12 Feb 2013
- Written by Deidra Shores/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
The world of consignment has many faces and one of the newer ones is bringing something a little bit special to the table.
Belle of the Ball Prom Dress Consignment, LLC is an entry point into the Mid-South for beautiful and inexpensive prom dresses. I spoke with the owner, Rashida Patterson, to trace the idea of Prom Consignment to its roots.
Patterson took me back to 2010 and the search for a dress for her daughter's pageant. Mother and daughter kept running into problems. The main one was that they couldn't find "The Dress" that stayed within "The Price." Like most parents who pay for a daughter's dress, Patterson didn't want to spend an extreme amount of money on something that might only be worn once.
Belle Of The Ball Prom Dress Consignment was born out of the search for a solution.
Patterson runs the home-based business on the weekends. She says that's when most people have the time to shop for special-occasion attire. It's not a solo operation, though. Volunteers pitch in and help to keep a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Even her youngest daughter is in the mix, helping out and modeling dresses as one of the "Belles That Cares" – a group of girls that model Patterson's clothes, orchestrate dress-collection drives and spread the word about the Belle Of The Ball Outreach Dress Program.
I know firsthand about the Belle That Cares program because I'm a part of it. Patterson has designed the program to give back in a fun, unique and exciting way high school seniors awarded the opportunity to purchase dresses for $20.13 at an annual program event.
The Belles aren't just models. They are, said Patterson, "models with a purpose." Her goal is to have a Belle That Cares model represented in numerous local schools followed by extending her Outreach and Consignment programs to other cities.
With February designated Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, Belle Of The Ball will hold a Teen Brunch on Feb. 23 to promote teen awareness and prevention of teen violence. Other events in the works are "Bullying Awareness" for middle school students on March 2, and an Easter Dress Drive to donate and receive an Easter Dress and basket.
Admissions to Patterson's events are often only the donation of a gently used formal to the Belle Of The Ball Outreach Dress Program.
(Follow Belle Of the Ball Prom Dress Consignment, LLC on Facebook and Twitter for more details about their Dress Outreach Program and Consignment opportunities.)