The pandemic may have been a rough patch for many, but for Julie Costa, it was the start of her dream. During the pandemic, she ended up at a Macy’s store with all their formal dresses on sale. When Julie and her mom brought one of these dresses to the register and saw a $350 dress was but $14, they had an idea and ended up walking out of the store with 26 dresses and the intention to donate them to young girls coming out of the pandemic who may be in need of a dress. Julie turned this idea into a prom closet and was able to make it into something bigger than she could ever imagine.
Overnight, Julie’s idea blew up! She was receiving calls, emails, and messages from people asking to donate their dresses to her. Within four weeks, she had collected over 400 dresses. Julie’s idea of creating a rental shop is a great benefit to both the environment and family’s wallets. As Julie mentioned, “Dresses are made to be worn more than once, but people buy them for one-time events.” Julie knew she needed a space to keep the vision she had for her business, as she had been housing these dresses in her home for the time being allowing people to come by and try them on. She went on to email a landlord who showed her a storage closet. Although it was small, she was able to completely re-innovate the space creating a front-room reception area, one dressing room, and inventory in the back. She initially opened at the space on May 1st, 2021, unsure if it would take off considering it was the tail-end of prom season, but people still showed up!
By word of mouth, Julie had quickly outgrown her small space. She eventually was able to reach out to her landlord and obtain the space she is currently in which is located at 47 Broad Street, Unit 101, in Bridgewater. She just reopened in this space in January 2022 and there are constantly people in and out as well as people dropping off dresses to donate. Julie mentioned that Facebook was a major help to her success. She would post her shop onto the town resident Facebook pages and from there her business information was shared. She has currently received dresses from various locations across the United States, some of which include Toronto, New Jersey, Florida, Indiana, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, just to name a few. It was interesting that Julie’s shop is the only one like it in New England. She had mentioned she had people come visit her from as far as Hartford, CT to find a dress for their special event.
Miss Louise Prom Closet and Special Occasion Rental Shop may be a business, but making a profit is not the focus. Julie emphasized the importance of making these dresses affordable for everyone. The prom dress rentals are $40 a dress with a $20 reservation fee, regardless of the style or the designer. She also offers short dresses at $20-$30 each along with shoe and accessory rentals at $5 each. Something that she emphasizes is that “Celebrities rent dresses, why can’t everyone else?” Julie’s business has grown tremendously over the past few years. She was able to coordinate the first prom expo in area that had not occurred in quite a long time and was not only able to demonstrate what she was offering but was able to have 30 other vendors attend who were able to fill up their bookings for the year! Julie has already outgrown her new space and has plans to expand in numerous ways, some of which include the possibility of sister locations as well as new potential offerings including men’s attire. We believe Julie is more than capable due to her drive to help those and her commitment to the vision she sees for her business.
Visit Miss Louise Prom Closet and Special Occasion Rental at 47 Broad Street, Unit 101 in Bridgewater, MA. You can contact them via:
Phone Number: (774) 330-8288
Instagram: @misslouisepromcloset https://www.instagram.com/misslouisepromcloset