About

I am Merike, Bridal fashion designer, Miracle Worker, Realtor, Business Owner, Positivist and Angels Lover. My story has evolved from the humble beginnings all the way to becoming the passionate and skilled wedding wear designer. My journey has been filled with countless one-of-a-kind experiences, opportunities and learning curves. I have been blessed with patience and courage which have helped fulfill my dreams. My personal mission is to make my client’s wedding wear dreams come true by way of creating perfect custom made clothes.

 

The most influential person whom I inherited the knowledge of style, passion for fashion, skills and patience needed to be a dressmaker is my grandmother Salme. She nurtured my talents and laid the foundation to be passionate about what I do.

I want my clients to know that the garments they wear, are authentic and personally hand made by the designer, I want them to feel the love that every dress is made with. I want my designs to evoke the feelings of comfort, confidence and beauty.

1982 - Schooling

I was born in Estonia, in a beautiful town of Rakvere with colorful history, culture and ancient castle. By the age of 16, I knew my destiny is to be in fashion. My family was supportive of my choices and immediately after the middle school graduation in 1982, I applied at the technical high-school in Tallinn. In 1985 I graduated with honors and acquired a diploma in tailoring and footwear design.

1988 - The Start of Designer Life
The year of 1988 was truly the beginning of my hands-on designer journey. As a young stay-at-home mother and wife I was blessed with time and a beautiful home based studio. It was the joyful beginning of my sewing business. I was happy to create a variety of clothing for my family and friends and was commissioned to make dresses and suits for men and women.
1990 - The Rome experience
In 1990, political necessity took myself and my family of 4 to Italy. An unexpected blessing to live and work in one of the fashion capitals of the world, City of Rome exposed me to an unsurpassed opportunity to be employed by a wealthy Molinario family. Working as an in-house dressmaker I was living my dream, working, talking and breathing fashion.
1991 - Head-on into fashion
In late 1991, a unique immigration opportunity landed me in Toronto, Canada. I immediately found myself looking for opportunities in the Toronto fashion district. After enjoying a few months in Han’s Leather Goods sewing ladies leather jackets, I met Carol Beckford, haute-couture designer, fempreneur and sister-in trade. The ‘Studio A’, private clothing boutique at Forest Hill neighborhood became my second home. For 8 blissful years, as an assistant designer, I was in charge of creating countless custom made casual and evening outfits, satisfying demanding clients, attending numerous trade shows and learning the ropes of a small business.
2000 - The Hudson’s Bay Company

Y2K started for me with an extraordinary opportunity at The Hudson’s Bay Company. As a manager of The Bay Bridal Boutique at the Toronto flagship store On Queen Street I gained invaluable insight into the corporate world, met many interesting and inspiring individuals and enjoyed the mesmerizing journey deeper into the wedding wear industry.

2002 - Partnering with Jeffery Bridal
Early 2002 Jeffery Bridal opened its doors in Hamilton, Ontario. I accepted the in-house wedding gown designer position with excitement. My energy, ambition and experience helped the new boutique to a successful start. Becoming an essential partner and creative director for the ensuing 8 years laid the solid ground for the logical take-over of the business in 2010.
2010 - Jeffery Bridal by Merike
One can sense the heart and soul of Merike inside the Jeffery Bridal by Merike.The boutique gained the reputation for being a friendly and convenient Hamilton bridal store with a welcoming environment and unmatched superior service. Eventually selling mass produced name brands and competing with other stores for price-shopping brides became very daunting and uninspiring. The time was ripe to spice up the local bridal dress market by offering custom designed wedding and evening gowns instead and the Merike Klaas brand was born.
2019 - Merike Klaas Designs

Merike Klaas Designs is Hamilton’s best choice for custom made bridal and evening wear. Since the beginning of 2019, designer and owner Merike Laigna specializes in creating unique and sophisticated wedding gowns and special occasion dresses. Every custom made garment is boasting of sartorial excellence and is an expression of the designer’s keen eye for unique fabrics and high fashion inspired couture details.
My ultimate goal is to grant my clients the feeling of luxury of the well fitted, personalized clothing. It makes me extremely proud and fulfilled to deliver the satisfaction, confidence, comfort and ultimately timeless value which is derived from the authenticity of custom couture garments

“Sometimes I feel like a wizard.”

– Merike

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