AN ENTRPRENEURIAL mum is swapping lectures for ladies’ fashion after setting up an innovative dress shop.
College lecturer Emma Quinn is giving up the classroom for colourful creations after going it alone to set up a unique dress agency stocking new and nearly-new garments.
The Doncaster College accountancy lecturer is hoping her new business, Change Of A Dress, will add up to success for herself and customers.
She said: “I have always wanted to set up my own business and I am hoping it will prove a big hit with women of all ages looking for quality dresses but at a fraction of the price.
“I will offer something a bit different.”
The shop, which is due to open this Saturday with a party launch, will stock eveningwear, prom dresses and wedding outfits as well as a wide range of accessories including quality shoes, bags and accessories, making it a one-stop shop for a glitzy night out.
But, in an innovative twist, Emma is not the only one who stands to make money from her new venture.
Customers at the Balby Road shop could also make a pretty penny too - by turning unwanted items from their wardrobe into cash.
Mum-of-three Emma explained: “Lots of women have evening dresses they have worn a few times and will never wear again. Or a pair of shoes that are just gathering dust at the bottom of a cupboard.
“What I want to do at Change Of A Dress is to give those items a new home and let them be loved, worn and cherished by someone else.
“They might not be wanted by others, but they are new to someone else and could be what they’ve been looking for.”
Customers will be able to leave unwanted, new or gently worn items at the shop, which has been kitted out in snazzy boutique style with a stylish black and white zebra print theme and smart laminate floors.
The dresses, with more than 150 in stock, can be left on a sale or return basis - with customers able to pick up the cash at the end of the month when items have been sold.
Items will be cleaned, pressed and sold as seen - with designer evening dresses starting as low as £40 and ranging from sizes six to 22.
She added: “I want to make it hassle free for people to get rid of their clothes. Putting stuff on eBay can be a lot of messing around - I will get rid of that hassle and help people make a decent return rather than making pennies.
“We will agree a price and I’ll do the work of selling the item.”
Profits will be split 50/50 between Emma and customers - but anyone thinking charity shop seconds should think again.
The store has a wide range of outfifts on its rails from names such as Planet, Betty Barclay, Warehouse, Alfredo Angelo, French Connection and Monsoon with a large changing room to try on outfits.
There are plans to branch out into menswear too.
And with Christmas on the horizon, Emma is hoping Doncaster divas will make the shop - open six days a week - the first stop on their shopping list to find the perfect party frock.
She said: “It’s an ideal time of year for people wanting to find a quality party dress without spending hundreds of pounds. I want people to look good when they go out and we’ve got the dresses in store for people to do that.”
“I hope to change the way the women of Doncaster think when looking for a stylish dress, in a way that benefits everyone.”
* Change Of A Dress is at 308 Balby Road, Doncaster. Call 07791 911 651, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @COADDoncaster or visit the shop’s Facebook page.