The energetic emcee (and budding entrepreneur) clues us in on her dress-rental portal, Plush Porter, where you can find unique pieces for any function – including your wedding!
FEMALE: What’s the story behind Plush Porter?
Julie: “As an emcee who hosts and attends events regularly, I often met women who complained about the difficulties of finding the right dress, especially if they had to adhere to a specific theme. I had the same problem too and even my friends from the industry shared similar sentiments. So I thought to myself, why not fill the gap in this market since there is a growing demand but limited supply? Moreover, I had just found out I was pregnant. I had to take a short hiatus from hosting, and that spurred me to achieve something on my own. I started Plush Porter halfway through my pregnancy and the business has been growing and blossoming, just like my son!”
F: How is Plush Porter different from dress-rental sites out there?
J: “The idea is to grow the dress rental market and make a wide variety of dresses accessible and convenient to women. The styles and designer labels that Plush Porter carry are different from other sites you’d find out there. We also have a gallery at 176 Avenue that opens from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm, so customers can walk in to try the dresses and rent immediately.”
F: What’s a common mistake women tend to make when renting a dress?
J: “Looking for a dress at the very last minute!”
F: Are there any dressing rules in your book for a guest at a wedding?
J: “I usually advise them not to wear white as the colour should be reserved for the bride. Also, take note of the theme and location as it plays an important role in choosing the right dress.”
F: And when you’re the bride-to-be, what shopping advice would you give?
J: “Don’t leave it to the last minute to find the perfect dress! We do have many brides who rent from us and we try to recommend the ideal wedding dress based on their (body) shape and taste. We can even give them a preview of upcoming collections ahead of their wedding. So the earlier the brides scout for their wedding dress, the more choices they can be presented with. We can also arrange for alterations with due notice.”
F: What are two top formal dress trends on your radar right now?
J: “The bare-back and off-shoulder dresses are our hot-sellers right now. I think there’s something alluring and feminine about those two designs.”
F: What’s one thing you wish you’d done differently on your big day in terms of dressing up or finding the right dress?
J: “I had a wedding gown and two cheongsam prepared for my wedding day. I should’ve known that having my wedding in the middle of a jungle (in Janda Baik) would not be convenient for dress changes. I ended up not wearing my cheongsam and just stuck to wearing my wedding gown only. One of my cheongsam was even rented but did not see the light of day.”
F: What’s the most challenging thing about being in the dress-rental business?
J: “Keeping up with the pace of fashion trends and being quick with the turnover of new dresses.”
First published in print edition. Original text by Joanna Pinto