Since 2004, Chrissy Wai-Ching Leung has operated her own bridal studio in downtown Seattle.
"I've always known I wanted to be my own boss and have my own business," she said.
Chrissy traces her love for fashion back to her Puerto Rican grandmother, who was a huge influence in her life.
"My grandmother was very into sewing, fashion and creative pursuits," she said. "That was a big influence on me."
Chrissy also never found fashion in stores that spoke to her personal sense of style, so she started creating clothing for herself during her middle school days. Her heritage consists of both Puerto Rican and Chinese roots and has also played a huge factor in her design influence.
Her creative drive eventually took her to Hong Kong, where she studied traditional Chinese arts, textile technology and fashion design at a university.
"I try to bring some of the design concepts from traditional Chinese arts into my fashion design, as well as experimental and unusual textures from fiber arts."
For brides that are looking for an eco-friendly wedding dress, Wai-Ching Studio designs all of its pieces in-house from natural fibers and materials, including real mulberry silk, organic cotton, vegan silk and hemp silk. Many wedding gowns feature vibrant and ombre colors that flow and coordinate beautifully well with each other.
The studio also designs formal wear like skirts, colorful kimonos, bridesmaid dresses and other custom-made gowns as requested. Accessories such as hair clips, shawls and men's ties are also designed in-house and exhibit non-traditional wedding flair as well. It's been important to Chrissy that her designs remain environmentally sustainable as she looks to leave a small carbon footprint while staying away from micro-plastics or other harmful materials.
Chrissy loves operating in Pioneer Square due to the easy access to the city.
"I love being downtown because it's always super lively and never a dull moment," she said. "It's wonderful to be able to walk everywhere."
Many brides also fly in from out of state for their bridal consultations, and she wants to be easily accessible to them.
"I have a lot of brides flying in for their appointments, so I wanted to be someone that was easily accessible from the light rail," Chrissy said. "I also love being right next to [Chinatown-International District]. It's one of my favorite neighborhoods".
Chrissy feels it is truly an honor to dress someone on their wedding day and that it is a blessing to be able to use her creative input when constructing her fashion designs. Chrissy, having never worked for corporate America, started as an entrepreneur at an early age, and her style exudes a fresh take on wedding fashion. Wai-Ching Studio is definitely the place for non-traditional brides, and Chrissy loves the challenge of design.
"I love being able to collaborate with the brides and clients to create works of art that they feel beautiful and confident in, and to be able to offer a price point that makes that experience available to so many."