Summarized by 'Kent S. Larsen II'
Provo company succeeds by doing its white line of clothing up right
Deseret News 15Jun99 L4
By Lyraine Jones: Deseret News staff writer
PROVO, UTAH -- Janice Heilner and Hilma Stratford wanted to start a
business together, and drawing on their own experience, listening to their
customers and with the help of Heilner's husband, they founded Dressed in
White three years ago. Operating out of Heilner's house, the store carries
white Temple dresses, infant blessing outfits and other accessories. It
also operates a mail-order business, selling to LDS Church members
Heilner worked as a pattern maker and designer for several years in
California and Stratford had a knack for public relations. Together they
have managed to put together a successful business by listening to their
customers. They paid attention to the preferences of other women, and
carefully watched what women wore. They also checked with temple clothing
personnel to make sure they understood the requirements.
>From this they came up with guidelines to help them in their buying
decisions. Their dresses fit certain styling and design requirements, as
well as being made of lightweight and non-allergenic materials. They also
require that the dresses be easy to care for and affordable.
Within those guidelines, they are always looking for something different
yet priced right. "We try to keep the dresses at a price people can
afford," Stratford said. And if the garments don't meet their standards,
they return them. "We have to send back a whole order when it isn't what we
wanted." They have also designed their own dresses in order to "have
something new," but they aren't tryint to compete with other designers.
In three years, they have accumulated more than 20,000 clients and managed
to get their catalogs into many LDS Beehive Clothing stores. In addition,
they attend conferences like the LDS Women's Conference and Education Week