30 in Their Thirties: Paulina Braiz-Harb // 36


Founder | Paulina BH, Birmingham | Employees: 1 | Revenue: NA | 

Universidad Tecnologica del Centro, Universidad de Carabobo  

Growing up in Venezuela, Paulina Braiz-Harb would spend her time sketching dresses. Now, as the owner of her own custom-dress line and boutique, Paulina BH in downtown Birmingham, she is bringing those sketches to life. “My slogan is, ‘A dream becomes a reality,’ ” Braiz-Harb says. “If I don’t have it, I will make it.”

Before moving to the United States in 2002 to study English and work in marketing, Braiz-Harb obtained business degrees in administration and management, human resources, and international trade. Her education, she says, has been instrumental to her success. “I work very (closely) with my clients. My human resource degree helps me (understand) their personality and their feelings, and I try to stress that through the dresses,” she says.

Since launching her business in 2008, Braiz-Harb’s responsibilities include searching for fabrics and embellishments, sketching and designing, and getting to know her clients. Her dresses, which range in price from $200 to $5,000, are often customized to fit the unique needs of each of her clients, including business professionals, artists, and brides. 

Using decorative materials such as Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, and hand-beading, Braiz-Harb collaborates with a team of seamstresses in Venezuela. The dresses are made for special occasions like weddings, graduations, anniversaries, bat mitzvahs, and more, and are available through special orders and at her boutique. 

Braiz-Harb also designs and sells a line of custom-made shoes with hand painted soles, and offers accessories by designers she admires. “What gives me the most satisfaction is seeing my client happy and satisfied, and making them feel like a princess and important on their happy day,” she says.