Dress Up Case Study 951X557

Dress Up Tailors Right Fit for Women’s Fashion and Business Growth

How a couple’s weekend activity turned into 19 brick-and-mortar stores and their own online boutique.


150%148%46%
increase in revenueincrease in conversion rateincrease in site traffic


Metrics reflect online sales from August 2018–December 2019.


A Vision for Something Better

Ever since they were high school sweethearts, Derrick and Danielle Case visited the mall nearly every weekend. Danielle loved shopping, but one day she became painfully aware that the stores offered very little variety. She was tired of seeing the same thing week after week. For Danielle, shopping was no longer a source of excitement; instead, the experience was starting to become monotonous. The clothing options were boring and overpriced. She wanted women to experience something different and decided that she would be the one to offer the antithesis to the typical mall experience.

The Birth of a Business

As told to BigCommerce by Derrick Case, Dress Up CEO.

On one particular mall outing, Danielle comes out of a store and emphatically tells me what’s on her mind. She tells me how sick and tired she was of coming to the mall every single weekend only to see the same stuff. She didn’t like the lack of variety or that things were overpriced. 

That’s when she told me she wanted us to go back to our hometown and open our own clothing store. I mean she really had a vision for what she wanted. She wanted new styles to come in weekly, be on-trend, and affordable. We put our heads together to make Dress Up a reality.


Learning to Manage Rapid Growth

As told to BigCommerce by Derrick Case, Dress Up CEO.

We went back to our home in Dahlonega, Georgia, where everything came together quickly. I talked to a friend in real estate, and it turned out he had a basement location that was perfect for us. Only eight days after Danielle communicated her fashion manifesto to me, we signed the lease, and just four weeks later, we opened our first store. Literally, from the idea of owning a store to actually opening one all happened in five weeks. 

Since then (August 2009), we’ve expanded within and beyond Georgia. Today, we have 14 stores in Georgia and have added locations in Alabama (1), South Carolina (2), and Tennessee (2) for a total of 19 stores. We have plans to add more stores in 2021 throughout the Southeast, but for now it’s 19 physical stores and an online store that enables us to sell worldwide.

Looking back, I’d say building the business was a pretty smooth process. However, most of our issues came as a result of our rapid growth. In 2013, we went from five stores to 10 as well as doubled our employee count. Today we have 19 stores and approximately 300 employees. With this type of growth, we knew we needed innovative technology to help us manage it.

“Today we have 19 stores and approximately 300 employees. With this type of growth, we knew we needed innovative technology to help us manage it.”Derrick Case, CEO, DressUp

Getting the Technology Right

As told to BigCommerce by Derrick Case, Dress Up CEO.

When we took our business online, Shopify was the first major platform we used. It did what we needed, but it required numerous apps to make things happen. If we wanted to do something new or different on our site, we had to add an app. We had up to 70 apps running on our site at one time. Interestingly enough, our site speed was good.

What wasn’t good was how the apps spoke to one another on the back end. Because Shopify couldn’t keep pace with real-time purchases, customers began to experience the site informing them that items were either in-stock or out-of-stock when the opposite was true. 

Another let down was that Shopify didn’t have an option to tie our online and physical stores’ inventory into a single management system. In any given week, we receive upwards of 70 new items including dresses, tops, and shoes. When new items are added to our brick-and-mortar stores, we move older inventory to our online store to sell. We needed a better, more cohesive solution to sync our inventory. Thankfully, we were introduced to BigCommerce.

“We needed a better, more cohesive solution to seamlessly sync our inventory. Thankfully, we were introduced to BigCommerce.”Derrick Case, CEO, DressUp

Another benefit in making the switch to BigCommerce is having access to its impressive stable of platform-included apps. This has eliminated the need to add a ton of apps later like we had to with Shopify.Derrick Case, CEO, DressUp
1281 Cd Dress Up Case Study Tablet Mt

BigCommerce: A Perfect Fit

As told to BigCommerce by Derrick Case, Dress Up CEO.

Honestly, because BigCommerce has amazing API integrations with apps we love, we went all-in with migrating to the platform and were able to make that happen in less than two months. Now, we can manage our online and in-store operations and inventory systems from a single platform. 

Another benefit in making the switch to BigCommerce is having access to its impressive stable of platform-included apps. This has eliminated the need to add a ton of apps later like we had to with Shopify. 

Our online share of company revenue was 10% prior to launching on BigCommerce. Since our August 2018 launch on the platform, the online share of revenue has increased to 29%. I don't know if it's a result of a more open API or whatever causes all of that, but the ability for us to have more plugins has been crucial over the last couple of years.


Impressive Results. Brighter Future.

As told to BigCommerce by Derrick Case, Dress Up CEO.

More and more, our business is going from bricks to clicks. Technology is at the forefront of what we’re doing. I look forward to the day we see the share of revenue split 50/50 between online and in-store sales. We were at 29% percent in 2019 and 10% the year before that, so I believe we are on a path to make that happen.

On the immediate horizon, we're pushing really hard to implement buy online, pickup in-store this year, and a loyalty program is in the not-too-distant future. Through our stores and the technology we use, we’ll continue our mission to build up women by how we engage with them, continuing to remind them that they have value and worth. We’ll keep following our motto, Love People. Love Clothes.

“Our online share of company revenue was 10% prior to launching on BigCommerce. Since our August 2018 launch on the platform, the online share of revenue has increased to 29%.”Derrick Case, CEO, DressUp

More Stories of Success