On her quest for the perfect wedding dress in 2010, Molly Guy discovered there was something desperately lacking. “I couldn’t find one store that was cool. Not one,” says Guy, who ultimately settled on an off-the-rack Alice Temperley design she’d spotted on model Milla Jovovich. According to Guy, “New York is all about finding that one place. You find that one restaurant, that one coffee shop—I had a vision of creating that one little shop for wedding dresses.”
Today, that little shop is considered the city’s most sought-after destination for brides looking to go less Grace Kelly, more Penny Lane. But opening Stone Fox Bride was a leap for the Chicago native, whose background consisted of working first as a beauty director and later as a copywriter for major beauty corporations. “I had no business background,” says the thirtysomething Guy. “So I literally read every book, starting with Retail Business Kit for Dummies. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
The next step: finding a space. “I knew it had to be a place where people could come and lounge around,” says Guy, who eventually found her dream spot on Craigslist. Located on the sixth floor of an unassuming Soho office building, the light-filled showroom/boutique combined a laid-back downtown atmosphere, warm customer service and, of course, an impossibly dreamy selection of wedding gowns by indie designers like Ohne Titel and Nomia.
Word spread about the new kid on the bridal block—and Guy quickly found herself sitting through countless fittings. “I learned that there is a wedding dress formula,” she explains. “Even the funkiest, edgiest, most punk-rock brides want to please their moms. They all want to look angelic and beautiful. Girls like to have their back shown; they want to be nipped in at the waist. These dresses reveal everything. They have to be flattering.”
These fitting room revelations inspired Guy to try her hand at designing. In 2013, a year after launching the store, she added a house line of boho-chic gowns to the mix. “The first dress I ever created was a loose white sheath with lace sleeves and an open lace back. We still sell it today,” she says. “It’s the kind of thing that would look equally amazing at a ’70s Grateful Dead show or on a mountainside with a cardigan thrown over it—that’s just my vibe.”
The dresses are just the starting point. Stone Fox Bride’s services essentially encompass everything from choosing invitations to planning the honeymoon. “If a girl comes in here, we’ll provide her with her gown, her veil, her flower crown. But if she really wants, I can do the flowers for her ceremony. I can help her design her wedding service, write her vows. I can find her the best pedicure in town. I can even find her a sex therapist,” Guy says, in all seriousness.
Also solidifying her status as wedding guru is Guy’s growing stake in arguably the most important prenuptial ritual: the proposal. “Lately, a ton of guys have been calling me before they propose, and I’m helping them find the perfect ring. It’s kind of become a weird secret service of mine,” explains Guy, who asks each future groom for 10 inspiration photos of rings before sourcing a just-right style. “We actually had a man propose via our Instagram account this past Thanksgiving.” (His girlfriend said yes, of course.)
The company’s Instagram (@stone_fox_bride) has become a major success in its own right, with a dedicated following (including most of the editors at Lucky). The most-liked posts? Those hashtagged #stonefoxrings, which consist not only of engagement bling photos but also accompanying first-person proposal recaps. “People send me their stories, and I put them up practically instantly. My favorite thing is waking up to those submission e-mails,” says Guy.
Her reign of the digital realm continues with a recently relaunched website and an expanded e-commerce platform. There’s also a newly revamped blog in the works, which will offer firsthand wedding accounts from inspiring brides and NYC It Girls, including actress Jemima Kirke and jewelry designer Pamela Love. “The idea is to always just try and drive everything back to love and marriage and partnership and union,” Guy stresses. “But I’m also trying to prove that there’s no reason a wedding can’t be cool! It encompasses everything I love: family, plus a wonderful man, plus fashion, plus art. At the end of the day, it’s really just a huge party.” One we’re dying to attend.