Money should not be an obstacle to looking “fabulous”, Alisha Hodges says.
The Oamaru woman, who started her business Cinderella’s Wardrobe NZ from her home in Eden St, moved in upstairs from Harbour St Collective Cafe seven weeks ago, after dresses started overtaking the home.
Her business is a “new and new-to-you wedding and special occasion dress shop”.
“I’ve got new and pre-loved dresses, accessories, shoes, and I also sell on behalf of, as well.”
The idea came to her when she was helping a friend look for a wedding dress.
“She had a very small budget. I fell in love with wedding dresses and it just grew from there.
“So now there’s nearly 400 dresses that I have in here, between wedding dresses, formal and bridesmaids.
“I like making people feel special about, well, whatever their occasion is, and not feel bad that they don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a wedding dress.”
“It comes full circle, I guess. You wear your dress, and then you want another bride to enjoy the feeling you had, and so you pass it along. We should be able to look fabulous with not a lot of money.”
Business was increasing, but Ms Hodges was always looking for more dresses, as well as veils and accessories.
She was also interested in stocking men’s suits.
“It’s been really good. I’m getting more people interested, getting a lot more messages, both to sell their dress and to come up and have a look. And I’ve also had to start a wish-list of dresses people are looking for.”
Ms Hodges opens the shop by appointment and sometimes at weekends, which she posts on social media ahead of time. She is also in the process of creating a website.
She enjoys being part of the small group of businesses in the building, and said they all got on, and were willing to help each other out.
She had also joined the Oamaru Business Collective, and was enjoying the support that provided, she said.
“One thing I’m loving about this town, is the community we’ve all made. You don’t realise how many other little businesses there are.”