FALL RIVER – “Everything happens for a reason.”
This is the mantra that Jessica Cordeiro lives by, and which has proven to be true in recent weeks for the owner of a dress shop in Fall River and her sister Adriana Cordeiro.
Brothers and sisters own Party Dress ExpressA 36-year-old event in the Fall River that over the years has become part of the milestones of countless brides and graduation visitors.
After nearly 13 years at Tower Mill, Party Dress Express was forced to leave his house on Quarry Street and the couple worried about what would happen to their shop.
But when one door closed, the other opened.
Later this month, he will say goodbye to the mill and move for just a few minutes to his new home at 847 Pleasant St., which is scheduled to open on July 7th.
“It turned out great for us, thankfully,” 37-year-old Jessica Cordeiro said. “I’m really excited … I feel it’s going to be a good change for us.”
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Teenagers to entrepreneurs
Jessica and Adrianna, 30, began their careers at Party Dress Express as high school students, learning the ropes and advancing in rank before eventually taking over from former owner Donna Holland six years ago.
They followed the work from the original Quequechan location in Wampanoag Mill, where it opened in 1986 – now residential buildings – to the current Tower Mill location in 2009, and have always dreamed that their next move would be their own freestanding store .
This lasted until the Cordeiros received an email from the owner of the Tower Mill building informing them that they would not renew the lease for the Party Dress Express, but instead decided to “go the other way” with the space. Cordeiro said she was told it would be converted into storage units.
The sisters were given three months in advance to find new space to house their business, which was “a big challenge in today’s market”. Struggling with many mixed emotions, the Cordeiros had to make a decision – either close the business or find a new home.
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“We are closely connected, it’s almost like a family unit, so I took care of them,” Cordeiro said of her team of seven employees. “I’m also worried about my customers and all their orders that are open. What are we going to do? We need a place to receive these items.”
So the Cordeiros began hunting for new space. Just when they were ready to throw in the towel, at the beginning of May, they found a site on Pleasant Street that checked all their boxes.
Party Dress Express on Pleasant Street
It was not far from their current home, structurally it was already set up for retail so there was no need to build, it is accessible to disabled people and offers plenty of parking with its own parking.
All it took was cleaning, painting, new markings and a few repairs. Cordeiro said it will achieve a cleaner, “industrial atmosphere” in the new location, with a black-and-white interior and visible pipes to which things can be hung.
Pleasant Street on the first floor across from Price Rite is a little smaller than their current 20,000-square-foot store – about 6,000 square feet – but Cordeiro said it’s “just what we need.”
The biggest advantage, Cordeiro said, is that it offers the flexibility of the store’s working hours that it did not have in the mill.
“We can be more relaxed and much better to host everyone in this new location,” Cordeiro said.
At Tower Mill, Cordeiro said businesses had to close by a certain amount of time before the building could be locked, which made them and their clients often feel hasty. At their new location, Cordeiros can arrive earlier if necessary or stay out of regular business hours to please the client.
“If I have a bride who is late or I have a bride who has a special request because her mom doesn’t leave work until 6 and our working hours are only until 7 … I can move her appointment and keep her there until 8 to 8:30 until he finds his dress, ”Cordeiro said. “That will be the biggest plus,” in addition to the fact that the landlord is on the premises every day, she said.
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Although the new store is a blessing, Cordeiro said the relocation timing – amid the crowds at the wedding and prom – posed some complications.
“Packing up the shop and organizing things at this time of year was a small challenge because we are small in everything, but we are doing the best we can,” she said.
Fall River Family Business
Cordeiros, who shared the news of their immigration post on Facebook from June 1stthey are grateful to the many people, both local and non-local, who have shared their love of the Party Dress Express and are equally excited to see them move into a new chapter.
“We’ve got so much support from the community, it’s amazing,” Cordeiro said.
“We are the main product of Fall River. We have always been here. We are a family owned business. We are proud of our customer service and the experience they have here … Even if they come here and can’t find what they are looking for until they leave from here receiving the best customer service they could have, that’s all we’re looking for. “
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Party Dress Express is a small store with great reach. They attract clientele from across the region, and even from Connecticut, New York and Boston. In a typical year, they will help about 3,500 people prepare for graduation, will help 2,000 brides find their dream dress, and will also be a place in a beauty pageant, Cordeiro said.
“It was amazing to watch this business grow from the small place we were to where we are now, and how many people we helped achieve their looks,” Cordeiro said.
Over the years, she has seen it slowly flourish from a 5,000-square-foot store with a few casual items and no formal attire to a destination for party dresses. And they welcomed high school seniors who return years later as brides.
“It’s nice, they almost become part of the family, and that’s an experience that everyone wants to have,” Cordeiro said.
Right now, customers can take advantage of some great deals as Cordeiros strives to reduce inventory before relocating them.
The sale runs until June 26
There is a moving sale in the Party Dress Express, with selected items in each department from 10% to 60% lower than the original price. Enter the 657 Quarry St. until June 26 for special occasions and cocktail dresses starting at $ 20, long formal dresses on sale for $ 50, and prom / election party dresses starting at $ 50.
“So many people came this weekend alone,” Cordeiro said. “People say ‘we thought of you right now, we want to support you for this time,’ which I thought was really nice.”
According to Cordeir, working hours will remain the same, but with the flexibility for extended working hours if needed.
To find the store’s official opening hours, browse their collection or book an appointment, visit their website at https://www.partydressexpress.com. You can also find updates on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/partydressexp.