Q&A with the people behind The Brides Project


Ridhima Kodali

The storefront of The Brides Project, located at 1677 Plymouth road in Ann Arbor.

Ridhima Kodali and Nishita Shah

The Brides Project is a local organization that sells donated wedding dresses, veils, shoes, T-shirts, water bottles and winter bags to support the Cancer Support Community. They currently have 40 volunteers and two paid employees. Their location is rent-free because of the work that they do.


Q: What inspired you guys to create The Brides Project?

A: “It was brought to the United States in 2011. A local lady from Ann Arbor, Monique Sluymers, was up in Toronto visiting family and she came across the bride’s project up there. She spoke to the lady who owned and operated it up there and she wanted to bring the idea back here. And the lady was like, yeah, sure, take it, run with it. So Monique brought her back here and then she teamed up with the Cancer Support Community and now it’s a social enterprise of the cancer support community.”


Q: Why did you guys choose to team up with the Cancer Support Community?

A: “Monique was heavily involved in the Cancer Support Community already. She already knew that it was a strong charity that she loved and fully supported. She saw the good that it was doing in the community, and she wanted to help them. By partnering with them, we provide about 30% of their operating budget for the year, that’s an incredible chunk of their funding that we’re able to provide.”


Q: How many stores/centers do you guys operate?

A: This is the only one in the U.S. Toronto, Canada is where the idea originated. We are a completely separate entity, but we share a mission of selling bridal dresses to give proceeds to charity.”


Q: Approximately,  how many people donate their dresses each month?

A: “On average, about 50 gowns a month come in. We recently had a donation of 76 brand new bridal gowns from the salon. So we have a mix between brides who have worn them before, we like to say those gowns have been pre-loved. And then we also have gowns in here that are brand new. They’re donated from salons and designers. We had Vera Wang when we were doing a drive in Los Angeles. Someone donated a whole bunch of dresses last year as well, so we get them from all over the U.S.”


Q: We noticed that there were shoes and accessories?

A: “We try to accept every donation we get. We’re really grateful for the support of the community and the people in America. We do as much as we can to help out.”