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Mara Bridal finds historic charm in new home

  • The corner house on Kelly Street dates back to 1880, and has hosted a lawyer and a doctor. Now, it will showcase dozens of special-occasion dresses curated by owner Tiffany Rottinghaus. Press photos by Kate Hayden

  • Behind the house, Rottinghaus has plans to transform the garage into a prom/homecoming and tuxedo studio, serving different needs for her customers throughout the year.

  • Samples of the featured collections, such as designer Justin Alexander, are already arriving as Rottinghaus and her contractors push through final renovation projects, aiming for a Nov. 25 soft-business opening.

  • The business name "Mara" stems from the names of Rottinghaus's female relatives — who have a first or middle name beginning with "Mar-".

  • Projects are still being undertaken inside the Mara Bridal home — but touches of a completed business are taking shape for Rottinghaus, who already has years of bridal fashion experience in her background.

  • Tiffany Rottinghaus won a 2017 Charles City Area Development Corp. Business Plan Competition and a $2,500 prize. Shown are, from left, CCADC business plan judges Frank Blaine and Paul Coonrod, Rottinghaus and Tim Fox, CCADC executive director. Judges commented that Rottinghaus's business plan is "exceptionally well researched, has significant market penetration data and, most importantly, justifiable projections."

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