Dress to Go
Prom and evening wear shop Dress to Go has been operating for 17 years including 16 at Botley Mills. It’s run by Charlotte, who took over the business from her mum Karen, and she now manages an all-female team in what is one of the biggest prom shops in the country; Dress to Go stocks up to 1,000 dresses in a spacious premises which also offers a mirrored catwalk and flower wall.
Customers, who follow Dress to Go on its social media including TikTok (where it currently has over 3 million likes and 123K followers), regularly travel to the business from as far afield as Liverpool and Manchester.
Charlotte said: “We’ve been in our current location since September 2019 and we’ve now got a huge space devoted to prom dresses. When we started, proms weren’t a thing; it was cruises, balls, large events and then prom really started to expand. Now it’s 90% of our business.
“The COVID crisis was really tough and we had to issue a lot of refunds as events were cancelled. Some parents took over proms to give their children that experience but we still had months of struggle. But we knew we would be OK as we have a good reputation and a lot of people come to us because we offer one-on-one and more of an experience. We want our customers to really enjoy the appointment, have a go on the catwalk, and have some fun.”
“My mum is inspirational. She was a single mum and she started the business from scratch and then passed it on to me. The business is a monster, size-wise, but we’re really proud of it. Girls who come in often say ‘Do you own this place?’ and I am so glad that they get to see me in that role.”
Charlotte - Owner of Dress to Go.