Little Black Dress grows
Published 11:11 pm Thursday, February 25, 2016
The Little Black Dress isn’t so little anymore.
The consignment boutique, which specializes in wedding dresses and prom gowns, has expanded into Isle of Wight County.
Customers celebrated the grand opening of the new location, at 15137 Carrollton Blvd., with pink-and-black cupcakes last weekend, said owner Lana Sadowski.
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She owns the original shop in downtown Driver. She and a partner, Terri Johnson-Moore, own a third shop in Sunbury, N.C.
Each of the shops is a little different from the others, a reflection of the community each shop serves, Sadowski said.
The Carrollton store, located on the growing Route 17 corridor and near several thriving subdivisions, will carry the most upscale merchandise, she said.
“Everything we carry is unique and quirky,” she said. Although all the stores carry a good selection of evening apparel, customers can find a little bit of everything: women’s clothing, shoes, sweaters and children’s clothing, Sadowski said.
Both the Driver and Carrollton stores can special-order wedding gowns and rental tuxedos, she said
Everything in the store is consigned on a 60/40 split, with customers receiving 40 percent of the sales price, said Sadowski. The store sets sale prices and will typically keep each piece for up to three months.
They occasionally rotate garments and jewelry between the three stores to find the market where they will sell best, she added.
Sadowski, who has more than 20 years experience working in retail, said she deliberately opens stores in small, rural communities.
“We’ve never had any intention of competing with big dogs,” said Sadowski. “We like to be at least 20 miles from a major mall.
“We want to be a neighborhood consignment store … and easily accessible to people in rural communities,” she said. “As much as anything, it’s about building relationships and friendships.”
Sadowski appears to have made good friends through the Driver store. One of her best Driver customers, Sandy Wood-Leroy, is the clerk for the Carrollton store.
And just a couple of days before her grand opening in Carrollton, Sadowski walked in to find a faithful group of Driver customers cleaning the new store.
“I almost cried,” she said. “It’s all about relationships.”
Little Black Dress, in Carrollton, is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.