Young Entrepreneur Gives Wedding Dresses New Life
Not long ago, Unbox the Dress CEO & Founder Grace Rojek was living in Chicago and working in corporate marketing. Today, she leads a team in NE Ohio who transform client wedding dresses into one-of-a-kind gifts and keepsakes.
Below, Rojek answers 5 fast questions about her experience as an enterprenurial millennial, and what it’s like to be the queen of wedding dress makeovers.
1. How did you come up with the idea for Unbox the Dress?
My mother and I were cleaning out my grandma’s house, when we found my aunt’s wedding dress tucked away in that classic, big box in a closet. She lives in Florida and has one son, but when we asked her what we should do with it she asked us to ship it to her. She just couldn’t part with it!
That’s when we started talking about the sentimental value of a wedding dress, and how there had to be something better to do with it than keeping all that beauty tucked away in a box. I started brainstorm and researching product designs, and things quickly came together from there. My mom’s my business partner which is a huge blessing.
2. What is your favorite product?
I’d have to say our “I do Wedding Day Robe”. It’s our original design and a completely new option for mothers and grandmothers wanting to pass on their dress. Modern day brides want to pick out their own wedding dress but love the idea of incorporating a family dress in some way. With the robe they get the best of both worlds.
We take the timeless fabric and embellishments of an older dress and turn it into a light, flirty robe a bride can wear on her wedding day as she gets ready. Plus she can keep and cherish it afterward.
3. Can you share the best and hardest parts of running your own company?
When you’re creating a new company, things move quickly. You can have a new idea and incorporate it in a matter of weeks rather than waiting for months or years. It’s the ultimate creative and strategic challenge and I hate to sound cliché, but if you love what you do, work doesn’t feel like work.
Sometimes I do miss the ability to bounce ideas off colleagues in a traditional office setting. But I see a bigger design studio in the future for Unbox the Dress – so that’s something to work toward
4. What has been your favorite client story so far?
I love multi-generational projects. We made a robe for a daughter bride out of a wedding dress that was made for our client by her grandmother. That’s 4 generations! There’s so much beauty in that.
5. What are your plans for Unbox the Dress in the future?
We’ve been embraced by our local and state community, but we’re set up to handle dresses from women across the country. I honestly believe our company provides an elegant solution for a common conundrum, so I look forward to spreading our story and growing nationally!