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New DeKalb bridal shop will create dress to fit brides' fantasies

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:48 a.m. CDT
(Rob Winner –
Marissa Caltagerone, co-owner of Alexis Kay Design, Inc. in downtown DeKalb, adjusts the straps on a wedding dress Thursday.

DeKALB – It’s an issue many brides-to-be must face: One dress is just perfect from the waist up, another is fantastic from the waist down.

Alexis Kay Designs Bridal and Formal Wear, DeKalb’s brand new bridal shop that opened in the downtown area Tuesday, has a solution for that dilemma. Wedding dress designer and co-owner Dawn Caltagerone said she has been crafting custom dresses for years.

“I will design a whole new dress for her with all of those components put together,” Caltagerone said.

Caltagerone said that although customizing dresses is labor intensive, the finished product can actually be cheaper because the customer does not have to pay for alterations. Marissa Caltagerone, Dawn’s daughter and co-owner of Alexis Kay Designs, said her mother has been creating dresses for years.

“We can design the dress for [a bride] and make it for her so she can get the dress she has been thinking about her whole life,” Marissa Caltagerone said.

Marissa Caltagerone said she and her mother were attracted to downtown DeKalb because of the recent renovations there.

“We like the area so much,” she said. “It’s beautiful down here. The brick on the sidewalks, the trees – it’s really nice.”

Marissa Caltagerone said they are filling a need in the area, as most DeKalb County residents go either to St. Charles or Rockford to shop for dresses.

“People in the area have known about us, and we have girls waiting to come in to get their dresses,” she said.

Dawn Caltagerone said she will also make vintage wedding dresses for women who want a look from a previous decade, such as the 1920s or the 1950s.

“Anything from the past 100 years people are interested in, we could incorporate into a new design,” she said.

In addition to wedding dresses, Alexis Kay Designs features dresses for all formal occasions, Marissa Caltagerone said.

“There’s definitely something for everybody,” she said.

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