ALTON — If you are looking for a quick, easy way to be Cinderella for a night, then Wish and Wear Dress Rentals would be the place to start.
The new rental shop, located inside The Gift Box at 300 E. Broadway, opened Nov. 1 and was a dream for Abby Ontis since graduating with a fashion merchandising degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2004.
“I have always wanted to work with more of a customer base who was appreciative of what I have to offer them,” said the shop owner, who visits websites and stores to find her inventory.
Wish and Wear Dress Rental caters to women of all ages with the option to either buy or rent a variety of dress or evening gown options. Rentals are for two days and start at $20.
“Every gown and dress in my shop has a rental and a sale price,” Ontis said. “For rentals, the dry cleaning is already included in the rental fee.”
Too often, women have found themselves spending money on a dress for one occasion.
“I don’t think many women realize that this is an option for them,” Ontis said. “A lot of dresses are worn only once and never worn again. I felt like that was my niche when opening the business.
“Whether it is homecoming, prom, or an evening out, I want (my inventory) to be available to any woman, any age. I just want to be able to help as many women and girls as possible.”
Ontis says providing the rent or buy option caters both to those who want to look magical for just one night as well as those who want to keep and treasure that special dress. She also stresses none of what she carries will be duplicated, and she will sell on consignment.
In addition to many dress and gown options, Wish and Wear Dress Rentals offers accessories including bracelets, necklaces and earrings for rental and purchase.
Since Ontis also juggles an additional full-time job and a young family, she strives to make herself easily available to customers through email. For women on the go, she says she will be happy to become a “personal shopper.”
“If one of my customers doesn’t have the time, they can give me a description of what they are looking for and a price point,” she said. “I can find anything for anyone. If they just don’t know what would look best for them, I’ll go and help them with that, too.”
Ontis’ long-term goals include a storefront as well as a large online business.
“I’m really excited about bringing this new concept to the area, and I hope that everyone will share the information about my business with friends,” she said.
And no one has to worry about turning into a pumpkin.
Wish and Wear Dress Rental is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The shop will be closed until Feb. 1, but Ontis says she is available for consultation and appointments.
For information, email email@example.com, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wishandweardressrentals or call (618) 201-4423.