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All Eyes on Southern Grace Formals

All Eyes on Southern Grace Formals



Sydney's Closet loves to shine the spotlight on our retail partners that bring our plus-size special occasion dresses to a store near you.

Today our attention focuses on Southern Grace Formalsin Eva, AL where curvy women and teens can find Sydney's Closet Prom, Pageant, Evening and Homecoming dresses.

The Big Picture...

  • Located in Eva, Alabama
  • Brooke Williams, owner 
  • Opened in 2022 
  • 3,000 square feet including the beauty salon
  • 4 full-time staff 
  • 6 dressing rooms 
  • Merchandise: Evening Formals, Prom, Pageant, Flower Girls, shoes
  • Brands: Sydney’s Closet, Jonathan Kayne, Marc DeFang, Primavera, Portia and Scarlet
@southern_grace_formals I am ready to show off some of my favorite dresses from @sydneyscloset to you! Come visit is this weekend and next week for our Sydneys Closet Trunk Show! I love this company and the opportunities they are letting me be a part of! So honored to be able to model some pieces for them with @The Real Queen B ♬ Pretty Girls Pour Some Sugar DJ Griffey Mashup - DJ Griffey






In the Beginning...

  • Owner Brooke Williams launched Southern Grace Formals after her 4-year-old daughter Ada got hooked on pageants. Brooke, who grew up playing softball and volleyball, was a “newbie” for all things girly. When Ada headed to Nationals in 2021 - and again in 2022 - Brooke hosted Miss Southern Grace Pageants to defray pageant costs.

  • The successful pageants drew more than 100 contestants each and raised enough money to have extra to donate to local charities.

  • When Brooke lost her hospital job in 2022. "I took a very big risk and a step of faith to open Southern Grace Formals," she recalls.

  • Brooke's vision remains crystal clear. She wants to share knowledge  that she learned from her experiences in the Pageant world with contestants who are just entering competitions. So she structures Southern Grace Formals as a one-stop shop where girls can discover affordable Pageant wardrobes and also leave with some friendly coaching advice.  

    To Market, to Market…

    Curvy Prom girls hold a special place in Brooke’s heart. She remembers as a plus-size teen resorting to having her gown made after she failed to find a Prom frock that rocked. "As a plus-size girl all my life I know how hard it is to find the perfect dress for any occasion."

    Brooke discovered Sydney’s Closet at her first Atlanta market. “I looked around and said, “Oh, gosh, I am in love.  I put my hands on every dress, I said to myself, ‘This is it. Sydney's is where I am going on my journey to take care of my curvy girls so they feel confident and look beautiful.'”

    Brooke reassures curvy customers that they will find their dream dress at her shop. "I pull dresses until they find one they love. They arrive depressed and they leave a totally different person after having fun and feeling pretty."

  • She credits her success in plus sizes to ordering a variety of silhouettes and a wide range of sizes.

  • Word of mouth also helps build her reputation for catering to curvy customers with sensitivity and style. Girls tell friends and family that the shop has true plus-size dresses that really fit women and teens with curvy bodies.

  • Brooke says the greatest challenge going to market is the temptation to overspend.
  • Zooming In…

  • Thinking about the store 24/7 keeps Brooke up at night whether it’s ordering another dress for a customer or checking to be sure the same dress doesn’t go to the same Prom or Pageant.

  • What makes Southern Grace distinctive? "We have fun here. I love my job." The greatest compliment she gets is when customers tell her the shop reminds them of the magical atmosphere portrayed in “Steel Magnolias”, the 1989 filmaboutclose friendships formed at asmall-town Louisiana beauty salon.

  • Brooke posts on social media almost daily, often going live onTikTok. “I’m a social media hog,” she says. "And I’m sure to reply immediately."

  • Brooke says if she could invite anyone to visit the store, it would be her late Father. “My Daddy passed away 15 years ago in a motorcycle accident.  His inheritance got this started. I know that if he was here now, he would be so proud."