After moving to Colorado from Seattle five years ago, Tia Hunsperger founded Bella Boutique in Denver’s City Park neighborhood. “Having worked for a similar program in Seattle, I felt that Denver was a great place to replicate the idea,” says Hunsperger.
Bella Boutique is the area’s largest provider of free prom dresses, accessories and shoes to Colorado teens in financial need. Hunsperger notes the average teen spends approximately $1200 on prom-related clothing and activities.
Through the boutique’s referral-based system, low-income teens can work with a stylist to coordinate an entire prom look at no cost. “Finances shouldn’t be a barrier to kids looking forward to attending their school’s celebration,” emphasizes Hunsperger. “Every student who wants to should be able to take part.”
To qualify, teens must be referred by an educator, coach, pastor or other community leader or be qualified for reduced lunch. Last year, Bella Boutique helped provide outfits, shoes and accessories for 200 girls planning to attend their school’s Homecoming and Prom dances.
Community members can help by referring a qualifying teen and encouraging them to make an appointment to shop.
The boutique also needs volunteers who can work directly with a teen to help them find and complete their look. Donations of gently worn dresses, shoes and jewelry are also welcome.
For more information about Bella Boutique, visit, www.bellaboutiquedenver.org or call 303.656.9665.