Cinderella Boutique: Happily Ever After Does Exist

Written by: Erin Beene, Northern Sentry
Cinderella Boutique Manager, Jen Womack, ready to get you the dress of your dreams!

“Oh, it’s a beautiful dress! Did you ever see such a beautiful dress? And look! Glass slippers. Why, it’s like a dream. A wonderful dream come true!”

The quote is from the classic Disney animation version of Cinderella. One would be hard pressed to find a person, young or old, who hasn’t heard a version of the “Cinderella Story.” In case you need a refresh, it goes a little something like this:

A kind girl, Cinderella, is left orphaned and forced to be a servant to her wicked stepmother and cruel stepsisters. Years later, when the handsome prince of the land throws a royal ball, all the young maidens in the kingdom are invited. Cinderella tries to go, but is brought to tears and despair when her handmade dress is ruined beyond repair. After her stepsisters and stepmother leave for the ball, Cinderella is devastated until suddenly her Fairy Godmother appears! Her Fairy Godmother magically adorns Cinderella with the most beautiful, shimmery gown! Cinderella may now attend the ball looking like a real princess. Of course, let’s not forget the iconic glass slippers that were designed as a perfect finishing touch for Cinderella’s royal facade. Once at the ball, Cinderella catches the eye of Prince Charming; they dance the night away! Suddenly, the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella dashes away from the prince before he has a chance to ask her name or see her magic appearance disappear. In her haste, Cinderella loses one of her glass slippers on the palace stairs. Later, once the magic fades and Cinderella is back home amongst the cinders of the fireplace, she learns of the prince’s discovery of her glass slipper and his desire to find the wearer of the fanciful shoe to take as his bride. After searching the entire kingdom, the prince finds Cinderella, gently glides the beaming glass slipper on her dainty foot, and reveals the perfect fit. They get married and live happily ever after!

What does this story have to do with Minot AFB? Well, Cinderella received a FREE beautiful gown for a special event and lived happily ever after. So you have more in common with Cinderella than you might think. You too can create your own fairy tale, starting with a FREE beautiful gown! Dreams and reality can collide. The Cinderella Boutique lends out trendy, stylish and beautiful gowns and dresses out to any military dependent for any occasion and for free! With the Air Force Ball coming up next month, the Cinderella Boutique has opened its doors at its new location once again to adorn the women of Minot AFB.

Cinderella Boutique Chair, Jen Womack, discussed what women and teens can expect when stepping into the experience. She said that there are dresses for every style, from conservative to flashy, cocktail length to formal ball gowns, with sizes ranging from 0 to 24. The Cinderella Boutique has comfortable fitting rooms for finding your favorite gown and is completely FREE! When asked where the gowns come from, Jen said that some are donated from individuals, but most are donated from the in-town bridal shops Marry Me and Fiancée, so they aren’t outdated; they are stylish pieces just waiting to be worn. She said she has a great relationship with these shops and they love to support the base when they can. The Cinderella Boutique is open to all base women who find themselves in need of a beautiful dress for a wedding, military event, homecoming or even a date night. Dresses are available free of charge, so what’s the catch? The only expectation when borrowing a dress is to return it “ready to wear” and freshly dry-cleaned, ready for the next borrower. Dry cleaning charges vary, but can usually cost around $20.

Re-opening this boutique in its new location has truly been a labor of love for Jen. She really wanted women to have the “real” boutique shopping experience when they come in and feel comfortable and have fun too! She encourages women to try on several dresses and if they can’t decide between two dresses, she is happy to let you take two and decide later. This Cinderella Boutique is completely volunteer-based, operated by the Minot AFB Spouses’ Club, and here to give women on the base the ability to wear nice dresses and attend functions without feeling like they have to break the bank or always wear the same things. Dresses are not the only things that can cost a fortune, so the Cinderella Boutique offers formal shoes and purses available for loan too! They hope to be able to offer a larger selection of costume jewelry in the future too. But for now, Jen wants ladies to come in and find your entire outfit! This is one of those truly unique military spouse perks that is here to be utilized, loved and styled! If you are unsure you will find something, Jen says, “Just come in and look, you never know what you may find!”

Find your Happily Ever After at the Cinderella Boutique on Minot AFB.
Building 135, across from the Airman’s Attic, in the same building as the Post Office.
Hours vary, but are updated regularly on their Facebook Page: MAFB Cinderella Boutique
Or, by appointment contact: Jen Womack (210) 792-7594

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