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A Look Back: The First Five Years of Birdy Grey
AUTHOR: BIRDY GREY | DATE: 10/11/2022

Birdy Grey is turning five this week! We’re kicking off the celebration by launching a haul of five gorgeous new dresses. On this momentous anniversary, first and foremost, we want to thank you for letting us be a part of your wedding journey. It’s an honor every single time one of you walks down the aisle in a Birdy Grey gown and tags us in your bridal party pics. We know how special those moments are, and we’ll all be showing our grandkids those pictures for years to come. So, THANK YOU.

Use promo code BIRDYTURNS5 for $10 off your dress order (valid 10/12 through 10/14).

The first five years have been an incredible journey — with some soaring highs and some real challenges. We were really hitting our stride in 2020 when the wedding industry — and the world — shut down, in the wake of a scary and unprecedented pandemic. Fast forward to this past June, and we not only survived the pandemic, but we came out winning with tons of newness, from glam satin dresses to our uber-popular Pearlcore jewelry.

A BIRDY HATCHED

 

Two bridesmaids, one in pale blue, one in grey, flank a bride

Picture it: early October 2017. We’ll set the scene. 

 

A summer-like heat wave grips Los Angeles. We’re all rocking out to Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” commuting here and there. Some app called TikTok appears in the App Store.

 

Grace had just quit her corporate job with a vision: She wanted to start a company where people could score beautiful bridesmaid dresses without emptying their bank accounts.

 

On October 12th, Grace’s 36th birthday, Birdy Grey was born. Four days later, we sold our first dress — Jules in champagne. Birdy Grey was officially in business.

LIVING ROOM HQ

 

Grace Lee stands in her living room in front of a rack of bridesmaid dresses

 

Like many great startups before ours, Birdy Grey began in a humble living room, in Grace’s apartment in West Hollywood, to be specific. That’s where we got our first big press hit (Hey, Buzzfeed) and dressed our very first influencer wedding (Hey, Katie). Grace packed and shipped dresses from her home for eight months, until, finally, in June 2018, Birdy Grey got a warehouse.

 

Business was really picking up now.

A BIRTHDAY & A BESTIE

 

Grace Lee and Monica Ashauer smile on a couch side by side

 

Just after Birdy Grey celebrated its first trip around the sun, Grace’s bestie Monica hopped onto the startup ride and joined the flock as co-founder and COO. Monica, whose background is in strategy consulting, brought a different perspective to running Birdy Grey.

A POP-UP POPS OFF

 

Two women in bridesmaid dresses pose with a customer in NYC 

 

In January 2019, Birdy Grey hosted a pop-up at Zola in New York City, and 2,000 women showed up to check it out. The event was a major success!

FOR THE BOYS

 

Two male models in groomsmen suits pose for a photo

 

In July 2019, we launched our first run of groomsmen ties in colors to match our dresses.

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH

 

A photo from a real wedding with eight bridesmaids dressed in taupe

 

With our new warehouse and expanded backend partnerships, we were able to scale our operations, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Right around the time of Birdy Grey’s second bird-day, Insider dubbed us one of the best places to buy a bridesmaid dress, noting the $99 price point as a major value add.

LEVELING UP

 

A plus-size model poses in an emerald green bridesmaid dress

 

In January 2020, we introduced our curve collection, expanding our size offering up to 3X. This bird is flying high now.

A NEW ERA

In March 2020, COVID-19 hit the reset button on the entire economy, and in-person events, like weddings, were hit hard. Many couples postponed their big days. Some took their ceremonies to Zoom. Others eloped in socially distant, outdoor ceremonies with only their immediate families present.

 

The very idea of the bridal party was called into question. And, if we’re being honest, it was a scary time, both personally and professionally. But, as a company founded on the principle of disrupting a complacent industry, we knew we had to adapt to a world that was changing before our eyes.

#CORONABRIDES

 

A graphic rendering of the Birdy Grey site on a laptop and smartphone

 

We took the enthusiasm we had been throwing into expos and pop-ups and threw it whole-heartedly into the digital space, growing and expanding our social media presence to become a resource for pandemic-era brides and bridesmaids.

 

If we couldn’t be together at wedding venues, we were gonna be together online.

NETFLIX & CHILL

 

A photo from the Selling Sunset wedding

 

In April 2020, we hosted a virtual bachelorette party on Instagram Live to benefit Safe Horizons. And a month later, we made our TV debut on the Netflix reality series Selling Sunset.

PEDAL TO THE FLOOR

 

Three models pose in Birdy Grey bridesmaid robes

 

While everyone was stuck inside, we continued to add new styles and colors to our dress collection. And in July 2020, we introduced bridesmaid robes (perfect for the work from home moment), which have since become a fan favorite. 

NEW YEAR, NEW SWAG

 

Bridesmaids in satin midi dresses walk down a street with a bride

 

January 2021 saw our biggest newness yet. We introduced satin midis, bridesmaid shoes, crepe gowns, and the best-selling color Sea Glass. That summer we launched groomsman suits, with our pals at The Suit Shop. In case that wasn’t enough, August brought new colors, including Desert Rose. And, in September, we dropped our first long satin gowns.

A GLOW UP

The website redesign launched in December 2021, bringing with it improved search visibility, a cleaner shopping experience, and this blog (Hi!).

PRINTS CHARMING

 

Models pose on garden steps in floral print gowns

 

In 2022, we teamed up with Style Me Pretty to introduce a beautiful floral print capsule. We’re still smitten with these romantic, mixable-matchable dresses.

NOW IT’S PERSONAL

 

Items from the Birdy Grey monogram shop folded on a table

 

Whether they’re shopping for a bridesmaid proposal, a bachelorette swag bag, or a thank you gift for the big day, our Birdy Brides love a personalized gift. So, in February, we launched The Monogram Shop, a one-stop shop for personalized bridal party gifting. The selection has only grown since because…

EVERY DAY I’M HUSTLIN’

 

Actress Chelsea Zhang and influencer Taleah Meshae pose in Birdy Grey sweatsuits

 

All spring and summer long, we drove hard at the non-dress portion of our business, launching new goodies and gifts almost every week. We introduced flower girl sashes, bach party swag, seamless underthings, sweatsuits, swim stuff, clutches, travel accessories, and more. All of our teams worked together to develop, source, and market a veritable mountain of merch.

EARNING RECOGNITION

 

Photo from a real wedding with bridesmaids in cabernet gowns

 

We hit No. 305 of INC’s 2022 list of the 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S.. And, just a few days ago, Grace landed a spot on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Women of Influence list, alongside household names like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.

BIRDY TURNS 5

 

Two models pose in satin midi dresses

 

Hey, welcome to today! We just launched our very first run of made-to-order dresses. This new program allows us to bring you more new styles with less waste. Check out our new arrivals today.

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