Below are answers to several frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question, please feel free to contact us by phone: 781. 647-0589 or by email: Sondra@sondracelli.com
Can anyone order a Sondra Celli design?
Yes! Sondra designs for everyone from newborns and toddlers to teens and adults. No matter what your age, shape or size, no matter where you live, Sondra can custom design the dress of your dreams or bling out the accessory of your choice. Check out samples of Sondra’s designs in the PORTFOLIOS section of this website.
How much does a Sondra Celli custom design cost?
Prices vary based on the design, the types of materials used, and on the amount of bling. To get a quote, please email us a photo or sketch of the design you have in mind and we will get back to you with pricing information. The email is: Sondra@sondracelli.com. Please also include the date of your event and/or the deadline for the design. Please note: Fluctuations in the price of materials, crystals, and/or shipping charges can occur so quoted prices will only be honored for one year from the date the quote is given.
Why does a custom design cost more?
We are a small studio, not a factory, so we cannot compete with items mass-produced overseas by machines and embellished with inexpensive plastic stones and/or sequins. Our staff is composed of designers with fashion degrees as well as talented veterans who have been working in the world of fashion for decades. Each custom piece we design starts with the drafting of an original pattern based on a client’s exact measurements. The pattern is then cut by hand and sewn together. In addition, we use only genuine Swarovski® crystals imported from Austria. These crystals are the best of the best and sparkle with a brilliance that adds life to every design. Each Swarovski stone is individually placed by hand and, depending on the design, “blinging” out an item can take several hours or many weeks to complete. When you purchase a custom design by Sondra Celli you are receiving a quality product, proudly made in America by a team of expert designers and brilliantly talented craftspeople.
How can I save money on a custom design?
You can select a simple rather than an intricate design, choose fabrics that are less expensive and merely trim your design with crystals rather than heavily pack it with bling. You can also place your order months ahead of your event to save on shipping charges. In some cases, we can add bling to a plain dress that you already own to give it a new look. In those cases, make sure to email us photos of the dress first so we can quote you a price.
Do you have to travel to Sondra’s shop in person to place an order?
No. Simply email us a photo, sketch, or detailed notes about the style dress you have in mind along with your measurements. Email: Sondra@sondracelli.com. Sondra will create the bodice of the dress and ship it to you for fitting. Try the bodice on and, if alterations are necessary, take it to your local seamstress to have it pinned. Then, return the bodice to us (with the pins in it) and we do the actual alterations, assemble the dress, add the bling, and the finished piece is then shipped to you.
Can you ship to other countries?
Yes but keep in mind that international shipping charges can cost over $250 USD.
How do I place an order and do you provide payment plans?
When you are ready to place an order, simply call us at the studio at 781.647-0589 with your credit card information. We require a 50% initial deposit. We can only accept U.S. credit cards for payment at this time. Once the order is complete the remaining balance, plus shipping charges, is due. For larger orders we can offer a 3-part payment plan with 1/3 due at the time you place your order, 1/3 halfway through the completion of your order and the final 1/3, plus shipping, due upon completion.
What is your return policy?
We do not take returns. As a client you are closely involved in the designing effort by collaborating with Sondra on the style, color and look of design you want so there are no surprises. In addition, if you are ordering a dress, you will receive a sample of the dress bodice to try on to confirm the fit and comfort prior to the entire piece being assembled and blinged out. If minor alterations are necessary at that time, we are happy to make them at no cost to you. However, a fee may be charged if you request a rework of the initially ordered design.
How long does it take to custom design a dress and/or accessories?
Times vary depending on what you are having created. For example, most bridal dresses take 4-6 months although a more intricately designed dress could take 6-8 months. Always order early!
Besides wedding dresses, what else does Sondra Celli design?
It is impossible to list everything that Sondra custom designs for clients. Just know that if you can dream it, she can bling it! Here is a partial list; blinged out sunglasses, sneakers, hair ornaments, pageant dresses, Halloween costumes and competition outfits for skaters, gymnasts, swimmers and ballroom dancers. Her Baby Bling collection includes; baby onesies and tuxedos, carriages, personalized blankets, pacifiers and custom bedding for cribs. Sondra’s home accessories include gorgeous ornamental wreaths for your home, accent pillows and crystal covered picture frames. And, don’t forget your pet! Sondra designs the cutest blingwear for your faithful 4-footed companions. The easiest way to know if Sondra can design what you are looking for is to call the studio at: 781.647-0589 or email us at: Sondra@sondracelli.com.
How did Sondra Celli get started designing for the gypsy community?
The gypsies actually found Sondra years ago when she had a very popular children’s clothing line being carried by department stores across the country. Somehow the gypsies managed to get Sondra’s phone number and she was immediately bombarded with orders. As Sondra puts it, “I kept getting calls from people wanting these big orders. When I asked who they were they would say, ‘I’m from Bridgette’s Baby Boutique” or “I’m from Annie’s Baby Boutique” and, in less than a week, I had more than a dozen “baby boutiques” calling me! What seemed strange was, they were all located on the same street. I did a little investigating and eventually found out that I was selling to gypsies. They had pretended to be stores so they could buy my designs wholesale!”
Why do gypsies order such over the top styles packed with bling?
For the same reason people love to buy high-priced designer label fashions! It’s about getting attention and promoting your status. In the gypsy community it is common to show off the best of what you have in order to prove to others that your family is doing well or that your husband is a great provider. It’s like a competition where the bigger and more blinged out you can get, the higher your status in the group. Going all out with custom designed, over the top ensembles is also a way for parents to show off their sons and daughters as great potential candidates for marriage.
How does Sondra come up with such amazing and unique designs?
At Sondra Celli Designs we are constantly designing unique items and being technically challenged every day. Some of the dresses can end up weighing up to 80 pounds or more. One custom communion dress featuring thousands of Swarovski crystals ended up weighing 40 pounds while the child wearing it weighed only 68 pounds! As Sondra puts it, “Some of these designs get technical when you have to figure out how to make the dress stand out or how you’re going to make the weight shift equally so it’s comfortable on the body, or even how to create a pair of wings that will light up. One of the women on my staff actually has an engineering degree, which helps out a lot when you are designing more than just a simple black dress!”
Why does Sondra only use Swarovski crystals?
The exquisite shimmering stones plus the amazing palette of colors are the reasons why Sondra Celli uses only Swarovski crystals for her custom designs. For centuries the Austrian-based Swarovski Company has been known for manufacturing high quality crystals that sparkle with extraordinary brilliance. Using precision cutting techniques, Swarovski creates flawless facets so that the stones refract light, sparkling like no other crystal on the planet!