Bernadette Maulion, Dressed Charlotte
Hi! I’m Bernadette and I’m starting Dressed Charlotte, your local dress rental service!
Dressed Charlotte sprouted from having six weddings to attend in one year! I had dresses in my closet, but I had just worn them to other events, and some didn’t fit, (but I hope to fit in them again). So I had both the problem of having too many clothes and nothing to wear! I created the concept for a project in my MBA marketing class and learned through my research that many women had the same problem. One stat that really stuck out to me was that women on average buy 64 pieces of clothing per year and wear half of that only once! Last year, I entered Startup Weekend, a competition for new business ideas, and got second place. I continued to work on it through my MBA classes and launched when I graduated this past April.
At Dressed Charlotte, want to serve all women of all sizes and styles. We have about 400 dresses in inventory right now with a goal to have thousands. A staple for any woman’s closet is the LBD (little black dress). I personally love having a few black dress options that can be dressed up or dressed down; you can’t go wrong! I love this black dress that I’m wearing for the #13shadesofblack – it is actually on loan to us from a grandmother who has killer style! It’s comfortable and classic and fits my lifestyle – on the go during the day with a pair of flats, and then I can dress up tonight for a formal event! Anything that serves multiple uses and functions is right up my alley, and black is the best color for that!
A lot of people think my passion is fashion, but what really energizes me is helping women save money. Before doing this, I was in corporate human resources for seven years. I made a great salary, but I was obsessed with trying to save as much as possible to do all the things I wanted – own a home, travel and be there for my friends and family. I don’t ever want money to be a reason I can’t do something. I’m amazed at how many women say the same thing. They wonder where all their money went, when they have a closet full of clothes, half of which still have price tags! So, I set out my mission to help women be wiser about depreciating assets like clothes, so that they can use those funds on things they really care about.
How to rent:
Right now the website is still being built, so that it will be one seamless process. In the meantime, women can go to dressedclt.com and sign up for an account. They tell us more about them (size, problem areas, styles they like, etc) and then they can browse the dresses we have in stock. They then can contact us by calling or emailing us to set up an appointment to try on the dresses they like. You only pay if you find something – no risk! We’re priced to be super affordable. All our dresses are either $19, $29 or $39 (depending on designer and style) and includes us taking care of dry cleaning. The customer picks up from us and returns to us, or for an additional charge, we can deliver and pick up from them.
How to lend:
We consider ourselves a community more than a business. We want women who are interested in sharing their dresses, as well as renting dresses. We work as a great secret storage space for dresses you love, but you’re just not using right now.To lend, you simply raid your closet for dresses you would like to rent out, set up an appointment with us to check out what you have, and if they are clean, in style and in good condition, we take them into our inventory. Every time they get rented you get 10% back in cash or 20% back in store credit with unlimited potential!
I love meeting women all over Charlotte and hearing their personal stories. Please reach out any time, even just to say hello!
Photos by Katherine-Kirchner.
Stay tuned for next week’s #13shadesofblack intro!
Join the Black List!
See you on the interwebs… @bwsocialco