Angelica Friend and her fiance had set a date for their wedding, and she had her dress — a beautiful gown that cost $2,100.
But, as sometimes happens, the couple decided marriage wasn't in the cards for them.
"Long story short, we just ended up not getting married," Friend said.
That decision triggered a frustrating attempt to find a future for the gown she no longer needed.
The bridal shop where Friend found her dress wouldn't take it back, not even to re-sell it. She searched, without any luck, for other local places that might take a brand-new gown.
"And there was no place that did it," she said. "What an untapped market."
That realization was the inspiration for a new store in West York that rescues bridal gowns and prom dresses from closets and sells them to women looking for a deal.
Friend, 27, and her sister, Bobbi Buchmyer, opened Twice Upscale Resale at 1419 W. Market St. on March 1.
"Just because you're done with it doesn't mean someone else is," Buchmyer, 34, said. "These are your one-time wears. These are your dresses that, more than likely, you're never going to wear again."
The two sisters, both graduates of Central York High School, have spent the past few months amassing a collection of trendy, high-end dresses now for sale in their shop.
Getting inventory: They used social media, websites like Craigslist and word-of-mouth to acquire that inventory. During their first weekend in business, the sisters consigned dozens more gowns.
"We created a hype around it," Buchmyer said.
Now stocked with dresses of every color and size, the store is ready for customers who want to browse for not only deals but also a wide menu of choices.
For brides, the consignment option provides an opportunity to get a great dress and spend more of their wedding budget on other things, like the reception venue, Friend said.
Parents of teenaged daughters will appreciate the cheaper option for prom and homecoming dresses — which can easily cost hundreds of dollars each.
Certainly, some women will find a dress they need to have altered for the perfect fit. But that's a more reasonable expense "when you're getting a smoking deal," Buchmyer said.
"Every girl wants that awesome gown," she said. "But not every family has the budget for that."
Twice Upscale Resale is open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information, call (717) 747-3689.
— Reach Erin James at email@example.com.