CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There are only a few times in a girl's life when she gets to dress in a gown and feel like royalty: her wedding, a quinceanera (maybe) and prom. These can be expensive affairs.
Don't let the cost and expectations from peers turn you into a pumpkin this prom season, though. From Pauper to Princess is an organization that provides girls with dresses, shoes and jewelry extremely inexpensively. Its motto is "Providing Girls with Magic."
Danae Wells, a senior at Winfield High School, licensed the company last year because she believes "every girl should have at least one night where she can feel like a princess without worrying about the cost."
From Pauper to Princess carries just about everything -- from designer dresses to more humble pieces, both short and long and in sizes ranging from 00 to 32. Wells sells all the dresses for less than $100 and rents them for between $20 and $50 per night.
Most people would probably assume there's a catch with quality somewhere, but this proprietor adamantly purchases and accepts only dresses of good quality and a modern look.
"If I wouldn't wear it, then I do not purchase the dress," she said.
You can view the majority of the dresses in stock on the organization's website, frompaupertoprincess.webs.com, or on its Facebook page. If you are interested in purchasing/renting a formal dress, or even donating one, visit the website to contact Wells.
Since, the company is so new, Wells does not have a store. She works out of her closet at home. After setting up an appointment, she'll set out all the dresses in a customer's size range.
The only thing she asks is that if a dress is rented, the customer completes a drug and alcohol contract. This is so she's not held liable for anything that happens after the dress is rented and also that the customer is responsible for the night. An extra fee will be charged if there is evident staining concerning alcohol or excessive damage in any fashion.
Wells has prospered with her business. She currently has more than 100 dresses stocked and hopes to increase that number.
She's had dresses donated by teachers, neighbors and friends. She also buys dresses from individuals and thrift stores as long as they are in good quality.