Meet Amanda Kautt: mother, designer, entrepreneur and our gorgeous neighbor. As owner of the award-winning l'atelier couture bridal boutique, Amanda balances the bridal industry with motherhood. Having started l'atelier couture with the belief that shopping for a wedding dress should not only be an enjoyable experience but one that that is truly unforgettable, Amanda and her stylists offer brides a wealth of advice making sure that every bride leaves with the dress of her dreams. How would you describe your personal style?
I like to be bold but in specific ways. My personal style often leans towards classic with a subtle edge. I like wearing black (what woman doesn't) but try to keep it fresh by pairing a skinny black pant with a nude blouse that exudes a masculine touch. I then like to wear statement jewelry, like a big earring, or a fabulous heel, or maybe a crazy hair style. I never to do too much of anything. I keep my look simple yet strong.
What drew you to the bridal/wedding industry?
It's hard to pin-point the exact one reason as it has felt so natural to own a bridal boutique. I always loved dressing up as a young girl, always being a bit unusual for my small Iowa town of 1,200. I also dreamt of owning my own business one day. I didn't know what kind of business it was going to be and happily when I was looking for my own wedding gown, the idea hit me, "that I should be doing this!" There really was not a boutique in the area that offered great selection and service but most importantly ADVICE! I pride myself and my staff on giving our clients honest advice when selecting her wedding gown. I pour over every designers collections and meticulously select the gowns I would like to represent.
What style tips do you have for us?
Find what speaks to you. I have never been a believer in part-taking in every trend. Could you see me in a cut-out dress? Have fun with fashion and use it to express your mood and your ideas. Good taste can take practice, so use the dressing rooms and try things on. Make the mistakes inside the room so you can step out with confidence. I also like to remember what Coco Chanel said, "take off the last thing you put on." Less is more for me! I like to buy quality over quantity which keeps each item I wear special.
What adds pep to your step?
Fake eyelashes! (or eyelash extensions) I LOVE wearing them! I feel so awake and refreshed when I wear them. It also helps when you don't get all the beauty rest you're supposed to get as a new mom. Audrey also adds a new perspective for me. Not only do I want to look good but it has to be practical and functional as a mom which is not an easy task! I want to be able to play with her and see her smile. So the clothes have to be comfortable and stylish. A good shoe does an outfit good!
What have you learned about yourself and life, thus far?
That just when I thought I hit my limit, I get pushed even further and find out what kind of real woman I am. Owning my own business has come with many challenges over the years but the biggest one will be balancing work and motherhood. You will have to see what Audrey says in a few years to find out if I find the balance.
How do you spend your free time?
At the moment, adoring my sweet baby girl. We love to go on walks together and dress up for our clients. In the future, it will probably be shopping trips, getting our hair done, family vacations and dance class. I can't wait to see how we grow up together.