With new businesses there can be a lot of questions. What is Honeybee Bride? What is a honeymoon shop? Where did you get the name from? What does your brand stand for? Do you only cater to brides? The list can go on, depending on whose asking the questions. Before diving into the answers lets meet me!
Hi! I'm Melissa Segebre-Stamnos, Queen Bee and Head Honeymoon Wardrobe Curator of Honeybee Bride. I have always been passionate of writing and fashion from a very early age. Writing helped me sort through so many emotions one can feel as a teen and really has continued through even today. I studied fashion design in hopes of creating a name for myself in the industry but it never took off after graduation as I chose my love life over my career (classic hopeless romantic at heart).
My obsession with the bridal world first began at the age of 21, when I was planning my first wedding. Yep you read that right! At the very young age of 21 I chose to ignore my parents and friends advice and just do the damn thing. (Side note: If you're currently planning your wedding and its your first, just be prepared to know that most likely your wedding is really for your parents, the honeymoon is for you! Especially if they're paying... at least in my experience it was that way.)
I began to purchase bridal magazines and became enthralled in the beauty of every little detail. From the wedding theme to the garter color, I became obsessed with everything. Not like bridezilla crazy, I'd say I internalized my obsession for the most part. Flipping through those gorgeous glossy pages I'd imagine myself in the stunning gowns, picturesque venues filled with flowers galore, and surrounded by loved ones. Yes my first wedding was absolutely beautiful, I couldn't thank my parents enough.
As they say life happens and going off to New York City to purse those fashion dreams was definitely not in my career cards as with marriage comes responsibilities such as a rent and car payments, a significant other to consider, student loans etc. At the age of 23 I found myself divorced and starting over-ish. Throughout all this time, even after I graduated I maintained working in the retail industry as it was the one job that fit my Universities crazy schedule. As time went on, the longer I worked in the retail industry the more I began to feel, "If I owned my own business, I would do XYZ different". I'm observant by nature, so I had always observed my surroundings, except one day, I began to view work from a different point of view. I began to study retail as an overall business, to actively listen to clients verbally and nonverbally, to observe the operations aspect, to learn management from amazing superiors I had at the time as if I was in an entrepreneurial apprenticeship; and not the assistant manger and sales associate I was at the time. Through this my sales performance increased and my brain began to look at the retail business a little differently (in a positive way).
Time passed and life, as you know it, happened again. At the age of 28 years old getting married for a second time. During this time, I was living in Detroit and working for a luxury company that I absolutely loved. Unfortunately the management team had a lot of opportunity for growth to say the least and at times work was very challenging to come to despite having created such an amazing client book and financial success for myself. I am proud to say I became the first sales professional in that store to have reached 1 Million in the 5 years it had been open.
For a while I had been feeling the pull towards starting my own business, I do come from a family of entrepreneurs after all and the challenges I was facing during my tenure just pushed me further towards starting my entrepreneurial journey. (Everything happens for a reason so major thanks to my previous management team.)
I wasn't quite sure what business I wanted to begin, a clothing line? I studied fashion design, maybe. Bathing suits? I love them but my heart was set on something else. Something else that I didn't know yet.
Frustrated with my career, my coworker sat down with me and brain stormed what business I could start. I thought of a bridal shop but I wasn't quite committed to opening a store in Detroit and was not open to doing an online bridal shop. The two things I knew I wanted was an online business, and something to do with the bridal industry so if my husband and I moved again I could take the business with me anywhere. (Starting everything from scratch is EXTREMELY challenging especially in a new city, new environment, no family or friends)
I recalled my shopping experiences as I was planning my honeymoon, especially during the Winter months, shopping around can get frustrating. Let's also be honest the Midwest is not necessarily known as the fashion capital unless you are driving to Chicago to shop. It can be difficult to find cute clothes and because the fashion industry goes in seasons if your honeymoon is "off season" finding warm weather clothes may not be an easy feat.
Then it hit me. A honeymoon shop! I found a niche in the bridal industry which is the honeymoon wardrobe. Everyone focuses on the wedding, all the little details, and aspects of a wedding that a bride at first has no clue. The industry rarely puts the focus on the honeymoon and its fashion details other than location and day trips. In all the bridal magazines I've read, in all the research I've done, the emphasis has always been on catering brides through their wedding planning and location of their honeymoon -period. (The photo is my first business card, designed and created by me!)
Major light bulbs were lit everywhere in my little head and so we started thinking of names for this amazing idea. I love my last name as its unique but it can be a bit challenging to pronounce, so I didn't want it to be difficult for clients to remember. I love learning the meaning of names or the symbolism behind numbers. I began thinking of what my name means and I recall my mom saying she named me because she wanted me to be sweet (or something like that haha you know moms) I googled my name again and read that it comes from Greek origins and means honeybee. Ding, ding, ding! The business name Honeybee Bride was born in April of 2019.
It wasn't until the summer (2019) that I got a bigger push from life. My husband got a work opportunity in New Orleans and I wouldn't have a paying job for x amount of time (I was not able to transfer my job) so I chose this as my sign from life to move full force with Honeybee Bride and get it up and running. I booked a trip to visit vendors and I mindfully choose pieces that tastefully screamed of chic island vibes and bohemian romance. I chose pieces you will be so excited to wear for your honeymoon but could easily wear again on a girls trip to Cancun for example.
This video is a small behind the scenes of our first photoshoot at the Catahoula Hotel in New Orleans!
As an ambitious young-ish entrepreneur I have a lot of hope and vision for Honeybee Bride. We are an online shop that focuses exclusively on bringing forth a thoughtfully curated collection of romantic, island chic clothing, and accessories for the bride shopping for her honeymoon wardrobe.
At Honeybee Bride, our vision is to become the number one go to online destination for every bride, of all shapes and sizes, shopping for their honeymoon wardrobe essentials. Honeybee bride is committed to working closely with our vendors to ethically source fashionable, beautifully crafted, pieces that not only makes you swoon as much as you did the first day you met your love, but also tells a story through the hands of the crafter to carry with you wherever you may go, such as our Colombian handbags from Apaya. We strive to create a loving and joy filled consumer experience.
We are ambitious, we are dreamers, and we are constantly living in the bridal and fashion magazines. Our cliché is that our passion is fashion, alongside our obsession with the bridal world. Each piece will always be chosen with the honeymooner in mind. Attention to fabric material, style, and design, is always at the forefront of my mind. Romance, eternal happiness, and boho vibes fill our online boutique as we relive our own honeymoon days.
I thank you for your support!
Melissa Segebre- Stamnos
Queen Bee of Honeybee Bride and Head Honeymoon Wardrobe Stylist. Melissa is based in New Orleans, LA and lives with her husband and two fur babies, Grover & Bailey, who you will sometimes see living the good life on instagram.