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Pink Poodle Dress Lounge owner finds passion after 20 years

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

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Whether you have been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were five or have waited until five days before your big day, Detroit's Pink Poodle Dress Lounge has got you covered.

Located at 14405 E. Jefferson, Pink Poodle is the one-stop shop for women of all ages looking for bridal gowns and formal attire.

Owner Raeshawn Bumphers worked in the automotive industry for 20 years, moonlighting as a wedding planner before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship full time. "Intimidation and raising a son kept me from pursuing my dream of owning a business," Bumphers says. It was only after her son graduated college that she felt comfortable pursuing her real passion—fashion.

With the help of Motor City Match, Pink Poodle received a $25,000 cash grant. The seed funding was used to open on Jefferson. "It was a must that my business be in a Detroit neighborhood," Bumphers says. "So our young girls could see that they have a boutique like this in the neighborhood and shop for prom and homecoming right at home."

Looking back, Bumphers wishes resources were more accessible when she first launched Pink Poodle. "I wish we had Detroit Means Business back then," she laments. "Before that, when you learned about something, if you weren't in the circle, you didn't find out until the deadline had passed."

Like many small businesses, Pink Poodle Dress Lounge experienced pandemic-related challenges over the past year. Bumphers says postponed weddings caused the boutique to max out inventory space, causing the company to lose dress sales and alterations revenue for an entire wedding season. She leaned on Detroit Means Business to find resources that could help get her business back on track.

"I'm not sure where Pink Poodle would be today if not for the assistance I received from programs like Motor City Match. Detroit Means Business helps keep me in the loop with opportunities like that. I share them with other small business owners too. It's very helpful for the community I'm in."

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