Prom dress shopping can be an exciting activity for young women. For some teens, it’s simply a matter of visiting a few stores in hopes of experiencing that magical moment of slipping on the dress. Yet boutique owner Summer Lucille knows dress shopping poses challenges for plus-size teenagers. Her own life experiences pushed her to open Juicy Body Goddess, a shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, that caters to curvy women and sells sizes up to 6X.
“I went to my prom looking like a church lady in a suit dress with a jacket because it was the only thing that fit,” she told NBC’s “Today.” “It was a very sad period in my life. But I’m thankful for those experiences now.”
Now, Lucille spreads her message of love and empowerment on social media for others who may need a confidence boost. Her viral videos inspired high-school senior Elyse Monroe, 18, to drive six hours to the shop in hopes of finding her dream dress.
In an interview with People, Lucille said Monroe was “nervous and shy” and had a firm budget of $400. But the shop owner calmed her anxiety.
“Don’t worry about the budget, we’ll figure it out,” Lucille told People about how wanted to take care of Monroe and her family after they drove from so far away.
Lucille posted a TikTok video of Monroe blossoming with happiness and confidence as she tries on different dresses. A sparkling purple gown caught the senior’s eye, and Lucille knew that the dress was meant for her. But priced at $700, it was well above Monroe’s budget.
That’s when Lucille became Monroe’s fairy godmother by gifting her the dress.
@juicybodygoddess I didn’t cry until I did edit #plussize #plussizetiktok #juicybodygoddess #plussizefashion ♬ original sound – JuicyBodyGoddess
The TikTok video now has more than 14 million views, but Lucille told People she didn’t expect her act of kindness to go viral. She was just so inspired by the young lady that she wanted to share the moment when a deserving teen finds her prom dress. In response to Lucille’s generosity, viewers have donated more than $12,000 in gift cards to the boutique to help other customers.
Meanwhile, Monroe is still on cloud nine about her beautiful dress and experience at Juicy Body Goddess.
“Not only does it fit — but it makes me feel good about myself,” she told “Today.” “Shopping is usually pretty stressful for me, which is why I mostly shop online — but we were laughing the whole time. It was actually fun.”