Dress your best

Gowrie shop collecting prom dresses

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Wendy Mills, owner of Lost Grove Mercantile in Gowrie, stands near a rack of Southeast Valley Jaguars gear in her shop. She recently started collecting prom dresses for a prom dress sale at the shop.

GOWRIE — High school girls searching for the perfect dress for prom will have an affordable option to shop close to home.

Lost Grove Mercantile, 1108 Market St. in Gowrie, is collecting formal dresses for donations and consignment.

“The economy is tough right now,” shop owner Wendy Mills said. “And a lot of these girls are going to school and working extra jobs and that kind of thing… So the girls can have a nice selection of dresses that maybe they wouldn’t have had an opportunity to get before.”

Mills started Lost Grove Mercantile in February 2020 and opened her storefront in August 2021.

Her store sells a variety of custom decorated apparel, accessories and more.

Mills got the idea to host a prom dress sale after hearing of other prom dress exchange and consignments in the past.

“With the size of our (school) district and all the surrounding towns, I thought that would be a great service to offer and I have the space in the shop,” Mills said.

Dresses must be clean, in a current style, in good condition and on a hanger.

To consign the dresses, there is a $10 fee for one dress, $15 fee for two dresses and $20 fee for three or more. Consignors will set their own prices, and Mills recommends approximately half of what the dress was purchased for. The store will keep 10% of the sale and the consignors will be paid within seven days of it selling.

Mills is also welcoming dress donations, and those dresses will be marked $25. Sales from the donated dresses will be used for scholarships, Mills said.

“I can probably handle a couple hundred dresses,” Mills said. “This is my first time doing this, so I’m not really quite sure what to expect.”

As prom season approaches, Mills also expects to be able to have shoes and other accessories available for purchase.

Mills started collecting dresses on Thursday and the initial dress collection will continue through Saturday. Other collection dates will be announced and dresses can be dropped off by appointment as well.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people that have dresses that aren’t really quite sure what to do with them,” Mills said. “Of course, everybody’s got a few sentimental ones, but then there’s others that need to clean out their closets, so it’s kind of a win-win for everybody.”

Sale dates are Feb. 3-5, March 3-5 and April 1-3, and dresses will also be available for purchase during regular business hours or by appointment.


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