The former longtime owner of Weddings with Joy bridal salon in Olympia has returned to the scene of an apparent mess, trying to sort out and placate at least three dozen women who are upset about outstanding orders that haven’t been filled.
Among them is Brittany Smith, 24, of Centralia, who is getting married Aug. 29. Two hundred guests are expected to attend the wedding, Smith said.
Smith bought her wedding dress in Portland — she’s originally from the Salem, Oregon, area — but she ordered three bridesmaids gowns totalling $639 from Weddings with Joy at 3003 Pacific Ave. Her maid of honor also paid $213 for a gown, Smith said.
She ordered them on May 28 and expected to get them this month, then learned that all was not well at Weddings with Joy.
Angela Bossard, who owned the business for 16 years, explained Wednesday that she sold the bridal salon on contract to a former employee in September 2014. Secretary of State corporations data show the current owner is Jennifer Garwick, but The Olympian was unable to find contact information for her.
Bossard, who still owns the Weddings with Joy building, said that Garwick returned the keys last week, saying she “couldn’t do it anymore.” Garwick also is behind on her rent, Bossard said.
“I’m taking control of the orders and trying to help the customers,” Bossard said, adding that she asked Garwick to surrender everything.
“I basically told her to leave all the inventory and accounts receivables.”
Bossard is telling customers to call their credit card companies and cancel previous orders, then pay her so that she can complete the final step of getting the dresses from the manufacturer to the store.
Easier said than done for Smith, who paid for the gowns in May.
Smith said she could dispute the charges at this point, “but that doesn’t get me my dresses.”
Bossard said she wants to help the brides, but she also wanted to make clear Wednesday that she’s not in a position to pay for everything out of her own pocket.
“It’s an inconvenience for them, and it’s an inconvenience for me,” she said.
In Smith’s case, it might cost $350 to $400 to get the dresses from the manufacturer, Bossard said.
Weddings with Joy has a 35-year history in Olympia. Bossard bought the business in 1998.
“It’s been in the same spot the whole time,” she said.
Bossard also said she’s trying to find a new owner for Weddings with Joy.