October 8, 2013

Janice Yoder, founded her company, Adore Bridal & Specialty, in September 2011. Although bridal dresses were sold in many stores – a saturated market – Janice saw a real unmet need: to give the bride a memorable, personalized experience while selecting her bridal gown. And SCORE Peoria helped her turn her concept into a successful, thriving business.

Janice started with her concept of selling an experience (not just a product), but did not know the steps to turn the concept into a successful business. A relative recommended that she contact SCORE Peoria for help, and she did. Two mentors from SCORE Peoria worked with Janice to help her create a business plan. In addition, they helped her think through the question, “Why would anyone want to buy from you when they can buy from many others?”

Janice has created a business that is differentiated from the competition in three ways: First, the personalized experience for every bride (by appointment only) in a bridal suite. Second, the dress selection offers both the basics and unique options (such as wedding dresses in black and other colors). Third, the right price point for the gowns so that any bride can enjoy the personalized experience. She specifically targeted the middle ground between “commodity” dress shops and very expensive bridal dress boutiques, and added social responsibility to the mix (e.g. Fair Trade, eco-friendly paper, etc.)

Janice's focus in her first year was to build the brand quickly – through advertising and bridal shows – to make sure brides could find her business. This was very successful, and led to mentions in articles in Chicago Style Weddings and Arts&Society magazine. Today, most of her business comes from “word of mouth” advertising – the most effective kind.

Adore Bridal & Specialty is a small boutique located between Peoria, Bloomington and Springfield, Illinois, that works to ensure every bride gets the attention she deserves in selecting her bridal gown. For more information, contact Janice Yoder at or 309-291-0838.

How SCORE helped. 

Janice said, “SCORE Peoria is the #1 place to start if you are thinking about starting a business. The mentors helped me evolve my concept into a business plan and then into a successful business. They gave me the confidence and the knowledge to start the business and be successful.”


Adore Bridal & Specialty