New shop offers Blue-ribbon prom shoppingWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Atlas Bridal Shop plans to give area high-school girls a personalized prom dress shopping experience with its new sister store, Blue.
“We’ve sold prom here for a while, and we just don’t have the space for it to grow,” said Dee Seger, who will manage Blue, named after the color of Atlas’ logo. “A lot of times girls would walk out because there wouldn’t be a [dressing] room or there’d be a wait and we just wanted to give them their own space.”
The new store will carry about 500 dresses. “We stock every size; we stock all different colors, all different styles; we stock short, we stock long,” Seger said.
The store will officially open at 10 a.m. Feb. 4. In-stock prom dresses will be $50 off and ULTA will do hair and makeup on location. On Feb. 5, there will be a photo booth with props, and during February, any customer who brings in a gently used gown will receive $50 off her purchase. The gowns will be donated to girls who cannot afford to purchase a dress.
Blue is unlike any store in the Toledo area, Seger noted.
“It’s a different experience than going in the mall and grabbing dresses off the rack and them shoving you in a little room and that’s it,” Seger said. When entering, girls will be greeted by a stylist and given four rings that they can use to mark dresses they want to try on. After trying the dress on in one of six dressing rooms, a sales associate will help accessorize the dress while another grabs the next gown.
Although Seger and other associates from the bridal store will work at Blue, most of the staff will be teenagers. The new hires should be enrolled in a fashion or marketing program at their high schools and will receive training, Seger said.
“We’re looking for that girl who has that fashion sense. It’s not just you’re 17 and you can work the hours I want,” she said.
Blue also ensures that girls don’t show up to prom to find another young woman wearing the same dress.
“The cool thing about us is we register you for the dress so no one can buy the same dress in the same color from your school,” Seger said.
Girls value individuality when it comes to prom dresses, she added.
“Those girls are looking for something completely unique, where bridal is more traditional in a sense,” Seger said, adding that she wants each girl to be thrilled with her dress.
“We don’t want it to be just ‘Oh, that looks cute on you. Get it.’ We want you to genuinely feel like you love this dress; this is the dress for you; you feel good in it. To me, a prom dress is the second biggest dress of your life,” she said.
This year, Seger expects the trends to be dresses that are short in the front and long in the back, sequined or embellished with floral. She also noticed an uptick in girls buying red and blue dresses compared to a yellow trend last year.
Blue is in the same plaza as Atlas at 4895 Monroe St., Toledo. Store hours are 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Call (419) 474-9119 for more information.