Dress Gallery’s Inclusionary Action Steps

August 28, 2020

Dress Gallery family,

During our twelve years in business, Dress Gallery has strived to be a place of celebration for all nearlyweds, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or more. Our job is to make every couple who walks into our door feel warm & welcomed. This has been the core of our business since the minute we opened. While we truly feel our customer service exceeds industry standards, we’ve been reflecting recently on whether our customer base feels truly represented by us as a company. Are we reaching all potential nearlyweds who could utilize our services? Do all people feel as though they could be styled comfortably by our stylists?

We’ve been asking ourselves tough questions and we wanted you, our lovely family, to know we’re working on it. If Dress Gallery strives to be a place of inclusion, we need to hold ourselves to that standard in everything we do. Doing so starts by really evaluating our target audience, our marketing, our hiring/leadership practices, and more. These conversations haven’t been easy to have, but we’re committed to having them as many times as necessary as we strive to be better.

As a staff, we’ve come up with five inclusionary action steps to make Dress Gallery a more diverse company. Vows are big in our world, so we have created vows to you, Wichita, our community.

  • We vow to photograph BIPOC and underrepresented groups in all our styled shoots. We will place model calls for different demographics of couples. We will also make an intense effort to receive the wedding galleries of underrepresented couples to showcase real weddings and all types of love.
  • We vow to change our company verbiage and language to be more inclusive. This will include an overhaul of our website, social media, intake forms, and more. We will utilize gender-neutral language with our couples until we receive permission to refer to them by gendered titles.
  • We vow to create a mentorship program for BIPOC young adults interested in becoming bridal stylists or getting involved in the industry. This mentorship program will include networking connections with multiple vendors across different specialties.
  • We vow to promote accessibility and disability representation in our store. We will increase visibility of our store accessibility. Our stylists will be trained on styling disabled couples and we will further promote our seamstress, who specializes in custom fits.
  • We vow to expand our wedding vendor network to include BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors, not only to utilize in our professional shoots, but also as a resource for couples.

We know that these are small steps to take, but we no longer want to stay silent and complicit in an industry pushing for more diversity and inclusion. These small steps can help create larger, lasting change. As a small staff behind a locally owned business, we want our community to know we see you, we hear you, and it’s time we used our privilege to do better by you. We welcome constructive feedback as we slowly begin to grow into the best version of ourselves. Thank you to every couple who has placed their faith within DG and to all our future couples – we can’t wait to serve you.