Going Against The Grain: Vatana Watters


Vatana Watters, bridal designer and CEO of Watters Bridal and first-time bridal presenting designer at Fashion for a Passion

We are proud to highlight Vatana Watters of Watters Bridal for this month’s Going Against The Grain feature. For the past three years, Watters has been a generous supporter of ATG and Fashion for a Passion, donating gorgeous dresses for auction to the delight of brides-to-be. In addition to providing new looks for auction, audiences at FFAP will get to see highlights from Watters’ bridal, bridesmaid and even flower girl collections float down the runway for the first time ever in her debut as an FFAP (and our first-ever bridal!) presenting designer.

Check out one of our wonderful FFAP media sponsors DFW Style Daily‘s feature on Watters Bridal, too!

Full Name: Vatana Watters
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Current City: Dallas, Texas
Ethnicity: Thai

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

When I started making bridesmaids gowns in the mid ’80’s, I offered an alternative solution to the big puffy sleeves and bows. I decided to ‘go Against The Grain,’ and it paid off in a great way, due to hard work, determination and staying true to my vision.

What made you decide to pursue your career path?

It all started 29 years ago in Dallas, Texas, with a few dresses handmade for friends and family. Turns out, there was a niche for well designed special occasions dresses, and it caught on in a big way. By the late ’80s, Watters was a treasured name in the bridal wear industry.

What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?

Race in this country is no longer just an issue of color. It is also one of ethnicity, too many people in this country continue to see us in simple stereotypes. My designs celebrate all types of brides, their unique perspective, away from stereotypes. I went against the grain in 1985 when I started my company, creating 2-piece bridesmaids dresses that geared from larger than life bows and balloon sleeves. I learned that there’s no matter your race or sex there’s no way to short circuit the path to success. It takes hard work, tenacity and patience.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?

Making women feel beautiful and confident with my designs.

What’s up next?

As we fast approach our 30th birthday, we are reflecting on the lifestyle changes of our consumers. We are working on creating a stronger and engaging digital presence, and of course, our 30th anniversary party!

Quote to live by: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac): PIG + LEO 

Passionate about: My family, my employees, the future of my company and serving as a leader and inspiration to my community. 

Favorite food: Thai Shrimp Cakes with sweet chilli sauce and pad thai 

Can’t live without: My family, Ipad, lace and passion for fashion

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