For the first time since opened its doors 40 years ago, it offered a "Volle's Vault" blowout sale of dresses, shoes and accessories to its customers this past weekend.
The sale included designer bridal gowns, along with dresses for prom, special occasions, mothers of the bride, and bridesmaids — for $10 to $499 each. As a bonus, 5 percent of all sales went to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
“We wanted to have a huge sale like this to celebrate our 40th anniversary and to give our customers the opportunity to get a beautiful dress for a fraction of the cost,” said Volle's Vice President Deanna Dean.
Dean is the daughter-in-law of owner Volle.
“At 88 years old, she is still involved in the business. She came in this morning to check and make sure I had everything arranged just right," said Dean.
From Friday through Sunday, sold more than 60 dresses.
“We had people come from Indiana, Wisconsin, the city and locally, of course,” said Pamela Rowell, sales consultant.
advertised the sale through their Facebook page and sent out postcards to their existing customers.
“Volle’s Vault” was staged next door in a vacant storefront. Anyone who wanted to look at and try on dresses still had to make an appointment ahead of time and, according to Dean, was treated just as if they were shopping for a full-price dress.
“They still got the whole boutique experience of having their own dressing room, their own mirror, and one-on-one attention from a sales consultant,” said Dean.
The dresses, shoes, and accessories were from seasons past, along with samples and discontinued items.
“Some high school girls came and got their homecoming dresses and we had some college girls get dresses for formals for $25 each,” said Rowell.
In the past, donated those items.
“Volle herself built this business on good will,” explained Dean. “She did whatever it took to make the bride happy, if it meant going to her house the day of the wedding and bustling her up. I wanted to continue that good will.”
“We were very touched by her story and that is why we decided to donate to that organization,” said Dean.
Vanessa Garcia, a bride from Elgin, purchased her designer bridal gown by Pronovias for $499. The dress retails for over $2,300.
“A girlfriend at work told me about the sale,” said Garcia.
Her mother Leonor and sister Yvette Morgan accompanied Garcia to the appointment.
“It doesn’t matter what you spend here because they treat you all the same,” said Leonor.
“They were very professional and friendly and the experience was much different than a David’s Bridal,” said Garcia.
According to Dean, the sale was a huge success and they will have another one for Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 10.
- Read about Volle's history. A Legacy of Love: Volle's Bridal & Boutique Serves Generations of Women