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J. Marie creating special memories

Ever since J. Marie made its debut as a specialty formal boutique, the focus is on providing a memorable experience. "I just feel that something as important as a bridal gown, you need to have the experience of trying on the dresses, of having ha...

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Kimberly King works on a dress at her formal wear store, J. Marie, which is on the corner of First Street East and Third Avenue East in downtown Dickinson. (Linda Sailer/The Dickinson Press)

Ever since J. Marie made its debut as a specialty formal boutique, the focus is on providing a memorable experience.

“I just feel that something as important as a bridal gown, you need to have the experience of trying on the dresses, of having having your family become involved, of friends coming to watch,” said owner-operator Kimberly King. “Make it part of your memory. I’m not selling you a product. I’m selling you the experience.”

J. Marie was established in October 2014, but the boutique did not open its doors until Jan. 6 at 104 Third Ave. E in Dickinson.

“It was like a dream come true,” King said. “People have been very positive and so supportive.”

The boutique specializes in bridal gowns, bridal party dresses, prom dresses, accessories and other formal dresses for any special occasion.

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The idea behind J. Marie was to offer more variety to the residents of Dickinson and surrounding areas.

“We wanted to bring a flare to our boutique offering re-imagined gowns, bringing the past and present together to live in harmony,” King said. “With in-house alterations, we help alleviate the stress of finding a seamstress.”

King found her passion as a seamstress as young girl, as she learned to sew at age 7.

“I started designing clothes back then - hand-me-downs that I redesigned,” she said. “I’ve worked in flower stores. I’ve worked in a bridal store. I’ve worked with so many aspects that have to do with weddings.”

King carries a line of bridal gowns by Sophia Tolli and David Tutera by Mon Cheri, and bridesmaids gowns by Allure. In addition to gowns ready for purchase, she repurposes vintage dresses - perhaps your mother’s wedding gown - for a modern-day look.

“I’m willing to revamp anything the bride wishes,” she said. “It’s not my dress. I’m here to help you with it. I try to show lots of different styles and lots of different fabrics.”

Brides-to-be are asked to make an appointment first.

“We believe that everyone should receive a unique experience,” she said. “I ask them to fill out a client information sheet that gives me a better idea of what they’re looking for, what they like or have tried on.”

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Her bridal gowns feature a variety of color shades from white to sea mist, petal, blush, magnolia, alabaster and gardenia.

The bridesmaids gowns vary from short to long in a variety of colors - from choral to bright blues, pink, teal, pine, waterfall, juniper, watermelon and salmon. By the middle of

February, girls are starting to shop for their prom dresses. Again, the choices vary from long, to high-low, to fitted and flared, she said.

King moved to Dickinson from Chinook, Mont., nearly 15 years ago. She is married and has two sons.

“People ask me how I got the name for my store - J. Marie,” she said. “Marie came from my grandma’s middle name, and I told her if I ever had a daughter, I’d name her Marie. This is, in a sense, my new baby. The J stands for my sons, James and Jaedon.”

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