Making ‘Marilyn Moments’ a thing of the past with DressWeightsB
The sun is shining, it’s not too hot and there’s no chance of rain – it’s the perfect day for a weekend barbeque, and the perfect opportunity to wear that cute, new dress you purchased last week at the boutique down the street. However, what you may have forgotten to factor into your outfit decision-making process (which we know can be tough) is that persistent breeze and occasional gust of wind that ends up surprising both you, and those party guests within viewing distance, with a mortifying dress flip a la Marilyn Monroe. We’ve all been there – the feeling of confidence swept away with one tempestuous reminder of Mother Nature’s strength, followed by immediate regret when you realize that the rest of the fete will be spent holding down your dress to prevent a reenactment of the iconic pose. As if things couldn’t get worse, multi-tasking with a drink in hand is not easy. This very scenario unfolded for Bergen County native and Pascack Valley High School alumna Christina Dunn at a rooftop barbeque in New York City back in 2012. And so, with one gust of wind, the brilliant idea of DressWeights took flight.
DressWeights by DressStrong encapsulates the simple, yet innovative idea of a weighted hem on dresses and skirts, allowing women to confidently strut their flowy frocks on windy days. It was during one of Dunn’s frequent trips to New Jersey to visit her family that she and Peter McCullough, a former Notre Dame classmate, and now friend and brother-in-law, put their heads together to solve this Marilyn Monroe moment.
“Peter is an avid golfer and made the suggestion that I put some of his adhesive golf club weights on the interior hem of my dress to prevent this all-too-common fashion faux-pas,” said Dunn. “After much trial and error, Peter and I were able to design the prototype that is now popularly known as DressWeights.”
DressWeights encompass a reusable, recyclable, steel weight that uses a tried and tested, non-fabric damaging adhesive to attach to the interior hem of a dress or skirt. Patrons have described them as easy to use, store and transport, in addition to being reliable and a great little gift idea for women of any age. They are lightweight, discreet and, most importantly, empowering.
“Whenever I’m in the city, I somehow get caught over subway grates – and let me tell you, people on the street get an eye-full,” said one customer in a glowing review. “Now with DressWeights, I can easily stick them to the hem of my skirts and dresses and confidently walk down the city streets.”
The goal of DressWeights is to instill self-confidence just like this in the wearer by eliminating these infamous wind-blown “Marilyn Moments.” Women everywhere that use this quick and easy solution can fully embrace the liberating feeling of wearing a fun, flirty, and flowy dress without feeling vulnerable or exposed.
“DressWeights make you feel in control,” said Dunn. “You’re not worried about a fashion slip-up and can enjoy the moment, whether you’re sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar, dancing the night away, or simply taking a stroll in a park.”
Dunn’s best friends and sisters, Marianne and Faith, have also both played an important part in getting DressWeights off the ground, each providing their own unique set of skills that have helped contribute to the success and development of the business. While they all bring something different to the table, one thing they have in common is their wild efficiency.
“Once we have our mind on something, it happens immediately. We make to-do lists and get a weird thrill out of crossing things off. Faith is the task-master, I am the organizer and Marianne is the cheerleader,” said Dunn.
Dunn also attributes the success of her entrepreneurial endeavors to her mother, Susan Dunn, who taught Spanish at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale for 37 years.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Dunn joined Teach for America as a corps member in the South Bronx in 2007. She taught there for 4 years before transferring to a charter school in Harlem, where she still teaches today.
“I believe there is a significant correlation between effective teachers and people who have entrepreneurial tendencies,” said Dunn. “Teachers and innovators must be passionate and motivated self-starters. They are not afraid to take risks and are disciplined and dedicated to their craft, while also being flexible and adaptable with strong organizational and time management skills, making them effective planners. I was able to hone in on these skills as a teacher while simultaneously creating and developing DressWeights.”
In addition to her sisters’ and brother-in-law’s support, Dunn explains that this accomplishment is truly a family affair, which would not have been possible without her mother.
“She showed me what true hard work and dedication look like. She is my role-model, and I am so grateful to have her in my life.”
Since launching in November of 2017, DressWeights have been mentioned in 12 fashion blogs, including Two Peas in a Blog and Some Pop of Color. The product has also been shared with nearly 3 million followers of numerous influencers, such as Lauren Wirkus from Bravo’s Summer House and Wedding Chicks, which is a go-to blog for wedding-related advice.
DressWeights are being sold online at www.DressStrong.com, Etsy and Amazon. They currently have a 4.5-star rating on Etsy and a 5-star rating on Amazon. DressWeights are also hitting the shelves in stores from New York to Louisiana.
“I’ve spent every summer of my life going out to Fire Island,” said Dunn. “DressWeights have been selling in Salty Stitch and Bambootique, two boutiques that I absolutely love and shop at every summer.”
In fact, this marks the very spot that Dunn first embarked on her journey as a motivated businesswoman, selling painted shells, homemade jewelry and cold glasses of lemonade right out of her little wagon as a child. Her success has now certainly come full circle.
But the story does not end here. DressWeights by DressStrong has many exciting future plans in the works, one of the first being the expansion of their retail settings.
“Our hope is to grow and expand the brand of DressStrong to be a company that is well known for offering quality products that help our customers move with confidence no matter where the wind takes them,” she said. “We see DressWeights as our flagship product that launches us on our journey.”
To learn more about this product and the company’s story, visit www.DressStrong.com. Be sure to also follow DressStrong on Facebook and Twitter at @DressStrong, as well as Instagram at @DressWeights to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. You can also email DressStrong at email@example.com.
By Megan Montemarano