Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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Downtown Eau Claire's Heirloom Wedding Dressmakers

besties’ business specializes in vintage-y wedding dresses

Jessica Amaris, photos by Andrea Paulseth

HOW PINTERESTING! Lindsay Ulness, left, and Sarah Hrudka operate Linyage, a wedding dress design house.
HOW PINTERESTING! Lindsay Ulness, left, and Sarah Hrudka operate Linyage, a wedding dress design house.

Kleinfeld’s doesn’t have a thing on them. Not only are you guaranteed to “say yes to the dress” with local dress-makers Linyage, but on your special day, you will be a piece of masterminded art.

As you walk into the design studio that looks like your Pinterest boards, and are welcomed by a cow-hide rug named Bernie, two of the sweetest people you’ve ever met, and a comforting pink couch that makes you feel like a Victorian bride, you’re guaranteed the ultimate experience with Linyage.

New to the Eau Claire area, Linyage is a design house focused on creating one-of-a-kind, vintage-inspired bridal and special occasion dresses.

Being friends since the fifth grade, founders and creators Lindsay Ulness and Sara Hrudka know all about the importance of lineage and incorporating the most important people and family heirlooms into your special day, even if it’s just a scrap of lace from your grandmother’s doily set.

“We love to incorporate pieces of material that have meaning to them,” Ulness said. “Something timeless and a treasure that they can share with their family and pass down – carry their lineage, or create an heirloom.”

What began as friends reconnecting over tea, waffles, and dream boards, turned into a design studio that hopes to revolutionize the way women think and feel about their wedding gowns and special occasion dresses.

Dresses by Linyage.
Dresses (and photo) by Linyage.

Ulness and Hrudka started Linyage about a year ago, with the intention of carrying out their love for the arts and design. In addition to their lifelong friendship, the pair would prove to be the perfect match in business. Just as every bride needs her maid of honor, the designer needs her creative director. Ulness studied design in New York City, within its huge fashion world, and Hrudka had extensive knowledge in graphic design and marketing.  

Inspired by the idea of combining “something old and something new,” and carrying on a timeless piece that will be a treasured heirloom, the name “Linyage” was born. Ulness and Hrudka’ s goal for the design house was to give brides a one-of-a-kind vintage-inspired experience that shows off her family history, appreciation for detail and connection between her roots and growth, an aspect you rarely find at the department store bridal shops – even the most famous ones.

 “We try to make it a really special experience,” Hrudka said. “The brides are very much involved from the beginning sketches to the construction of their gown. It’s important to us that they be a part of the entire process.”
Hrudka also feeds her love for photography into the business by providing brides with an in-dress photo shoot. 

Dress (and photo) by Linyage.
Dress (and photo) by Linyage.

Since starting up a year ago and working out of Ulness’s charming apartment, the duo has worked with close to 20 brides. Tired of cooking dinners on the same table on which they drew their unique and elegant designs, the pair recently upgraded and moved to their new space above The Stone’s Throw in February.

But if you think Linyage is just another alternative bridal shop, think again. The business is a budding birthplace of artistic inspiration that aims to bloom out into the arts community of Eau Claire.

Collaborating with artists from all over the area, Ulness and Hrudka say their success is due to the undying devotion and support they receive from artists in the community and word-of-mouth connections.

“The energy down here is palpable, and just to be around all the other artists is much more motivating to my creativity,” Ulness says. “I think we found a lot of new mediums and ideas from people, who aren’t in our medium.”

In fact, to further support their love of the arts, Linyage hosts workshops such as making dream catchers and sage sticks, to bring people who share that love together.
To celebrate their new space and one-year anniversary, Linyage will be hosting a launch party on May 2 from 6-9pm at The Stone’s Throw.

Ulness and Hrudka hope to someday expand their lineage beyond the Midwest to fulfill their vows of giving back to all those who inspire their designs and giving many brides the opportunity to create truly treasured heirlooms they can debut on their special day.

Linyage • 21 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire • (715) 225-9505 • www.linyage.com

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.