Andy native shares love of fashion

Published 1:03 am Friday, September 28, 2018

Andalusia native Brandace Burnham Wilson is traveling all over the southeast in a van for her company, BURU, hoping to spread her love of fashion.

“I have always been interested in fashion, and since I am a mother I was drawn to this company,” Wilson said. “Also my friend of 20 years is the founder and I wanted to support her.”

Wilson began her journey with BURU as the Southern Pop-up Coordinator almost a year ago after being a customer and a 20-year friend to the founder, Morgan Hutchinson.

Hutchinson was living in China with her husband, Brett, when she became pregnant, and determined to wear nary a maternity garment, she set out to find chic clothing that would expand with her belly. After the birth of their daughter, it proved even more difficult to find clothes that would meet the frequent and sometimes wardrobe-challenging demands of breastfeeding.

Hutchinson embarked on a mission in the name of fashion.

With her husband’s help on the financial front, Hutchinson put her former styling and lingerie designer experience to use as they founded BURU in 2013.

As the Southern Pop-up Coordinator, Wilson travels all around the south in a Mercedes custom made van, going to different private parties and pop-up boutiques.

“I live in Birmingham so usually the van is parked in my driveway,” Wilson said. “It is pretty much a mobile boutique. It opens in the back and customers can walk in and browse the clothes we have. It is an interesting concept.”

Despite the traveling, Wilson said that the best part is meeting all the customers who come to the van.

“The best thing is meeting the customers,” Wilson said. “It feels good to see people feeling good about themselves, because if you dress nicely, then you feel confident about yourself.”

Wilson said that even though the company is geared toward mothers, there is something available for any woman.

“We are geared towards mothers,” Wilson said. “But we are not exclusive to only mothers, we have something for everyone. We want to tune out the fact that when you hear ‘mother’ you think of it as maternity clothes. That is definitely not the case.”

Wilson said that their clothes have a very accessible price point.

“We wanted to make this travel bus so we could provide customers with an opportunity to find items that are on trend and not available where they are located,” Wilson said. “It is just an added bonus that mothers love the clothes as well.”

Wilson is a 1998 graduate of Andalusia High School and earned her degree from the University of Alabama in 2002. She’s back in Andalusia for a BURU show at the home of Terri Proctor.

Coming back to Andalusia to do a show is very special, Wilson said.

“I still have my family here and they are very much a part of the Andalusia community,” Wilson said. “So it is always nice to come here and catch up and see familiar faces.”

Proctor and Laura Wells are the hosts for the BURU show today, and Proctor said that she wanted to bring the show to Andalusia because she loves clothing and putting outfits together.

“I host a couple of children’s trunk show lines and work part time at Town & Country, so my love of clothing and putting outfits together runs deep,” Proctor said. “I’ve followed BURU and Brandace on Instagram for a while and love the style of BURU.”

Proctor believes that the BURU style will resonate with the Covington County community.

“I really think BURU’s style will attract people in Andalusia,” Proctor said. “There are several young moms, and older moms, I’m a mix of both, in town who stay busy, but still want to look stylish and put together. BURU offers fun looks and pieces that are a little different, but not too fussy for a woman on the go.”

Wells knew Wilson through high school and eventually met Hutchinson in college, so once Wilson told her about BURU she was on board to bring it to Andalusia.

“I think it’s such a unique experience,” Wells said. “The founder was a friend from college, Morgan Blankenship [Hutchinson], and I followed her story through social media. Last year at my class reunion, my classmate Brandace Burnham Wilson told me she was a ‘driver’ of a BURU and I begged her then to bring the van to Andalusia for a party.”

The BURU show will be at Proctor’s house at 205 South Park Loop in Andalusia, from 11 a.m., until 4 p.m.