“Gown Guru” of Charleston

Kira Elizabeth Schlepp

Kira Elizabeth, aka the “Gown Guru” of Charleston, started putting the "create" in creativity at a very young age. Her first love has always been textiles and fashion; cutting and pasting stuffed animals together in just the right places and proportions was her favorite childhood pastime. It wasn’t until she entered college that she realized she could take her passion and make it a career. Kira graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in clothing design and art, including two internships in New York City. She then left her roots in the Midwest to land in Charleston where she opened up shop, and Kira Elizabeth Design Studio was born.

Kira is not just a seamstress or someone who does alterations; she is a fashionista with an eye for taking an ordinary wedding dress and making it “the gown” of her clients’ dreams. She has been featured in local magazines like Charleston Weddings and Charleston Style and Design, due to her eye-catching design work and ability to take a dress from gown to glamorous. Over the years, she has been the featured subject of national wedding blogs and was named one of the “Top 10 Bridal Designers to Watch.” She was so passionate about what she did that she spread her knowledge and expertise by assisting the department at the Charleston Museum, where one of her gown creations was a feature in the 2016 exhibit “Unveiled: Wedding Fashions and Tradition in the South.” Kira’s Design Studio is where Southern tradition, grace, and charm meets swanky and sophisticated New York. Every gown that she alters is transformed into celebrity status because she believes that every bride is a celebrity on their special day. It is not an easy process or career, but it is her passion and what she loves to do. Kira lives to bring elegance to life and puts her heart into every stitch.

Maddy Irelan

Maddy is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a BA in Arts Management, focusing on fashion, events, and marketing. She adored fashion and styling from a young age and has worked on projects for Bravo TV, Charleston Fashion Week, and A Charleston Affair. She has several years of experience in retail management as well as social media management. Maddy grew up in Charleston and began working in the wedding industry her senior year at CofC when she interned as a custom bridal gown designer. She quickly grew fond of working with brides and helping them achieve their bridal gown dreams.

Seamstress Superwoman

Natalya sheremereievych

Natalya moved to the US four years ago from Ukraine with her husband and 8-year-old son. She has dreamt of bringing her family here for a while and was so happy when they could finally do it. Natalya made it her goal as a child to be a great tailor in the future; she even wrote down that she wanted to be the “best tailor in the world.” She began going to school to learn tailoring after her normal schooling hours. She quickly became more infatuated with making the hobby into her career and continued progressing in the field while living in Ukraine. Natalya knew she wanted to continue making this hobby her profession after moving to the United States. She is very happy she made her dream profession come true and gets to make miracles happen for brides on their wedding day.