The Story

 


The story of this company begins with my family’s love of entrepreneurship,
brilliant memories from faraway places,
and a belief that beautiful dresses shouldn’t be so hard to find.

Through the years, I've realized the kind of comfortable but elegant dress you can wear for wonderful adventures is just the sort of dress I need, although it's not always so easy to find. In fact, through my many years as a photographer and the friends I've met in my work, I found there are many who agreed.

We want clothes that make us feel confident and graceful, to inspire us towards the life we want to live.

I love classic silhouettes and simple styles that are flattering, elegant, and yet comfortable to wear every day. To find these together is no easy task, and after enough frustrations with shopping and encouragement to move forward, the Virginia Dare Dress Company was born.

 




Becoming a self-taught designer meant years of learning about the complexities of fabric sourcing and patternmaking and managing production with a factory and designing well and much experimentation and trial and error and grace.

In December 2016 I launched this project on Kickstarter as a pre-ordering campaign, which allowed viewers to pre-order dresses from the first collection and the response was thrilling - two hundred and fifty-four backers pledging over $35,000!

Many people who helped during that time have become the team behind this company today.  

You can watch our Kickstarter film below!





Once through Kickstarter, there were months preparing and beginning production.

It took nine months of communicating, testing, visiting, and researching factories in 5 different countries for a series of miracles to lead us to ours.

In March we visited and had incredibly productive meetings with the different departments at our factory and even fabric mills for developing our custom fabrics for the next collection. 

We work with a woman named Ms. Chong, who owns a factory in Guatemala, and the quality of her work was the best we saw by far! She works with some luxury brands but is so kind to us and cares about the details as much as we do. We felt a kinship with the people there really helped us by their ideas for how to improve even more. 

By the end of our visit the fabrics had arrived from all over the world, samples on samples on samples made and approved, all labels and zippers accounted for, so before leaving, we signed off for production to begin.

 
We kept up to date on the progress through our Quality Assurance manager who would visit the dresses almost daily, giving updates to us and bringing lots of gifts and bakery treats as thank-yous to the sewers.

Production finished right on schedule, and the dresses sailed north for delivery to me in Virginia.

After countless hours poured into this dream and the years of hoping with uncertain progress, the moment the semi truck came delivering hundreds of beautiful dresses was one I could hardly believe was real. 

We packaged up all the Kickstarter orders, waited in suspense for chums all over the world to receive theirs, and have now launched this store where all our future dreams can call home.

 

 
This story has been full of faith, hope, and love, and I'm hopeful to continue dreaming great dreams and working towards each new day.

With a grateful heart to all the people who have been a part:

Michael, Sidra, Josh and Daniel Murray, David Leinoff, Katie Skinner, Abigail Gallop, Rosalie Ferris, Cara Tomko, Suzanne Glover, Clair Jones, the Alway, Rivera, and Pampaloni families, Hannah Teague, Kelsea Andresen, Meghan Murphy, Sarah Kriner, Tori Heer, the Clay and Saunders families, Jessica McCann, Phoebe Fisher, Rebecca Gallop, Alicia Bruce, Colleen Steedly, Phoebe Fisher, Lindsay Ponta, Tori Watson, Mary Brunst, Summer Stanley, Verity Varee, the Machado family, Audrey Ann Masur, Michelle Roberts Paula Bartosiewicz, Rachel Leigh Greene, Annie Love, Betsabe Ochoa, Mariah Alway, Kathy Dipp, Rachel Bridgwood, Julie Kilcur, Grace Gallagher, Anna Montgomery, Jill Roy, Eleanor Moncada, every encouraging and helpful soul, and of course, the #vddcokindreds.

Special thanks to our backers:

