It’s the ultimate fashionista dilemma: To buy or not to buy that fabulous designer dress?
On one hand, it’ll make you best dressed at the party. On the other hand, though, you’d have to wear it a million times to justify the price, and where’s the fashionista fun in that?
Feel familiar? That’s where the new Finery Dress Boutique can help. Founded by Tricia Ridgeway, Finery Dress Boutique is a retail boutique that rents (rather than sells) on-trend, contemporary designer dresses for a variety of occasions.
Finery Dress Boutique targets young professionals and college-age women. “For women in this age range, this time in their life is filled with events and parties that often require them to wear dresses,” explains Ridgeway. “From holiday parties to attending weddings, going through their own wedding events with bridal showers, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and bachelorette parties, there’s never a shortage of times these women will need a new and beautiful dress.”
Finery Dress Boutique is also ideal for those women who don’t fancy wearing the same dress twice. This unique business model provides women with the dresses they need for their events in the styles they like, but with the ability to return them so they don’t have to suffer with a lofty purchase price for something they’ll only wear once.
“By renting versus selling these dresses, Finery Dress Boutique enables women to save a significant amount of money and eliminates the obligation of having to re-wear looks or invest in something that will hang in the back of their closet because they only plan to get one use out of it,” says Ridgeway.
Opening up a retail shop has always been part of Ridgeway’s future. She was inspired to open Finery Dress Boutique after merging her design to own a business with the passion to become a fashion buyer. “I have always been passionate about fashion, and for years my husband and I thought we were going to have to move to a fashion mecca like New York or Los Angeles for me to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion buyer,” she says.
She was also inspired to develop a business concept like Finery Dress Boutique after her own dress dilemma.
“The year we got married we also had eight other weddings to attend,” she explains. “Between my bridal showers, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and attending those other weddings, I needed 12 different dresses in just a few short months.”
The need for the dresses wasn’t something Ridgeway had factored into her wedding budget, and it left her feeling a little stressed.
She knew she needed something different, and it was something she couldn’t find in Cincinnati. She’d considered using Rent the Runway, but felt uneasy about the dress not fitting her body or her taste and needing to run out last minute to find something twice as expensive.
Now, with Finery Dress Boutique, Ridgeway can give local Cincinnatians a place to go where they can pick out high-end, designer dresses at a fraction of the cost. Giving women access to high-end dresses at a cost equivalent to fashion fashion, they can physically see and try on the dresses in the store, and finally have an opportunity to wear the dress of their dreams,” she says. “Plus, for myself, opening Finery Dress Boutique is enabling me to pursue my passion without having to move away from this amazing city that is my home.”
There is nothing like Finery Dress Boutique in Cincinnati. While men have been renting tuxedos for decades, this concept is something that’s new to the women’s market. “Fashion should be fun and should help every woman to look and feel her best, not just those with a bottomless budget,” says Ridgeway. “The share economy has taken our society by storm, and with Finery, I hope to bring that dynamic to women’s fashion in Cincinnati and change the game for how women shop for dresses.”
Ridgeway says she gets plenty of support to run Finery Dress Boutique from her husband, family, community, business mentors, and her friends. Ridgeway, who was born and raised in the Cincinnati area, says that her husband encouraged her to make her vision of a dress rental boutique a reality so that she could be a true example of following her dreams to her 9-month-old son Kairus.
The idea for a dress rental boutique boutique came about from Ridgeway’s passion for fashion. “I have always been super into fashion – I follow fashion bloggers on social media, read fashion magazines, and get excited for celebrity Red Carpet season,” she says. “But when it comes down to buying dresses for myself, I cannot justify the price tag for the styles and brands I truly want to wear.”
And because many of us are at a point in our lives where we need semi-formal and formal dresses multiple times throughout the year, creating a place where women can rent high-end dresses at a competitive price seemed like the only way to go.
“Finery introduces a new and better option – it’s given me access to that dream dress, and I do not have to worry about a largest investment or it collecting dust in my closet,” says Ridgeway.
Ridgeway says that she’s targeting a Nov. 11 opening for Finery Dress Boutique, which she’s obviously the most excited about.
“After almost 18 months of contemplating, deciding, panicking, and planning, the immediate horizon is opening the doors to our city,” she says. “Beyond that, Finery will grow to meet the wants and needs of its customers to ensure Cincinnati women are able to look and feel their best for every occasion.”
To learn more about Finery Dress Boutique, visit their website. You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Call the store at 513-622-9546 to schedule an appointment or feel free to do a walk-in at 1412 Walnut Street in Cincinnati.