Local dress boutique in Baltimore keeps Homecoming and Prom dreams alive by helping frantic girls who were scammed when buying prom dresses online from illegitimate fraudulent websites.
Synchronicity Boutique has helped rescue countless students around the country after they have become victims of fraudulent companies whose web sites promised “authentic” homecoming and prom dresses at cut-rate prices.
“We are all too familiar with the intentional scamming of students and their families by these illegal companies. They create “knock-off dresses”, promising that they are authentic,” reports Synchronicity Owner Karen Mazer. “At best, they receive counterfeit, inferior dresses that are unwearable. More often, however, they do not receive anything AND lose their money completely, or they are notified that their dress will not be ready in time for their event. Customers rush in, frantically trying to find a dress days before they need them. This year, we are seeing it for the first time in September in response to more fashionable Homecomings and more devious scammers.”
“It never fails,” said Synchronicity Boutique’s Manager, Brooke Newborn. “We help girls every year who are taken advantage of online and find them a perfect prom dress. Unlike online stores without a “brick and mortar” location, we have a direct connection with all of our designers and can physically check their inventories online or over the phone if a dress needs to be ordered.”
One of those customers is Kathy Fremuth whose daughter, Claire, fell in love with a dress she found online. “Like all girls shopping for their prom, Claire wanted a stunner – the kind of dress that, when you put it on, people’s heads would turn. She found a picture of one online that was gorgeous,” states Mrs. Fremuth, who believed she had researched the online company thoroughly, requested the company rush the dress, and even paid for it using PayPal for extra assurance and insurance.
Instead, she experienced delays, headaches, and when the dress arrived, a literal nightmare. “As I opened the package I was really hoping against hope that the waiting and the stress was worth it. Instead, I was literally sick to my stomach. The dress, now known as The Dress From Hell (TDFH), bore little resemblance to the dress on the website. The color was different, the pads in the bust were popping out, there were stains on the front of the dress, the back, which was supposed to be sheer, was scratchy white tulle, the stitching showed everywhere and the overall workmanship was completely shoddy. It was a mess. A seventh-grade Home-Ec class could have created something far more exceptional. My daughter came home, took one look and dissolved. “
A friend of Claire’s recommended that she visit Synchronicity Boutique, and Mazer, who heard of the situation through Facebook, was able to help find a TRUE dream dress for Claire, as well as offering advice to Kathy about how to work with PayPal when the online company refused returns and refunds.
When asked her best advice for customers who have become used to buying online, Mazer strongly cautioned, “The Internet is like the ‘Wild West’ of retail. If you are looking for something as special as a designer dress, don’t risk deception by online companies. It just isn’t worth it.”
Named “Baltimore’s Best” by Baltimore Magazine, Synchronicity Boutique sells dresses in sizes 00 to 30W from a variety of designers including: La Femme, Sherri Hill, Jovani, Tony Bowls, Faviana, Terani Couture, Blush Prom, Mac Duggal, and Night Moves. This season, the Boutique is carrying more accessories than ever, and now has Tuxedo rentals and suits in every size, designed to coordinate with every dress they stock.
Synchronicity registers every dress purchase, selling only 1 of each style dress per event. Mazer is also very involved in school fundraising, and donates $5 for every dress purchase and tuxedo rental being worn to school events. Nearly $11,000 was donated from Prom 2012 Sales, supporting 240 schools’ Post Prom Parties and SADD Chapters.
Synchronicity Boutique outfits customers of all ages from all over the world for homecomings, proms, ring dances, cocktail parties, cotillions, graduations, Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, college formals, military balls, pageants, weddings and other black-tie events.
Open since 2003, Synchronicity Boutique is located in Hooks Village, at 25 Hooks Lane, off I-695 Beltway Exit 20. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 410-486-8866 or 877.919.PROM or visit http://www.MyDreamDress.com
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