The bridal boutique, which is based in Hornchurch, Essex donated nearly £10,000 worth of prom dresses to Smile charity’s dress appeal
A bridal boutique in Hornchurch, Essex recently stunned a local charity by donating 55 dresses that have the retail value of £9,925 to its prom dress appeal. Lottie Lew Bridal, which is owned and run by Michelle Brown reached out to the charity with the hopes of supporting young people within her local community.
“When I heard the news of the prom dress appeal from Smile, I immediately thought of all the dresses I had sitting in the back of my store. It’s very common in my industry for dresses to go out of style season by season, and because of this, many of them can’t go back on the rails to be sold. Therefore, I was more than happy to donate all of the gowns I had sitting there if it meant helping some young women in my local community,” says Michelle.
The charity, called Smile (Support Motivate Invest Lead and Evolve) aims to provide essential support to families living in poverty or financial crisis throughout London and Essex. The charity recently launched its ‘Free Prom Dress’ appeal which calls on the local community to donate old dresses and funds to help young women attend their school prom.
“Prom is an expensive time of the year for any family, however, that expense is greater for those living on a low income. Every year we provide free prom dresses, shoes and accessories to young ladies living on the breadline in London and Essex. Each girl gets a one-hour dedicated slot at our community hub in Romford to try on as many dresses as they wish. Once they have found the dress of their dreams, they take it home that day and they get to keep it, it’s that simple!” says the Charity.
With over 30 years’ experience in the bridal industry, Michelle finally decided that it was time to open her own boutique back in 2011. As the only bridal consultant and member of staff, she has a personal relationship with each and every one of her customers.
“After working in the bridal world for over 30 years, I decided it was time for me to use all of my knowledge and open my own shop. I have a very close and personal relationship with all of my brides, but I’ve not done much charity work over the years as I’ve simply not had the time. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and I’m sure it won’t be the last," says Michelle.
Michelle’s donation was well-received by everyone in the community and many took to social media to show their gratitude. “I didn’t expect this sort of response in a million years,” says Michelle.
“I’ve had supportive messages from many of my customers both old and new, and I’ve also had lots of messages from people I don’t even know. My social media pages have also been flooded with lovely comments and people thanking me for my generosity,” she adds.
Supporting your local community is great for any small business. For more ideas on how to help out, take a look at these six ways to get involved in your local community.