When Brides by Alejandre lead designer and owner, Jacqueline Williams, was a little girl in Kingston, Jamaica, she often heard stories about her grandmother "Aunt Lyn" ("That's what everyone called her") who had designed and sewed artistic wedding gowns for brides all over Kingston. As she grew up Jacqueline had one gorgeous example of her grandmother's artistry readily available: Aunt Lyn had designed and crafted her mother's wedding dress. No wonder Aunt Lyn made a great impression on her grandchild.
From the time Jacqueline was a young girl, partly inspired by Aunt Lyn, she dreamed of becoming an artistic jewelry designer. Her parents supported her art studies in high school, but when she applied to attend college in the States, they insisted that she "take the intellectual route" and "study something that can lead to a steady income." Thus, she chose to become an educator.
Jacqueline's professional journey included being an executive assistant to a City commissioner in New York City. When years later her boss was named executive vice president of a major New York City firm, she became his executive assistant. After completing her first major project in record time, Jacqueline found her job to be largely unchallenging. She soon decided to resign from that position.
Upon her return to college as a full time student at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, Jacqueline earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. In her final semester of completing her Bachelor's degree, she was awarded a fellowship to pursue a Master's in Special Education. Right after graduating with her Master's degree she was offered a position to teach at a New York State high school whose students were all male parolees between the ages of 15 and 18.
Jacqueline has four children, a son and three daughters. After the birth of her first daughter Jacqueline designed and hand crafted a 100% heirloom baptismal dress using the finest silk ribbons, silk fabrics and Swarovski Crystals. Her creation also included smocking, a method of fabric ornamentation requiring tremendous dexterity that was 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 and reading magazines devoted to the art of smocking and heirloom children's clothing, she taught herself how to smock.
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 her daughters walked down the aisle wearing an artistically fashionable wedding dress designed and hand-crafted by their mother (just like Aunt Lyn created her mother's wedding dress.) It was almost as though everything her mother and the other adults around her had told her about Aunt Lyn when Jacqueline was a little child had illuminated her career path long before she was even aware of it.
At the time, though, Jacqueline was married to a salaried medical doctor; they were living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. She was extremely instrumental in responsible for launching him into private practice and expanding it into a thriving three-office practice. In addition, her entrepreneurial skills extended to acquiring and renovating real estate.
Some of the skills Jacqueline developed at this time in order to accomplish this end included: real estate negotiations; insurance negotiations; budgeting and managing construction projects; office management; bookkeeping; authoring operations procedures and policy manuals; and marketing the practice to other healthcare providers.
Some two years later, when her youngest daughter was five years old, Jacqueline began a Ph.D. program in Education at Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. Months after earning that degree she began teaching at the college level at a university in Sarasota, Florida where she still teaches part time.
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, made with quality fabrics and authentic ornamentations. They also had to be beautifully crafted. Brides by Alejandro was born, the line of wedding gowns that is now rapidly building a reputation for artistry, creativity and quality at affordable prices.
She is currently in the throes of developing a wedding-destination bed & breakfast in High Falls, New York, about ninety miles from New York City called the Rock Cliff House. Her newest venture is only ten-minutes from the well-established wedding destination, Monhonk Mountain House Resort in New Paltz, NY. Jacqueline is planning to open her first wedding gown retail outlet close to her bed and breakfast. A soft opening of her Rock Cliff House is schedule for the fall of 2018.
The artistic wedding gown designer is making use of every business skill she developed when she launched her former husband's three-office practice on the Gulf Coast - from real estate negotiation and construction management to writing medical policies & procedures manuals.
Isn't that the way things turn out when your name is Jacqueline Williams? Dreams have a way of coming true as life comes full circle.