A career change from fashion journalist to wedding dress designer was part of a healing journey for breast cancer survivor Kate Gubanyi. “Weddings are all about new beginnings, fresh starts and new hope and I really identified with that after going through breast cancer,” Kate points out. The former News Limited journalist said she married one year after her cancer treatment and wanted to stay in the happy world of anticipation that weddings inspire in people. “I was diagnosed with a slow growing cancer,” Kate discloses, “but because it had spread to my milk ducts, my oncologist decided to hit me with aggressive chemotherapy. My hair fell out after two weeks of treatment and I had never felt so unfeminine. To me, there’s nothing more feminine than a wedding dress. A bride gets to wear that dress for one day when she is at her most beautiful and I love being a part of that.”
The designer said The GC bridal lounge was born after her own wedding dress shopping. “I felt there was a big shortage in really high quality, designer dresses that woman could afford,” Kate asserts. “Because my studio is at my home in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and we sell online through www.thebridallounge.com.au, it means that we can really cut costs and provide a high quality gown that won’t break the bank. My customers don’t want to take out a second mortgage to afford a dream wedding dress.”
Kate says the best part of the job is seeing a bride-to-be’s face when they’ve tried on The one. “When they find that special dress, their eyes light up,” she declares. “And after they’ve got the dress, everything rolls from there and the wedding planning really starts to get momentum.” Kate points out that more and more women are buying online, but they should exercise caution when buying. “An Australian designed wedding dress of the same quality as a high end shop front can be found online for about a third of the price,” she maintains. “Spending $1,000 instead of $3,000 provides a huge saving towards a wedding venue, honeymoon or a deposit on a house.
As a result of her experiences, Kate Gubanyi has finally found her vocation. “Now, I don’t take anything for granted and make sure I follow my passions,” she proclaims, “one of which has been designing beautiful, high fashion bridal gowns that won’t break the bank. We donate $10 from every dress sale to the fight against breast cancer.
|KATE’S TIPS FOR SAFE ONLINE BUYING|
* Make sure you’re buying from a secure site. A safe way to buy is through Paypal as this payment gateway offers extra protection to the buyer if the goods are not as described or ask the seller if you can pay a deposit and the rest after you see a photograph of your completed dress. A good online wedding store isn’t so busy that they can’t provide this service.
* Check with the retailer (a phone call is best) that the dress you are buying is exactly the same as the sample and that the picture photographed is the actual sample of the dress that is being sold.
* Buy from a website with .au on the end, so that you are covered under Australia’s consumer protection laws. These give you the same rights as when you are buying from a physical retail outlet.
Photo Credit: Elite Vision
Hair and Makeup Credit: Hong LeRouge Beauty
Models: Natalina Ford and Caroline Macquillan