Mia Boutique
By Sarah Gordon

The Belle of the Ball

It's not uncommon to see clients at Mia Boutique burst into a happy dance or shriek with laughter. Owner Ella Lau explains that her shop is a joyful place where each client has one thing on her mind: choosing a gorgeous gown that'll make her look and feel like a million bucks.

Every woman dreams of being the belle of the ball, whether it is her wedding, anniversary, high school graduation, or as the mother of the bride or a bridesmaid. Like a fairy godmother, Ella enjoys fulfilling her clients’ wishes when it comes to finding the perfect dress for those milestone moments.

It’s all about celebrations. Many are once in a lifetime moments, which add up to huge moments of happiness. - Ella Lau, owner
Owner Ella Lau spent years working in the fashion industry before launching her Richmond bridal boutique.
Owner Ella Lau spent years working in the fashion industry before launching her Richmond bridal boutique.

Exquisite Gowns Fit For a Princess

Ella spent many years working in the fashion and manufacturing industry, which helped her develop an expert eye for selecting garments for her shop.  She makes a point of going on regular buying trips to Los Angeles and New York to see dresses in person, and feels extremely fortunate when she has the opportunity to meet designers face to face.

Rows of elegant white wedding gowns line the walls at Mia Boutique.  Only the highest quality fabrics with exquisite details are selected for the store. While styles change over the years, some of the special lines found include Aire Barcelona by Rosa Clara, Stella York and White One Barcelona.

Ella points out that many of the bridesmaid dresses on offer are extremely versatile. Sophisticated short dresses work well for cocktail parties or a friend’s wedding, while long dresses are perfect for a cruise, formal night, awards gala, or a graduation. When ordered in white or ivory, these gowns can even work well as relaxed destination wedding dresses.

Mia Boutique also carries elegant gowns for a variety of special occasions.
Mia Boutique also carries elegant gowns for a variety of special occasions.

A Breath of Fresh Sea Air

So where does the store's namesake come from?  Ella laughs when she explains the story behind Mia Boutique. She was seated next to a fellow on an airplane who showed her a photo of his new baby, Mia.  When Ella discovered the Italian word "mia" means “my",  she thought it was a perfect fit for her shop.

Mia Boutique moved from its previous location in downtown Richmond (where it operated for 10 years) to its gorgeous and peaceful waterfront home in Steveston Village in 2015. "It was love at first sight when I saw this space," Ella explains. She takes pleasure in hearing the cry of seagulls and seeing the gorgeous waterfront vista and magnificent sunsets from her store’s south facing windows.

Any bride will feel like a princess wearing a gown from Mia Boutique.
Any bride will feel like a princess wearing a gown from Mia Boutique.

Life's Happiest Moments

Ella is happy to offer advice to her clients, although Mia Boutique's customers often have a clear idea of their favourite styles and fabrics. She suggests brides shouldn't bring too many people with them when they first start looking for their wedding dress. "It is about you," she notes. "Don’t try to please everyone else. The dress choice should come from your heart."

Ella feels blessed to earn her customers’ trust – and friendship. Clients have returned over the years as life’s special moments have called for the perfect dress. She has seen girls grow up before her eyes, from their Grade 7 and high school graduations through to their weddings. “It’s like seeing a daughter grow up,” Ella explains.  With emotion in her voice she concludes, "It’s all about celebrations. Many are once-in-a-lifetime moments, which add up to huge moments of happiness."

Mia Boutique is located in a gorgeous waterfront location in Steveston Village.
Mia Boutique is located in a gorgeous waterfront location in Steveston Village.
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