MSUB Alumni selected as 2016 40 Under Forty

Taryn Plouffe

B.S. Public Relations 2008

 owner, Belle en Blanc Bridal Boutique

 

Taryn Plouffe

Some customers bring along their mothers for support. Others pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. Whoever is the customer, Taryn Plouffe, owner of Belle en Blanc, always works to ensure that future brides have a positive experience when shopping for that special dress.

 

“Buying a wedding dress can be one of the most fun things to do,” Plouffe said. “Brides dream about this day, and aside from the ring, buying the dress is the biggest deal.”

 

Plouffe has sold a lot of wedding dresses in the two years that Belle en Blanc has been in business at 114 N. Broadway. During that time, she’s learned that many of her customers are motivated to make a decision right away, rather than simply shopping around.

 

“Most people are in the moment when buying a wedding dress,” she said. “They have to see it, have to try it now.”

 

Because weddings traditionally take place in the summer, most brides begin looking for a dress about six months ahead of the date.

 

“A lot of May and June brides shop in the previous October, and the busy season continues through March,” she said. “In the summer we’re slammed with requests for alterations. That’s a very busy season for our seamstress.”

 

Destination weddings — which often take place in exotic locations far from home — are becoming more popular. As a result, many brides opt for wedding gowns that are appropriate for a tropical setting, Plouffe said.

 

But not everybody gets married in the summer. When couples opt for a wedding in January or February, Plouffe can help them too. One bride picked a pink dress for her wedding on Valentine’s Day.

 

Growing up, Plouffe’s father sometimes told her: “You will never be fully happy until you work for yourself.”

 

“Of course as a teen, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or what Billings needed,” she said. “I proceeded and received my degree in public relations, and found jobs in that field. I loved what I was doing, but always wondered if he was right.”

 

In 2013, she helped her sister buy a wedding dress and wasn’t satisfied with the selection.

 

“We found ourselves wanting to travel to achieve that big-city atmosphere some brides desire when finding a dress,” she said. “And then it clicked: Why doesn’t Billings have a nice bridal boutique?”

 

Five months later, Belle en Blanc opened.

 

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job? Wanting to help every bride that is engaged but knowing that’s not possible. I want to have a dress for every bride, body type and budget. I want to provide the best customer service and experience that bride will receive so she doesn’t feel the need to go elsewhere. I find myself discouraged if Belle en Blanc wasn’t what that bride was looking for….and if I have done my best, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

What’s the best business advice you have received? “Never stagnate.”

 

Who gave you that advice? My dad.

 

Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: I like to donate my clothes to people who need them, rather than sell them. The small act of clothing a young person or keeping a mother warm with my old coat makes me happy.

 

Outside of work, my biggest passion is: Health and fitness.

 

Which living person do you most admire? My husband. He is my biggest fan. No matter how life is going, he is always selfless and uplifting. He would help anyone, anytime.

 

Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? Building relationships with my brides. Whether they buy a dress or not, gaining friends and making relationships is what makes me feel successful.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Believing in myself and living a life of “oh wells” rather than “what ifs.”

 

I’m happiest when I’m… traveling the world with my husband, or at the gym. And of course helping brides.

 

»» Find out how a bachelor's in public relations can help your career flourish.

 

Article & Photo credits: Billings Gazette

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