Jacqueline Williams - Bio
When Brides by Alejandre lead designer and owner, Jacqueline Williams, was a little girl in Kingston, Jamaica, she would watch with fascination as her grandmother "Aunt Lyn" ("That's what everyone called her") would design and sew both fashionable and artistic wedding gowns for brides all over Kingston.
It's no wonder that by the time Jacqueline was a teenager living in New York City, she dreamed of becoming an artistic fashion designer. Unfortunately, life intervened: When Jacqueline's parents insisted she study "something practical" in college she chose Elementary Education as her major.
Jacqueline was soon married, expecting her first child. She left college and found a rewarding job as executive assistant to a New York City commissioner. When years later her boss was named executive vice president of a major New York City firm, she followed him there as his executive assistant. Although the job should have been glamorous and exciting, it proved to be boring, so she resigned and at 24 years of age enrolled as a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, N.Y., where she was then living. This time she not only graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education; she also earned her Master's in Special Education. Shortly thereafter, she began teaching full-time at a high school that had a class for young men between the ages of 15-18 years who were on probation.
After the birth of her first daughter Jacqueline designed and hand crafted a 100% heirloom baptismal dress with the finest ribbons, fabrics and Swarovski crystals. Her creation also included smocking, a method of fabric ornamentation requiring tremendous dexterity popular in the Nineteenth Century and that is now all but a lost art. She was unable to find a teacher of smocking, so by carefully observing antique clothing, she taught herself the ancient art.
As she made baptismal dresses for all three of her daughters, a thought crossed her mind more than once: Wouldn't it be wonderful if, later in their lives, all three of her daughters walked down the aisle wearing an artistically fashionable wedding dress designed and hand-crafted by their mother?
Her "Aunt Lyn" dream had survived although in an altered form.
Once again life intervened. Living at the time on the Gulf Coast of Florida and married to a salaried medical doctor, Jacqueline was instrumental in helping him launch a private practice and expand it into a thriving three-office practice.
Some of the skills Jacqueline developed during this time: real estate negotiations; budgeting and managing construction projects; office management; bookkeeping; developing and writing operations procedures and policy manuals; developing and overseeing website operations; and developing and executing online and social networking programs and privacy policies.
She began a Ph.D. program in Education at Argosy University. After acquiring her doctorate in three years she began teaching part time at a university in Sarasota, FL.
Then, all at once, with little warning, tragedy struck: Divorce.
Then, and only then, now with all four of her children grown, she followed in Aunt Lyn's footsteps: Jacqueline Williams began sketching out a line of wedding gowns.
The dresses had to be fashionable, festive and artistic, and made with quality fabrics and authentic ornamentations. They also had to be beautifully crafted. Brides by Alejandre was the born.
Jacqueline's life took yet another unexpected turn: She left Florida and returned to Upstate New York where she had once lived.
She acquired a historic building that she plans to turn into a wedding-destination venue, a bed & breakfast and speakeasy in High Falls, New York, about ninety miles from New York City. Her newest venture is adjacent to the well-established wedding destination, Monhonk Mountain Inn in New Paltz.
The artistic wedding gown designer is making use of every business skill she developed when she helped launch her ex-husband's three-office practice on the Gulf Coast—from real estate negotiation and construction management to writing policies & procedures manuals.