Zari Sadri has lived in Warren most of her life. “I love the village and can't imagine living anywhere else,” she said. “The two houses I grew up in are right around the corner from where I live now.” An alumna of Warren School and Harwood, she worked as marketing director for a luxury ski apparel brand during her senior year at the University of Vermont.
“I sort of hated college, but had an entrepreneurial spirit, so I'd blow off class for board meetings and work trips,” she said. “Oops!” That entrepreneurial spirit eventually led her to launch Hinterland Bride, the wedding dress shop she owns in Burlington. “I traveled a lot and spent eight years creative directing, copywriting, and event planning for that brand. It took me around the world, and I'll never forget the photoshoots and events in Spain, St. Moritz, Aspen, Park City, etc. One of the investors in that brand mentioned to me that he had invested in an independent bridal boutique in Toronto and that it was a great business, and that planted the seed for Hinterland Bride!
“Hinterland Bride is a haven for modern brides looking for unique and fashion-forward wedding gowns that feel like an extension of their personal style. We feature small, independent designers from across the globe. We're open by appointment only and located in a beautiful loft on College St. in Burlington.”
“There's a lot to love about helping brides find their unique style and find something that they feel comfortable and like themselves in for their wedding day! I love the hospitality aspect (it runs in the family) of welcoming brides into our cozy Hinterland space and helping to advocate for them throughout the process to narrow in on their wedding dress! We always joke that we ride or die for the bride but that couldn't be more true. I also adore working primarily with women.
“While the job can be stressful (if something goes wrong, it's someone's wedding dress. . .. I don't take that lightly), I adore the flexibility that comes with owning my business. And although the commute to Burlington can be long, I never take for granted how lucky I am to live in the Mad River Valley. I can't imagine leaving. It's heaven here (especially in the summer).”
Sadri says growing up in the Mad River Valley and attending local schools helped prepare her for her future career. “I loved Warren School for our tiny class sizes and creative teachers! During high school, I spent most of my time in the photography lab. Sam Krotinger (then photo/journalism teacher at Harwood, and my mentor; now Warren School principal) helped me imagine a career where I could be creative, and I believe that set me on my way with my first career in marketing/advertising. The visual education I got at Harwood contributes every day to the work that I do for the brand of Hinterland Bride. We were so lucky to have such a strong arts education at Harwood!”
When asked what she does in her free time, Sadri said, “Although I own my own business, I actually have quite a bit of free time during the week since most brides prefer to shop on the weekends. Monday through Thursday or so most weeks you can find me riding horses, running, and hiking with my husband and our golden retriever, Charlotte. I try to jump in the river as much as I can, and on the weekends that I can sneak out of work, I play polo with Sugarbush Polo Club! Come check it out!”
She added, “Although The Valley has changed a lot in the almost 30 years I've been here, at its core the creative beating heart of this place is still intact. Kids lucky enough to grow up in the Mad River Valley generally go on to do such cool and interesting things because of all of the fantastic community members that open their eyes to the possibilities. I'm grateful to all of those folks for the roles they played in my upbringing! And I remain hopeful that Valley kids like me who want to make their lives here can find affordable places to live!”