From wedding attire, birthday celebrations, prom, cocktail parties, galas, debutantes, and pageants, Jessica Rios is the founder of Arden Bridal in Tampa Bay. It’s a one-stop shop for every type of occasion where you want to look and feel your best. After 11 years in the industry, Rios is far from done with helping clients select the right garments for their special events!
Jessica Rios is the youngest of six children and was always surrounded by talent, hard work, and determination while growing up. After working in the medical field for over 13 years in what she considered a “safe” job, she was laid off and took a deep dive into “this wonderful world of fashion and weddings and special events.” As the founder of Arden Bridal, Rios has been involved in the fashion, beauty, and retail industry for the past 11 years, that all weave together into the wedding and special events industry. “I do not regret it for one minute! I absolutely love seeing clients’ face light up when they can see themselves transformed by the right garments. It’s magical.”
Rios attributes what inspired her to become an entrepreneur to her family. She says, “it’s in my blood. We have many entrepreneurs in our family. Growing up, I saw how hard my parents and grandparents worked to take care of our large family. It was inspiring. My grandmother made wedding dresses, informs, [and] fur coats. She was so incredibly talented, and [it had] such a big influence on me.” Although Rios was surrounded by entrepreneurs in her family while growing up, “everything, [at] the beginning [of starting my own business], was so new. I really didn’t have a mentor or anyone telling me what to do in certain situations. It was a ton of trial and error. Now I love the opportunity to help others in my position when I started out. I didn’t think that I would be a mentor to others, [and it has been very fulfilling].”
Rios, like many others, still faced hardships and struggles when launching their first business. “I shared a retail space with someone who did not have my best interest at heart, and they abandoned the space leaving me to cover all of the expenses. [But,] due to the fact that I do not give up, I worked harder than ever to make up the difference and eventually find my own space that was a perfect fit.” She adds, “for every problem, there is a solution.” “You must have a passion for what you are doing. It’s not just a job.”
When looking ahead to the future of Arden Bridal, Rios dreams of continuing to expand the business and helping clients on a broader scale. The biggest challenges Rios’ business faces now are “our continuous growth and not having the right staff to help clients and be trained quickly enough. [So] I’m reaching out to several resources and colleagues to find those that would love and see themselves growing with our family business.”
Lastly, Rios would like to thank her family for instilling the values that have helped her get to where she is today.