Sydney-based start-up Still White is becoming a platform of choice for women looking to sell their wedding dresses to soon-to-be brides.
Husband and wife team Ingrid and Bruno Szajer came up with the idea while they were paying off their wedding bills.
When packing away Ingrid's wedding dress, Bruno asked Ingrid what she was going to do with the dress as they were stuffing it under the bed.
Unimpressed by existing services, Bruno decided to build a dedicated platform which allowed brides to sell their wedding dress. Selling Ingrid's dress was instant validation that an online wedding dress marketplace would deliver value to newlyweds and brides-to-be.
"Brides are using the Still White sold pages to research the resale value of their wedding dress and planning to sell their dress as part of their wedding budget," says Ingrid, co-founder of Still White.
Helping brides to stretch their wedding budgets further, the start-up hit a milestone in
May with brides selling over $AU11 million in wedding dresses using the platform. While many women still keep their wedding dresses out of sentiment, a new generation of women are finding greater value in selling their dresses and investing the money elsewhere whether it's a holiday, mortgage repayment or anything they like.
One bride who went down the resale path was Courtney Dres who sold an originally priced $4500 dress for $2500 after having it on sale for just one week.
"I had seen the dress, by Bo and Luca and loved it, then I saw it on Still White for $2500 and it was exactly my measurements, so hey, I bought it for my wedding," Courtney told news.com.au
Courtney says she and her husband-to-be didn't want to spend a fortune on a wedding - opting for an at-home one at his parents place in Lara, near Geelong in Victoria.
"We have a beautiful picture of the wedding and the entire day, including the dress," she laughs.
"I loved, loved it as a dress but didn't have any real emotional attachment to it and what was I going to do? Pack it away forever?
"The woman I bought it from was fantastic and I flew from Melbourne to Sydney to try it when I saw it online and it was just perfect."
Once she was married, Courtney then put the dress back on the site and went onto resell it to a bride in Costa Rica, for the same price she bought it, $2500.
"I effectively spent nothing on a wedding dress I loved wearing.
"We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and discovered paddle-boarding so for what I saved, I bought a paddle-board when I got back," Courtney laughs.
With designer wedding dresses available at around half the retail price, Still White says it wants to help brides buy a dress that they may not have otherwise been able to afford.
"Being a husband and wife team has motivated us to run lean and do all the marketing and development ourselves, meaning we've been profitable from day one." adds co-founder, Bruno.
The centrepiece of the wedding dress website is an in-built messaging system which allows buyers and sellers to chat and exchange photos, all without revealing personal contact details.
Sellers are charged a single fee that starts at $29.95 for listing their dress, and it remains on Still White until it sells and there is no commission charged on sales.
Still White now operates globally with over 12 region specific domains, including New Zealand, bringing together brides and newlyweds from over 116 countries to buy and sell their dream wedding dress in a simple, safe and fun environment.
Currently there are more than 14,000 dresses for sale and users have made more than $10 million dollars in sales.