselves with. The more challenging part is creating a work-life balance. 

The business is your baby, too, and in many ways can demand more from you than your real children. You eat, breathe, live and dream about your job. A true break doesn’t exist, and even vacations include work. Being a business where working weekends is vital to your heartbeat, making choices between what the business needs and what your children need in this phase of life can be difficult.

What are some of your top tips to brides just starting their wedding planning?

(S): Top tips for brides just starting their journey would be to research the vendors they feel they want to seek out and to trust their gut when decisions are made and then move on to all the other fun areas of the wedding planning. Trust when you make your decisions. If intervals of the planning feel stressed or if too many opinions of well wishers become overwhelming, just breathe and know that when the big day finally rolls around that everything falls into place and all of your choices will be perfect.

(A): My best pro tip is to remember this is your time, and while there can be a lot of pressure out there, at the end of the day you are entering a marriage with the person you love. Research, but try not to over analyze. Trying and doing all the things can wear you out, so sometimes more doesn’t always mean more. Secure your big vendors as quickly as you can, and if you haven’t already, make lists of those that most align with your desired aesthetic and values and work down availability from there. 

What are you seeing for wedding trends this summer?

(S): Some of the more popular trends this summer include pearls, monochromatic tones, classic, clean cut styles.

(A): And something we saw a lot of at the bridal market coming up was off the shoulder long sleeves, on both fitted and big lacy ball gowns.

What are some of the most common questions you get from brides?

(S): One of the most common questions we receive from brides is about how sizing works. Orders need to be placed 6 months to a year in advance, concerns arise how their dress will fit if their weight changes in the interim and how the gown can be altered when the wedding date approaches.

(A): One of the first questions we get from brides before even seeing them in person is lead times- “How long does it take for a gown to come in?” If we are looking at a special order, gowns can take 5-9 months to be produced, and then up to five months for alterations. However, Becker’s works with dozens of designers stateside warehouses and stocks thousands of gowns in our store, so there are options for things to go home the same day or within a couple of weeks. 

The other common questions include how many gowns we have in store and in what sizes. We carry in house about 2,500 bridal gowns, varying from size 2-32, both of which are quite uncommon in the industry!

Describe a typical appointment at your store. Who do you recommend a bride brings with her on this special day?

A typical appointment is booked for 90 minutes. The bride is greeted by her personal stylist, discussion happens to get a feel of venue vibes, personal wants and any inspirations the bride has so the stylist can hone in on the best styles from our vast inventory to get her in the closest styling quickly. We recommend the bride brings a handful or less of the closest people to her that she values completely their opinion. This ensures an intimate and unwavering commitment to the dress choice that isn’t overwhelmed by too many outside opinions. 

We find 90% of our brides fall in love with a gown on the first visit, but maybe didn’t feel prepared emotionally and financially. We recommend our brides come with some inspiration of what they think they may like, but an open mind if it ends up being different than that. Be confident the magic can happen right away, so bringing the YES mindset as well as knowing payment expectations can help make the process seamless! 

And can you tell us about The Phoenix + LUXE division?

(S): The Phoenix is the perfect oasis to continue your celebration with your party and celebrate with a mimosa or specialty drink along with desserts, charcuterie and small plates. It’s the perfect setting for gorgeous photos and to unwind and enjoy some more time with your bridal team. It is also conveniently located right above our bridal salon, because we know people are meeting from all different directions and can work up an appetite after the shopping experience!

(A): LUXE is a new and private bridal en suite which allows brides to shop couture designers while receiving an elevated experience of bottle service, served charcuterie, and a personal swag bag. The setting is beyond gorgeous with a large marble platform and guest viewing area for up to 7 people. This space is booked for those looking specifically in the designer range of $4k-$14K+. 

What are your long term goals for Becker’s Bridal? 

(S): We’d love to continue building our team of dedicated experts in the future.

(A): In the short term, we are working on fleshing out the LUXE expansion and then are embarking on an expansion to the Outlet in Frandor. After all of that dust settles, we will be taking a break from expanding, but another location is never totally off the table, maybe even more NoMi! 

