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Mahogany Brown Bridal: Pioneering Diversity in Bridal Fashion


A Bridal Extravaganza, a New Fellowship, and a Chance to Win a $15,000 Grant is Creating Some March Madness for One Local Entrepreneur

Bridal Extravaganza
📅 Sunday, March 24th from 12–4pm
📍 The Hotel Concord, 14 N. Union Street, Concord, NC 28025

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Whitney Stephenson initiated her venture, Mahogany Brown Bridal, with a mission to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. Her boutique highlights the work of underrepresented minority and multicultural bridal designers, providing them with a platform to showcase their creations.

“Many of the bridal stores carry the same brands,” said Stephenson. “I wanted to offer something different. Whether that’s for brides that want color [instead of traditional white] or a unique style of dress.”

Notably, hers stands as the sole luxury boutique worldwide exclusively dedicated to minority bridal designers, centrally located in Historic Downtown Concord. Even the name of her business was thoughtfully crafted to represent her mission.

“I came up with the name [for the business] with my best friend. I wanted to have a name that represented me as a designer,” said Stephenson. “There are many shades of brown, and mahogany is big in the community when referencing black and brown women, so why not put them together.”

Owner of Mahogany Brown Bridal standing in front of wedding gowns

While featuring designers from African-American, Latina, Indian, and Asian backgrounds, Stephenson’s clientele isn’t limited to minority women. She aimed to offer a distinct experience for all brides seeking unique wedding attire, whether it’s unconventional colors or styles.

Dresses at Mahogany Bridal are considered luxury designs start at $2,000. Most clients opt for custom designs, a process spanning 4–9 months, catering to brides with meticulous planning.

Mahogany Brown Bridal offers a variety or styles and colors

Bridal gown options

Mahogany Brown Bridal grown

Bridal gown options from Mahogany Brown Bridal

Photo credits: Mahogany Brown Bridal

Bridal Showcase Coming to Concord in March

Hosting a Bridal Extravaganza in Concord later this month, Stephenson ensures an all-encompassing event for planning the perfect wedding. Last year, she hosted the event in Mooresville, but this year she wanted to bring the event to her beloved Downtown Concord!

“The Hotel Concord is such an incredible venue. I’m excited to host it here this year,” said Stephenson. “It’s a really fun and interactive day! There is a DJ playing, games, and giveaways.”

Attendees can anticipate remarkable prizes including a FREE Bridal Bouquet, a FREE Bottle of Wine, Gift Cards/Certificates, FREE Bridal Makeup Trial, and a chance to win the Grand Prize: a 4 Day/3 Night Honeymoon at Breathless Resorts Punta Cana! Ticket proceeds, $10 before the event and $15 at the door, are donated to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Fund.

Minority Designers Connecting with An Audience

Excitement for her boutique, her designs, as well as those of her featured designers has been growing with brides from across the southeast seeking her out to help plan their perfect gown.

This past December, Stephenson was even featured in Munaluchi Bridal Magazine, a major bridal publication, spotlighting the designers she carries in her boutique.

Munaluchi Bridal Magazine feature

Photo credit: Munaluchi Bridal Magazine

Turning Her Business Into a Movement

“I like to think this is more than a boutique. It’s a movement,” said Stephenson.

Indeed, her journey embodies a powerful movement, as she creatively navigates business initiation and funding, leveraging various opportunities to manifest her vision. Apart from curating the boutique, Stephenson, a designer herself, crafts custom bridal gowns, prom dresses, and quinceañera attire.

I said yes to the dress sign at Mahogany Brown Bridal

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Stephenson, a military veteran turned government analyst, strategized to launch her business without incurring substantial debt. Her journey reflects resilience and creativity, inspired by her family, particularly her mother, whose innovation and hard work instilled vital lessons.

Stephenson’s funding endeavors included participation in Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator and securing third place in the Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition which came with a $2,500 prize. She also received community nomination for a $5,000 grant from Lenovo and the Carolina Panthers, equipping her with essential technology for business launch.

Mahogany Brown receives $5,00 check

Additionally, Stephenson and her supporters also rallied votes for a second-place recognition in the 2023 Charlotte’s Best awards presented by The Charlotte Observer.

“The worst they can say is no,” Stephenson reflects. Fearless in her pursuit, she actively seeks opportunities. Currently, she vies for victory in the Hornets Innovation Summit, a competition fostering minority entrepreneurship, with the winner set to be announced during the March 31st game at the Spectrum Center and will receive a $15,000 investment from the Hornets [see her video online].

A Fellowship for Change on the Horizon

Stephenson was also selected to be a part of the 2024 Class of WeddingPro’s Fellowship for Change! The twelve-month program is designed to help underserved wedding pros (who have been in business less than 5 years) pursue their passion and accelerate growth in their businesses through expert-led education, mentorship, and advertising support.

She has engaged with her mentor, a seasoned business lawyer and former wedding planner, on multiple occasions, and is beginning to reap the rewards of her involvement in the program. With her sights set on a bustling year ahead and further growth for her enterprise, we encourage you to acquaint yourself with this remarkable local entrepreneur!


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!