Aida Sempe
Alicia Bruce
Alison Campbell
Alison Digges
Alissa Holmes
Ally Stepp
Amanda Chando
Amanda Farrell
Amelia Freidline
Amy Denison
Amy Reams
Amy Sutherland
Andrew Lehman
Angelina Gonzales
Anna Elliott
Anna Hein
Anna Montgomery
Anna Schultz
Anneliese McKenna
Annie Love
Arielle Pittluck
Astrid Vargas Woltering
Audrey Ann Masur
Banafsheh Saifollahi
Becky Hadeed
Beth McCluskey
Beth Schweigert
Billy Skipper Hughes
Bonnie Sen
Brett Denfeld
Brooke Karaki
Caleb Monk
Candace Curet
Caro Chase
Carolina Marques
Caroline Pilgrim
Carolyn Woods
Carrie Moe
Carrie Nickerson
Cassandra Fillebrown
Chenoa C
Chloe McGuffin
Christa Machado
Christine Soares
Claire Thomas
Corrie Campbell
Danielle Kirrane
Deborah Watkins
Denise Brinkman
E. Rhondeau Morgan
Elaine Campbell
Eleanor Moncada
Elisabeth Wagner
Elise Crawford
Elizabeth Bristol
Elizabeth Ewing
Elizabeth Schumacher
Emily Cole
English King
Erik Rotramel
Erin Eckles
Gabriel Christensen
Gabriela Tercero
Gail Patches
Genevieve
Georgie Mills
Ginna Macias
Grace Ballmann
Grace Gallagher
Gwendelynn Martindale
Hailey Huggins
Hannah Parsons
Hannah Pilgrim
Hannah Teague
Hannah Williams
Heather Gray
Heather Parsons
Holly Chapple
Holly Vradenburgh
J Hart
Jaimie Iovacchini
Jennie Chancey
Jen and Aaron Olmstead
Jennifer Whitfield
Jess Blanchard
Jessica Lisk
Jill Roy
John Cowgill
John Quinn
Jordan Borisuk
Julia Janecko
Julia Koehler
Julie Flury
Karen Dulmage
Kartheesan Raghavan
Katey Clark
Kathleen E. Silver
Kathryn Sinn
Kathryn Yen
Katie Joga
Katie Valdes
Katy hersey
Kawikav
Kelly Anne Bula
Kelly Braham
Kelly Davisson
Kendra McDonald
Kerin Beall
Kimberleigh Nichols
Kira Thorman
Klaus and Melody Schafer
Kobe and Claudia Gillette
Krista Brackin-Stricker
Kristin Flora
Kylie Hunt
Laura Marcantonio
Laura Pensack
Lauren Mehler
Lauren and Tamara Black
Leah Kube
Leah Macias
Leah Starin
Leanne Jeffrey
Leigh Hall
Leslie Fowley
Lindsay Fauver
Lindsey Browning
Lindsey Seelhorst
Lisa Hutton
Liz Emerson
Liz Rozwood
Luisana Zelada
Lydia Shanks
Mackenzie Jones
Makenna Downer
Maren Sekerak
Margaret Carroll
Margaret Mitchell
Maria Davey
Marirosa Anderson
Mary Ann McElmurray
Mary Brunst
Maureen Gloster
Meagan Wanschura
Megan Dohm
Megan Spilker
Melanie Travis
Michele Greene
Michelle Johnson
Michelle Morgan
Michelle Neu
Page Gerrick Denny
Paige Boulet
Paul C. Terbrueggen
Paula Bartosiewicz-Reese
Phoebe Fisher
Punisher
Rachael Houser
Rachel Bridgwood
Rachel Leigh Greene
Rachel Puckett
Rebecca Chin-Yee
Rebecca Dudley
Rebecca Gallop
Rebecca Swisher
Rebekah Hoyt
Rebekah Nolt
Robyn Holcomb
Rosalie Ferris
Rosanna F. Smith
Sandy Fuertes
Sandy Murphy
Sara
Sarah Allison
Sarah Bradshaw
Sarah Kriner
Sarah McElmurray
Sarah Orman
Sarah Rodgers
Sarah Smith
SethandBethanne Arthur
Shaina Hill
Shalese Danielle Kocher
Shannon
Shannon Havens
Shelbie
Stacey Bradshaw
Stephanie Huskey
Sueage
Susannah Marlowe Galan
Tani Jausurawong
Taylor Hiers
Teiro Cuccinelli
Tia and Tyler Stockton
Toni Carlstrom
Tori Heer
Tori Watson
Trystan Vel
Vina S.
Wendy Garizio
Whitney Donaldson
Will and Bethany Smith
Ximena Porras
Yetta Reid
Size Guide

Camilla

Camilla XS S M L XL
Bust 33" 34" 36" 37.5" 39"
Waist 30" 31" 33" 35" 37"
Hips 41" 42" 44" 45" 46"

The Camilla dress ties in the back for a customizable fitted waist.


Emma

Emma XS S M L XL
Bust 33" 34" 36" 38" 39"
Waist 25.5" 27" 29" 31.5" 33.5"
Hips 36" 37" 38" 39.5" 40"

The Emma dress is made of a heavyweight knit blend of nylon, rayon and spandex so there is a structured stretch to the dress.


Samantha

Samantha XS S M L XL

The Samantha is a wrap with a full circle skirt (and no pockets) so the fit is determined by tightness of wrap. Best chosen by bust size instead of normal dress size.


All sizes may have a 1"-1.5" difference from the size chart.

“I like good strong words that mean something...”

(from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)

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