In June, Janis Hope announced her retirement and the closing of her stores in downtown Statesboro – Main Street Bridal and B’dazzled – after 40 years in business.
Fellow downtown business owners Scott Marchbanks and Sandra Hodges, however, had other ideas. The duo owns Frills by Scott and they reached out to Hope and negotiated a deal to purchase her inventory and continue the lease on her stores. They liquidated the inventory and then began a remodel of both stores and have now reopened as Frill’s Off the Rack. Hodges will serve as the managing partner for Frill’s Off the Rack.
“This was a natural expansion for Sandra and I and allows us to address a shift in the bridal market,” Marchbanks said. “The average age of a bride today is 29 and along with this come a lot of differences in the traditional wedding planning process. Older brides are more focused on budget since they are more established in their careers and typically do not have parents stepping up to help financially as much as younger brides do.”
Because of that trend, Frills saw a shift from the higher end, custom bridal dresses to more value-based purchases. With this in mind, they are launching Frills Off the Rack as an option in the market offering high quality, new bridal gowns that retail under $699.
Hodges and Marchbanks also want Frills Off the Rack to honor veterans and their future spouses either active or in addition to women serving in public safety or future spouses of law enforcement and public safety workers including first responders with an ongoing, permanent 15% discount on all bridal gowns.
In addition, they are working to partner with a couple of military organizations that focus on the needs of women in the military as an additional way of saying thank you for all these brave men and women do for our country and community.
Also, with the growth in the area Latino population, they have had continued requests to add a Quinceanera dress line. This is a new addition for Frills and will be located in the Frills Off the Rack location.
“Quinceanera is a very important rite of passage for these young women in the Hispanic Community,” Marchbanks said. “This allows us to do this in a ‘Frills way’ that will give these young ladies additional options in the market.”
Frills by Scott will continue to focus on exquisite bridal gowns, pageant dresses and prom dresses from some of the top names in the industry, along with custom designed, one-of-a-kind creations designed by Marchbanks and also their popular ready to wear boutique.
Frills by Scott is in high demand nationally with his custom pageant dress designs that are made in house. Marchbanks now boasts two Miss America and countless state and regional pageant titleholders for whom he has custom designed and made in house dresses. This notoriety has enhanced his brand and standing in the industry.
Due to the success, Marchbanks has collaborated with the “House of Wu,” where he now sees his personally designed prom dresses carried across the country. The partnership has required extensive travel to China where the company is headquartered. You will find his designs in their Panoply and Studio 17 lines.
Marchbanks is actually, Dr. Scott Marchbanks, PhD. He was born and raised in Greenville, S.C., and developed his love of sewing from his mother and grandmother. He completed a Master’s in Behavioral Psychology from Clemson University and obtained his doctorate at UGA.
Marchbanks made his way to Statesboro by way of Georgia Southern University, where he taught for four years before leaving teaching to pursue his dream in fashion design by acquiring Frills in 2007.
Since purchasing Frills and later rebranding it as Frills by Scott, he has built a business that has become a draw to downtown Statesboro.
Frills Off the Rack is another leap of faith that certainly will continue upon the success Hodges and Marchbanks have had in the past and will bring new and excited customers into downtown for years to come.