Shopping for a prom dress is a rite of passage for most teen girls. But formal dresses can come at a high cost. Going through the process helped spark the idea for The Princess Closet.
"We are a pretty large family. My sister has a daughter and they were struggling for her to go to prom. So that was the inspiration for starting this organization. How do we help other girls?" Gina Davalos said.
The Princess Closet collects donated formal wear from individuals and boutiques. There are dresses, shoes and other accessories. Davalos says they quickly noticed the link between supplying the perfect dress and boosting self-esteem.
"This whole Princess Closet is about making girls feel more self-confident, making girls know that it may be difficult for them from a financial perspective, there's always ways to get your dream come true," Davalos said.
When girls come to shop, volunteers are on hand to help match body size and type.
"There are girls that are so set on finding a short pink dress. They will stop at nothing to get that dress. But then there are girls that are open and are taking suggestions," Jamie Kendall, The Princess Closet, said.
Organizers try to make sure every students leaves with the dress of her dreams.
"We actually get a great amount of donations in sizes 12 and up. In fact, this year we got some 28, 30 and 32, 34. So we definitely are getting a wider range of sizes. And that's really the whole point. We don't want any girl walking out of here feeling like she's not beautiful," Jamie Kendall, The Princess Closet, said.
Princess Closet is planning three upcoming Saturdays - April 6, 13, and 20 - when girls can come to shop for a free dress at a new boutique. For registration information or to find out how you can make donate a dress, visit princess-closet.org