Q & A with Rebecca Spiller, owner of Formally Yours, 214 N. Cortez St., Prescott, 445-2253. Boutique hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Website: www.formally yoursaz.com.
When did you open the business?
"I left corporate America to open my own business in 1995 and I just celebrated my 13th anniversary this month. When I started, it was an upscale resale boutique. I've been in the fashion industry since I was a teenager. I was a professional model and worked for several fashion leaders."
How did you get into the formalwear business?
"I saw a need in the Prescott area. When I had the resale store, I sold resale wedding gowns. At the time, there was no place in the area to buy wedding gowns.
"I started selling new wedding gowns and bridal apparel including tuxedos about two years after I played the resale game."
What service do you provide in the community?
"I assist brides and grooms from the beginning of the wedding process until they walk down the aisle.
"I specialize in dressing the bride, groom and their entourage."
Where do you find the dresses you sell?
"I sell both formal and informal wedding gowns and I travel all over to different markets. I have very close relationships with my bridal gown vendors."
What is your key to business success?
"Customer service. Being here for 13 years, I've done the prom kids through all of their proms and some of them through their weddings.
"I have a real bond with my customers. I'm a big part of a lot of people's families and their precious memories."
What is your biggest business challenge?
"Wearing all the hats, because I do everything. The most challenging part of the business is competing with the Internet.
"Brides think they are getting a good deal and what happens is the dress is wrong or it arrives late.
"A wedding dress purchase needs to be a personal experience."
How are you handling the slow economy?
"The good thing about my business is people are still going to get married. What I offer is a value-oriented line. I realize that people are hurting for money too and I work with every bride individually to help them get the dress they want.
"None of my gowns are over $800."
Do you work with local charities?
"I donate tuxes to Yavapai County Big Brothers Big Sisters for their gala events and I donate gift certificates to the Prescott Kiwanis Club to auction.
"I run my own Cinderella program to help girls and boys look good at prom."
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