Our story begins with adventures by train through the Scottish highlands, horizons filled with misty coastlines and cozy, windswept cottages.
Dresses Worthy of Extraordinary Adventures
I started dreaming about dresses on my travels around the world as a wedding photographer; the fierce beauty of the British Isles, in particular, awoke something in my heart that I’d never felt before, and I found myself longing to return again and again.
When I was traveling, I tried to pack clothes that would be worthy of these grand adventures, and when I came home, I wanted to wear clothing that would help me keep the magic of those adventures alive. How could I make every day feel a little more significant, and give it a storybook beauty of its very own?
Adding a Touch of Beauty to the Everyday
Wearing a dress is a simple choice that can bring more joy, beauty, and grace to our day; after all, when we wear a dress that feels like it was made for us, it infuses everything we do with a quiet confidence that changes how we act and empowers us to do great things in the world. And if something alters how we feel or think about ourselves or the world around us, it’s no small thing.
Inspired by the heroines of stories like A Little Princess and The Secret Garden who discovered beauty even in their lonely, overgrown gardens and cold attics, I started to look for dresses that would help me face the world with a bold, open heart.
Celebrating Everything We Are as Women
I wanted dresses that were timeless, feminine, and practical—versatile enough to be worn every day, and high-quality so that they would last for years to come.
These dresses proved harder to find than I thought; most were too short, unflattering and poorly-fitting, or with holes in strange places. Whatsmore, they were usually made from cheap polyester fabrics in dubious factory conditions.
As women, the clothing we wear often forces us into boxes that just don’t fit; it’s hard to find dresses that celebrate all of the unique facets of our lives and work, whether we’re free-spirited tomboys with romantic hearts or thoroughly modern women with traditional values.
Through my work as a photographer, I met many women like me who were also struggling with style and shopping, and as they shared what they were looking for and what they couldn’t find, the idea for Virginia Dare Dress Co. was born.
A Dream Brought to Life by Community
One day, I Googled "how to start a fashion business"; from that point onwards, my life changed forever.
My grandfather, a New York-based fashion designer and who became a legend in his particular industry, came back into my life and shared his world with me. A production house in the Garment District agreed to mentor me as I learned the craft of dressmaking and design. When the time was right, and with the help of many, I launched a collection of dresses designed for all of us.
Bringing Kindred Spirits Together
From small beginnings as a crowdfunding campaign, Virginia Dare Dress Co. has developed to serve an inspiring community of women all around the world. As we sent each lovingly-crafted dress off to our customers, something truly magical began to happen; women shared their hearts and lives with us, giving us glimpses of our dresses as they became a part of beautiful memories, everyday adventures, and special occasions.
Our name comes from Virginia Dare, the first English girl born in the New World in 1587. She’s associated with courage, a daring spirit, adventure, and innocence—all characteristics that we aspire to.
Today, Virginia Dare Dress Co. is intent on finding our kindreds, creating clothes that make their hearts sing, and putting quality and thoughtfulness first, in all that we do.
The Beauty in Shopping Small & Conscious Consumerism
From the very beginning of our story, it has always made sense to be thoughtful about the impact that we have—not only in the lives of the women who buy our products, but also in the lives of the people who make them, and the wider community around us. We value generosity, meaningful relationships, thoughtfulness, and quality of craftsmanship over quantity and speed; our products are designed to be wardrobe staples that will serve you for years to come, made under ethical conditions, and purchased by you with intention and delight.