And would you tell us about Becker’s Bridal Outlet in Frandor?

The Becker’s Bridal Outlet in the Frandor Shopping Center has a large inventory of gowns that get all hand selected from the Flagship location on styles we feel can be marked down from the designers pricing. These gowns are purchased from the rack only, which is perfect for brides with quick weddings or the bride who wants a designer look at a reduced price.

While the Outlet does have a large selection of bridal gowns and accessories, they also house our collection of Mothers of the Wedding, which is an impressive selection of about 900 new, designer mothers’ gowns, some of which can be special ordered but all of which are kept in plastic bags so they can go home the same day!

How do you balance being a mom and your career?

(S): I try to leave work at work and enjoy the time off when I can take it and be present on the occasions I am able to spend personal time at. 

(A): Having the kids feel my presence is a major priority, but so is not leaving the business hanging. I do my best to make sure the store is covered with competent staff when really busy so I can still make core memories that include mom, but sometimes it can mean that only dad attends with them somewhere or I am standing in high heels on a cold Saturday morning for soccer and running back and forth to work. There is a bonus to having work so close to home and school. 

Here are a couple questions to get to know you better 🙂 

Favorite account or two on Instagram?

(S): @themindunleashed and @positiveaffirmations101

(A): I just love everything @thedailytay and @emilyvondy, when I’m not scrolling for work

Last book you read?

(S):  “Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar” by Allison Maslan

(A): Right now I am reading “The Women by Kristen Hannah. She is an author who gets me deep in the feels every time, with her strong female leads and often relatable female bonds. 

What is your favorite TV show or series? 

(S): New Amsterdam most recently 

(A): I would be lying if I said I didn’t binge FRIENDS all through college, and more recently am heartbroken by The Middle going off the air. 

Must have beauty or skincare products?

(S): Non toxic from Pure Haven Essentials and the phototherapy from Life Wave

(A): I am faithful daily to my Omnilux red light therapy mask and ZO Skin health regimen. 

Do you have a favorite podcast? 

(S): I am not a podcast person, but I hope to be trendy and cool someday. I think the only podcast I have listened to was when Becker’s was a guest on Dressing up with Sarah Kolis who happens to be an alteration referral for us on the east side of the state. 

(A): I have been meaning to listen to Net Positive with Jon Crist and Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard for a while…

Are you a morning person, or a night owl? 

(S): Night Owl all the way

(A): As much as I would love to be a morning person, I stay up way too late worrying and planning for that!

Where are some of your favorite places locally to spend time with your family?

(S): The Alibi and Mooville in Ionia are always a favorite spot to take the grandkids. 

(A): We love to visit Phillips Orchard (St Johns, Frandor, Maple Rapids), Cook + Co and the historic Theater in Ionia, Horrocks for Pad Thai and the Garden in Lansing, the Splash Pad and Concert Series in St Johns. The boys also love treats from Waypoint and Oh Mi Organics in St Johns and visits to Andy Ts (St Johns) and J&E Martin Farm (Westphalia). 

Any fun plans for the summer?

(S): Working and sitting by the pool reading more books. We are also taking a family trip with Alyssa and the family to Hilton Head Island in May. 

(A):  The summer is full of kids’ camps, baseball and weddings for me! We also hope to attend the Lantern Festival in GR and maybe take a day trip on the Amtrak to Chicago to visit Bluey’s house and the Shedd Aquarium. We also have a trip with Cory’s family and all their kids to St Joe, which is sure to be a good time. 

Shelley and Alyssa, thank you for joining us as Greater Lansing Area Moms Meet a Moms and sharing your story with us this week!  We enjoy introducing moms each and every week and it was so nice to learn more about you and the history of Becker’s Bridal!

We look forward to hearing more about the LUXE division when it opens later this spring.  And most importantly, congratulations on celebrating 90 years!

Learn more about Becker’s Bridal by visiting their website or any of the social media links below!

How do you prefer readers to connect with you if they would like more information or would like to connect?

(A): They are welcome to send an email to [email protected] or DM the Becker’s Instagram account. 

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