House of Hope hosted its first ever Formal Fashions Expo in their Stuart Thrift Store on Jan. 28, drawing an excited crowd. After generous donations from three local anonymous donors, the agency found itself inundated with over 1,200 brand-new formal dresses including wedding gowns and prom attire.
With the formal wear taking up so much space in the popular House of Hope Stuart Thrift Store, retail manager Donna Vestal dreamt up an ambitious event to offer exquisite dresses for a bargain. Thanks to sponsors, volunteers and customers’ support, the Formal Fashions Expo was a great success. The event provided an opportunity for brides, teens, and everyone in between to find a new stunning dress for less than $100.
“Going beyond selling dresses, this expo was a win-win. It really was a wonderful day of having the community come together to support House of Hope. We made a lot of new friends through vendors, sponsors and customers,” Vestal beamed.
Sales of the dresses and accessories raised funds to support House of Hope’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. The agency operates four Client Choice pantries across the county as well as provides clients with clothing, furniture, financial assistance, case management, vocational training and various educational opportunities.
Many attendees were not familiar with House of Hope, and the Expo introduced them to the mission as well as the many ways that they may get involved to help their community. The fashion show was a stream of smiles and giggles as the volunteer models ages 5 – 75 strutted in bridesmaids’ dresses, flower girl designs, bridal gowns and mother of the bride ensembles.
Despite brisk sales House of Hope still has a large selection of brand new gowns for all occasions in sizes from 0-22. Originally priced for hundreds to thousands of dollars, House of Hope is offering the gowns for less than $100. Prom guests, wedding parties and other special event attendees are encouraged to visit House of Hope’s Stuart thrift store to find the steal of their dreams!