BRINKLEY, Ark. — One Mid-South bridal shop owner can attest to the motto “if you build it, they will come.”
What was once a bustling railroad town just 70 miles west of Memphis is now a town just more than 3,000.
Brinkley, Arkansas, is full of farmlands, mills and, sadly, empty storefronts.
It doesn’t seem like the place to find one of the largest wedding gown selections in the country.
Past the town square, Low’s Bridal sits in a 100-year-old, 35,000 square foot building filled with thousands of gowns.
“We use 25,000 of it for dress shop space,” Dorcas Prince said.
Prince owns Low’s and sells thousands of dresses to brides of all ages and backgrounds from across the Mid-South and country.
She keeps a log, which shows brides from as far as South Africa have traveled to the store.
Price told WREG her mother started selling just six dresses in their family pharmacy in 1977, and now the business got so big, it’s in a historic hotel.
“We are in the middle of nowhere,” Prince said.
Prince won’t credit her success on the dozens of magazine articles or spots on network bridal shows.
She said her business is mostly word of mouth.
“Through Facebook. Some mutual friends bought a dress from here,” Rebecca Alexander said.
The young bride-to-be drove more than four hours from Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Alexander is marrying her sweetheart of five years.
“He actually put the ring on my middle finger instead of my ring finger. He was so nervous,” Alexander said with a laugh.
Now, she’s determined to find the perfect dress.
“Everyone wants to have that ‘ah ha’ moment where they start crying, and they know it’s the one,” she said.
Prince’s employees sell thousands of gowns a year.
It helps there are a range of styles and sizes from 2 to 32, plus a sales room where you can get a dress as cheap as $250 or splurge on couture as high as $7,000.
“To see a bride when she has found her dress, and her eyes light up, and then her mom tears up,” Prince said. “You just see how happy they are.”
Prince wanted to be a pharmacist. She never envisioned all this, never imagined thousands of women would travel near and far to her wedding shop in her small hometown of Brinkley.