It is not the first time the sisters have undergone a facelift. Prior to 2003 The Dressroom didn’t even exist and it was Becker’s alone on the south side of Danforth Avenue fulfilling a portion of Toronto’s bridal needs. Before that, Becker’s was a small mom-and-pop shop selling headpieces to those in need of a little pomp and flare amongst their tresses. Whatever their condition or stage of expansion, Becker’s has attributed their long running success to keeping it in the family.
A family affair
Established in 1944, Becker’s grew out of a small headwear boutique, started up by Albert and Frances Becker. The store offered then – as they do now – custom made tiaras and headpieces. In 2003 the next generation of Beckers completely renovated Becker’s Bridal and Formal and even opened up a whole new store farther west down the street; the aptly named Dressroom.
And, now, the hum of workmen hammering away above indicates that the current owners, the grandchildren of Albert and Frances, are once again expanding. Granddaughter Liyat Benchetrit says there was the need for expansion. “The space over at The Dressroom is small. When big groups come in, it gets crowded.”
Having been around for nearly 70 years and never having to rely on advertising, it is safe to say that Becker’s has established an excellent reputation. Becker’s has successfully kept the business within the family, and so have their clients. Amanda Wattie, manager to both boutiques, points out, “Mums and grand-mums have come in with their daughters and granddaughters, saying that they bought their dresses from here.” It does not come as a surprise then, when Liyat mentions a Canadian woman living as far away as Dubai made the flight home in search for her dress.
Furthermore, Becker’s believes in accommodation. As their website eloquently puts it, “Having come through the depression and the war, Albert and Frances believed that people needed value for their scarce and hard earned dollars; so that’s what they gave.” Their philosophy then, as it is now, is to provide brides-to-be with a “couture look at a moderate price.” They have samples that range from $500 to $3000, and even have sale gowns priced as low as $75. Needless to say, there is something for everyone, no matter what their style, taste, or budget entails.
The Dressroom is compartmentalized into sections. When first entering the shop, the walls are lined with an array of colours, makingit clear that The Dressroom houses more than bridal wear. Then there is the second room farther to the left. This square room has floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall shelving of every imaginable accessory needed for a bride and her party: clips, broaches, tiaras, shoes, jewellery of all kinds, veils and hats, bridal jackets, and scarves.
Between the two locations, a bride-to-be and her female entourage can, quite literally, be outfitted from head to toe. While Becker’s strictly carries only bridal gowns, The Dressroom picks up the slack and harbours everything else.
Each location carries a plethora of labels; Becker’s being more extensive, while The Dressroom also has designer names for bridesmaids, mothers-of-the-bride and groom, and even prom dresses. In addition, the sister stores share their own in-house designer, Barbara Allin, along with her collection. As a result, having a dress custom made is also a possibility.
The sounds of hammering have been laid to rest this past December, right in time for Becker’s busiest months of January and February. This Danforth staple has been passed down through three generations and is likely to be around for many more, as long as they stick to their formula for success –to keep it all in the family.
Everything you need for your wedding to be a success is on the Danforth
Event planning: It’s My Party is an option to help organize your big day.
Suits and Tuxes: Try Korry’s Clothiers
Flowers: Try Fresh Floral Creations
Catering: Try Three’s Company Catering
Venue: Try the Music Hall for a more intimate approach.
Cakes: Creative Cakes have an excellent reputation in the cake decorating world.
For your entire event planning needs check out eventective for more options.