Standing beside brides-to-be at her boutique, the Fancy Frock, Jennifer James finds her calling.
"I make them look beautiful," she said.
James, 42, opened the bridal and formal wear boutique at its original location in Seven Oaks in the summer of 2012. There she met clients by appointment so that she could continue to work as a fourth-grade teacher.
"I love teaching, but teaching has changed a lot," she said. "God gives us natural talents, and we have to discover" what they are.
Hers are working with color, texture and fabric. So she stopped teaching, she said, expanded the shop's hours and moved it to a building on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The boutique rents tuxedoes and sells custom and off-the-rack gowns for weddings and galas, homecoming dances and proms, quinceañeras, first communions and pageants. The gowns, created by designers including Bari Jay, Mia Solana and Nina Canacci, can be altered by Suny Gutierrez, the Fancy Frock's seamstress, who has worked as a seamstress for almost 30 years and "can make anything from scratch," James said. The shop also sells boutique clothing and accessories for girls.
James considers what she does for clients to be a privilege.
"I can be a special part of one of the biggest days of their lives," she said.
The Fancy Frock is at 1045 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel. For more information, visit thefancyfrock.com online.
West Pasco Business Association: Network from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 2150 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity. The group is composed of professionals who promote one another's businesses. Visit westpascobusinessassociation.com.
Pasco Business Connections: Network at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Broken Yolk, 3350 Grand Blvd., Holiday. The group meets on Wednesdays. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arleen Spenceley can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6235.