After fashion-design graduate Camilyn Beth Leavitt finished her degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale—and she was awarded “Best Collection” on her final portfolio—she jetted off to Stockholm to work alongside Swedish fashion designer Pär Engsheden before stepping in as the creative director for Shore Brand.

Upon being back in Florida for just one year, “Cami”—as her close friends and family call her— found 16 wedding invitations in the mail. Instead of buying 16 different cocktail dresses, she decided to design her own for each wedding.

Photography by Nicole Moreau.


“I missed designing at the time that I was invited to so many weddings,” she shares, “so I was so excited to get this opportunity to design and sew my own dresses for each one. I did not have the intention of starting my own business at the time.” But after working for other designers for a few years, she decided to dial into a niche market of her own: gaining an eye for womens’ unique, feminine figures and special-occasion attire. In 2012, Camilyn Beth was founded, and two years later, she launched her first Fall/Winter collection. Even one of the 16 dresses Cami created for her marathon year of weddings ended up becoming part of her first bridal collection and remains one of her most popular designs today with an updated fit and fabric. The original emerald green, fun-to-wear number, called the “Go Go” Dress, is one part 60s retro, two parts DIY chic. 

There are more than 30 different dress-and-skirt combinations to say yes to and different colors of fabric to choose from. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan


This year, Camilyn Beth studio was presented with an opportunity to move to the downstairs space in its building on Palm Avenue to open its first storefront retail location. “This was a really monumental moment for the team,” Cami shares—having spent most of lockdown building out and renovating the space to make it truly fit their design aesthetic. Fully moved in and ready for wedding season to come back around, Cami is busy penciling and designing 2-D dresses that beg to be peeled off the tracing paper and sewn onto a woman’s body: timeless, classic shapes sparked with modern, high-fashion touches.

Cami sketching at her studio. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.


From exquisite tulle skirting, satin bow ruffling and flirty back cutouts to haute couture–inspired puff sleeves, dreamy train belts and delicate eyelet detailing, the fearless femininity of Camilyn Beth designs give brides and bridal parties the sartorial elegance worthy of rolled-out carpets. Having recently completed the Spring 2021 bridal collection earlier this fall, SRQ met with the dress designer to see if we could borrow something white...

SRQ: Describe the style ethos of your brand.

Cami: Camilyn Beth are designs created for the modern women with a retro twistfrom courthouse chic to a glamorous wedding look. I have always designed with the thought that each design could be worn to a wedding event but can carry you from day-to-night—whether that be a party, shower, luncheon, rehearsal, reception, etc.

SRQ: Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Cami: The collection is primarily inspired by past eras of fashion. I am so inspired by classic pieces from the ’50s–’60s; Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. have always been my style icons. But also, so much of my inspiration comes from the women who come into the store. Getting to work with them gives me more insight into what they are needing in their wardrobe and things that matter most to them. When designing our new retail space, I made sure that the connection with my design area and our customers remain close in proximity for this purpose.

SRQ: How does the process work for brides who want to order a custom design?

Cami: Brides can shop online or in-store and choose the cocktail or wedding dress they want with various skirt options. There are over 30 different dress and skirt combinations to say yes to, and different colored fabric to choose from. Each piece can be customized and is made-to-order by a local seamstress. For each bride, we have a designated wedding concierge to assist them with sizing, fit or styling questions. The team and I worked really hard on making the process seamless and buildable for their own bespoke wedding look!

SRQ: Could you share a snapshot capturing your design process?

Cami: Once I get inspired, I sketch a few different designs like a brain bump. I put a bunch of different designs on paper to release all of the ideas that I have. Then I go through each sketch with the team to create a theme for that particular collection. Once we have the theme, then I know the direction of what fabrics to source. Once the fabric samples arrive, I immediately get to work making the pattern and sewing the samples. I always start with the pieces I am most excited about. This process comes pretty quickly for me, as designing is what I am most passionate about. As the collection comes together, we put together a lookbook for our wholesale vendors to look at and place their orders. At this point, we take our collection to our New York manufacturer for sizing, grading and manufacturing. This process can take up to a year or can be done in as little as three months. For our gown collection, the design process is the same; however, this collection is handmade by local seamstresses using our patterns that have been sized and graded by our New York manufacturer.

SRQ: How has your bridal fashion and your business model changed, with weddings starting to ramp back up again?

Cami: Just in the past few months we have seen so much change! So many brides are actually doing more bridal looks as they are having an intimate ceremony with their loved ones and a larger party later in their formal wedding look. I have also seen brides either having a shorter engagement with an intimate wedding and other brides are opting to postpone so they can have their dream wedding in another year. Either way, it is always important for me to listen to their needs and desires, and for me to do my best to keep creating them a one-of-a-kind wedding look. SRQ

Camilyn Beth Boutique & Design Studio, 75 S Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-313-2217,, @camilynbeth.