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.
You can watch our Kickstarter film below!
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.
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.
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.
The Camilla dress ties in the back for a customizable fitted waist.
The Emma dress is made of a heavyweight knit blend of nylon, rayon and spandex so there is a structured stretch to the dress.
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.
“I like good strong words that mean something...”
(from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)
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