The store owner dreaded shopping for social events in the '90s as stores wouldn't carry her size. She now helps young women find their dream dresses.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 14, 2023. It has since been updated.
For teenagers, prom is one of the most important nights of their life and an occasion where they want to feel and look beautiful. They desperately search for that perfect dress that fits them like a glove and turns heads. However, shopping is not always a fun experience for everyone. Summer Lucille, the owner of the boutique Juicy Body Goddess, dreaded shopping for social events in the '90s as stores would not carry her size. "I know what it's like to be a fat girl in a fatphobic world," she told TODAY. Those painful memories drove her to start carrying prom dresses at Juicy Body Goddess, a clothing boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina, that offers up to a size 6x. With the help of her fan following on TikTok, Lucille has devoted herself to helping young women find their dream dresses.
Elyse Monroe, an 18-year-old high school senior, was on the hunt to find the perfect prom dress. She learned about the boutique through TikTok and drove nearly six hours for a prom consultation with Lucille at Juicy Body Goddess in the Northlake Mall.
In a TikTok video, Lucille can be seen hyping Monroe in a fitting room. If you ever enter her store, you will be taken aback by the love and positivity she treats her customers with. In the heartwarming clip, Monroe tries a few dresses until she beams in a purple evening gown in a shimmery fabric. "I love that on you! It is so beautiful," Lucille exclaims as Monroe twirls in front of the mirror. But this was not the end. The family was in for another surprise.
A few moments later, Monroe and her family are seen getting emotional at the cash register. "So this dress is $700... but it’s free," Lucille announces. "We’re giving it to you." Back home in Manteo, North Carolina, Monroe keeps opening her closet to look at the purple dress she will wear to prom next month.
"Not only does it fit, but it makes me feel good about myself," shared Monroe. "Shopping is usually pretty stressful for me, which is why I mostly shop online, but we were laughing the whole time. It was actually fun. Prom is a night when you want to feel beautiful. And I feel beautiful in that dress."
Lucille revealed that there is no specific method to her decision to gift her customers their dream dress. "It’s just a feeling," she said. She may have seen her younger self in Monroe and recalls looking at accessories for prom while her girlfriends wore beautiful ball gowns because the stores didn’t carry her size.
"If you weren’t skinny, there weren't many options, and it was devastating for me because I've always loved fashion," Lucille shared. "I went to my prom looking like a church lady in a suit dress with a jacket because it was the only thing that fit. It was a very sad period in my life. But I'm thankful for those experiences now."
"She is going to have such a memorable prom night because of you! Absolutely stunning," commented TikTok user @maternityjeggins. "Oh my gosh, she is beaming in purple; it's so beautiful on her! The first one was also great!" added @samiamdean. "The red is, honestly, fabulous on her, but the purple— she just lit up! It looks so beautiful on her; it was made for her," said @blairbutnotwaldorf. When asked how Lucille feels about her prom consultations, she said: "These prom consultations heal me. I cry at almost everyone."