Two and a half years ago, childhood friends Emily McCormick and Athelia Woolley reconnected and started talking style. McCormick had been working in advertising and marketing for The Limited Companies; Woolley had been a social worker. "No one was selling what we were looking for," McCormick says. So with nary a design degree between them, they set out to start their own brand, Shabby Apple, manufacturing affordably priced dresses that straddle the fence dividing casual and formal. Woolley oversees operations and accounting in Salt Lake City, while McCormick runs the administrative offices out of her basement in Richmond.
Their spring collection, one of four annual lines of about 10 pieces each, launched in March, while their newest segment, Shabby Baby, was birthed in February. New projects, including bridesmaid gowns, are in the works. Five percent of Shabby Apple's proceeds go to Unitus, an organization that helps women in developing nations get microcredit loans so they can start businesses that will provide for their families. The tags on Shabby Apple's dresses tell you about a woman you could be helping.
The brand sells almost exclusively through ShabbyApple.com, which foots the cost of shipping for returns and exchanges. Women who want to see Shabby Apple's inventory in person can sign up to host trunk shows or swing by Rumours Boutique at 404 N. Harrison St.