At a young age, Morgan Rochon started pursuing her passion for sewing, but it wasn’t until her production job fell through that she was inspired to create Rochon Designs, a custom bridal business that she hopes to expand, with a focus on maternity bridal.
Rochon was first introduced to sewing by her mother who passed her self-taught talent onto her children.
“They [Rochon’s parents] told me and my brothers that we had to know how to cook, change our own oil and sew before we could move out,” she says.
It was through these fundamental teachings that Rochon first discovered her passion for sewing.
“I just fell in love with it. I started watching Project Runway and that’s when I started working on making my own patterns and stuff. I was really inspired by them.”
During high school, Rochon continued to follow her interest by taking a sewing option class. In grade ten, she was chosen by her teacher to compete in the Skills Canada Alberta Competition.
Traditionally open to Grade 11 and 12 students, the competition tests students abilities to design and produce clothing. Rochon competed for three years in high school, placing fourth twice.
“It was a really cool honor actually, it was really awesome and just a great experience.”
Rochon’s passion for sewing remained strong after high school, leading to the completion of her fashion apparel technology diploma at Olds College.
The program requires a 40-hour working practicum that she fulfilled at Anneke Forbes, a fashion business that creates high-quality outerwear for women.
Shortly after finishing her practicum, Rochon earned a position as a production contractor for the company, responsible for cutting, fusing and sewing fabric for jackets.
Anneke Forbes, designer and owner of Anneke Forbes, explains that she hired Rochon because of her ability to focus and deliver correctly on instruction.
“I just got a really chill vibe off of her and thought that she would be a great person to have in the studio.”
But Rochon’s contract unexpectedly came to a stand-still due to the premature birth of Forbes’ twins.
With her contract suspended, it came as no surprise to Forbes when Rochon decided to pursue a career in bridal wear.
“Instead of being perturbed or moving on, she was like ‘I’m here for you when you need me, but I’m also going to invest this free-time into my own business,’” Forbes says.
This inspired Rochon to fulfil her dream of owning her own business, leading to the creation of Rochon Designs — hand-made, custom bridal veils and gowns.
Rochon says her love for making gowns was what inspired her to pursue bridal wear.
She explains that custom bridal is a very intimate and drawn-out experience.
“If you go to a bridal shop you’re there for an hour. You try on a few dresses, you put in your order,” she says. “But with custom gowns you’re there from the get-go.”
“We’ll talk about ideas, what she wants, the style, silhouette, fabrics. Whatever she’s looking at, we’ll come up with a design together,” Rochon says.
“They get to be there from start to finish and they get to have their input [in] everything.”
The end result is that her clients can add very personal touches to their wedding.
For example, she explains that a bride, “brought a veil that her grandma wore to her wedding, and then her mom wore it and then her aunt,” in hopes that Rochon could add custom details to the veil so that it would be personalized for her own wedding.
Custom bridal is also an avenue for brides to add unique and out-of-the-box touches to their weddings.
Jaclyn Smith, Rochon’s best friend of eight years, explains that Rochon was able to make her dream come true when she created the veil and bridesmaid dresses for her 1920s themed wedding.
“She’s pretty laid back but she’s professional at the same time. I liked that she was able to make my dream of what I was envisioning come true in her own little unique way,” Smith says.
“I think that for her business people should really give her a chance because it’s really worth it.”
Although Rochon’s work is currently on a smaller scale, she hopes to expand her company and establish a permanent business location.
“Ideally [it] would be two stories and one story would be the manufacturing, sewing and designing area, and then the other floor would be the shop with all the gowns and veils,” she says.
For now, Rochon is working at increasing advertising and the amount of ready-made designs she has on hand.
This includes working on a selection of dresses for maternity brides, an area of bridal wear that she feels is often neglected.
“I worked at David’s Bridal for two summers while I was in college and I noticed that they don’t have any styles for women that are pregnant.”
“If you’re pregnant and getting married you want the dress of your dreams, right? It’s no different than if you’re not pregnant.”
Rochon says that 50 years ago it was frowned upon to be pregnant before marriage, but “it’s not taboo anymore.”
Rochon plans to make maternity wear a greater focus of her business, offering multiple ready-made and custom options.
“I just want to give those women more options because everybody wants the dress of their dreams, and I don’t think that just because you’re pregnant you shouldn’t have that.”
Forbes says “it’s such an important day for so many women […] so the fact that she’s so focused on perfection and creating a high-quality end product, I feel like that will make her stand out.”