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Boutique makes prom dreams come true for free

April 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Every teenage girl dreams of prom but paying for the dress, the shoes and the accessories can really add up, putting prom out of reach. But a mother and daughter duo from the inland empire have become fairy godmothers making prom dreams come true, for free. Like most boutiques, the weeks leading up to prom tend to get very busy. Finding the right dress can be pretty difficult.

"It's hard, and it's high school, and girls are self-conscious and they want to look good on that night, and they want everyone to see how good they look," said Nicole Zimmerman, The Couture Girl's Closet.

Looking good can get very pricey but not at the Couture Girl's Closet in Temecula. Each and every dress at this boutique is absolutely free. Nicole came up with the idea.

"There was a lot of girls who couldn't afford dresses, so I mentioned it to my mom," said Nicole.

"So we started asking her friends and family and before you knew it, we only had 100 dresses, and now we have more than 2,000," said storeowner Tracy Mackeller.

The Couture Girl's Closet has received a number of donations from local businesses, local politicians and even big time celebrities. Kim Kardashian donated 250 pairs of women's shoes.

"I get dresses shipped from all over. I've had dresses shipped from Utah."

To get a dress, students need to bring their parents and student ID. The only thing they need to pay for is dry cleaning, and they do need to return the dress after prom. But for people like Tyler Erickson of Temecula, who otherwise might not have a new dress, it's perfect.

"Especially when you don't have the money to go out and get a dress, it's really cool I think," said Tyler.

For owner Tracy Mackeller, it has extra special meaning.

"I never got to go to prom. So when she came up with the idea, I didn't realize it was going to become such an emotional passion for me, and when I saw the girls coming in, and realizing how much it became such a passion to make sure everyone got to go," said Tracy.

Even though the store has been around for three years, as a non-profit, the owners haven't made a penny. But making it possible for hundreds of students to attend prom is priceless.