ShareThis Page
O’Hara woman’s business puts brides at center of attention |
Fox Chapel

O’Hara woman’s business puts brides at center of attention

The Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, February 14, 2017 9:00 p.m
Lisa Filter

In late winter, bridal shows pop up like crocuses and brides start to worry about turning into “bridezillas.”

“Those shows have ruined the business,” Lisa Filter of O’Hara says with a distinctive laugh.

She wants weddings — and planning them — to be fun, not something that makes your stomach sick or eyes pop out. That’s why she and her partner, Mashel Rathmell, opened This Magic Moment Bridal Salon in Hampton. It’s more than a business. It’s a small oasis for brides-to-be.

Filter’s advice: “Don’t be nervous about the bridal experience. Relax. Make good memories.”

Filter and Rathmell make moments to remember at their high-end boutique. They have more than 300 dresses, discounted 20 to 80 percent, ready for the bride-to-be to take home. All are fashioned with high-quality details such as Swarovski crystal, draping satin, and intricate lace, stitched carefully to last a 12 hour day — until the last dance.

“A bridal gown is the most exquisite garment you’ll ever wear. Express yourself. Let it come out,” Filter says.

Even if the bride is a blue-jean fashionista, buying “the” dress to be the center of attention should be a fun experience, she adds.

The 15,000-square-foot shop is spun sugar with pink walls, complimentary chocolate, leather sofas and white wine. The bride and her guests take over the store. The owners listen carefully to the bride’s thoughts and wishes, then the entourage is let loose into the racks to search the designer confections.

There are 72 different whites used to make bridal dresses, but champagne-blush is the most popular.

In the end, the bride is set on a pedestal and finds her match. The crowning touch is a veil and the beaming bride is caught in the moment with a picture.

“I love to see them pick [a dress]. It is playing dress up. They have to feel beautiful. It’s all about the experience,” Filter said.

For Filter, opening her own business has been an exhilarating experience, too. At first she was doing “pop-up” sales — driving a truck and pulling a monster trailer packed with designer dresses. She traveled the tri-state area and set up tents. When the engine blew up, she switched gears and started designing her fantasy store for brides.

Located at the old Route 8 Plaza near the end of Harts Run Road in Hampton, it is only 15 minutes from her Driftwood Drive home.

A 1987 Fox Chapel Area alumnae, Filter graduated from Ohio State University and earned her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. She tapped into her business and graphic design degree at the start-up of This Magic Moment, saving money by designing the store’s graphics. She uses technology for inventory and bookwork. However, she credits Rathmell for cultivating creativity.

Their next step is to expand. Since the salon concentrates on one customer at a time, they are booked up with appointments for three months out. While expansion is the goal, Filter expects any new employee to buy into the highest level of customer care, which the partners promise.

While the business is all about girl time, Filter’s life is centered on her boys — Jack, 11, and Ethan, 10. They are busy with sports and school, and mom is busy with family care. She follows her advice here, too, and enjoys the experience.

Categories: Fox Chapel
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.