"get dressed!" offers refreshing mix for guys and gals
After graduating from Placer High, Maria Francis immersed herself in the world of clothing design.
She attended the Art Institute for Fashion in Seattle and then became a designer. Her work included lingerie for Nordstrom, soccer jerseys and shorts for Diadora and even cotton apparel sold at Sam’s Club.
Now she’s back in Auburn and recently opened get dressed! in Downtown Auburn. The store carries recycled clothing for men and women.
The inventory is a mix of shirts, dresses, skirts, shirts and pants Francis finds at used clothing stores. She also buys items from customers, giving 50 percent of what the item will sell for as store credit or 35 percent in cash payment, she said.
One thing Francis doesn’t do is purchase clothing online.
“If I can’t touch it, I don’t want to buy it,” she said.
In addition to the retail side, Francis also does alterations. That includes hemming, taking in seams, mending such as buttons and patches, and adding trim.
“Anything someone would want,” she said. “I also do custom work, like a top or dress (if they bring in the fabric) made from scratch.”
On a recent weekday, Auburn resident Loyce Smallwood stopped by to pick up some bright cotton shirts that Francis altered for her.
“It’s my new hangout,” she said about the store.
In addition to the quality of the workmanship, it’s also about customer service, according to Smallwood.
“She emails you if she has something waiting for you,” Smallwood said. “… She is very service oriented. She has a very good eye and she’s personable.”
Francis learned to sew as a teen — taught by her mom —and she’s been making clothing since she was 16.
“I did it for my senior project,” she said. “I sewed five garments. That’s why I decided to do fashion design.”
She’s also always had a flair for style.
“I used to go to the Salvation Army and put something together that no one else would. So I always had that ability,” she said.
The store carries a few items of new merchandise — fishnets, stockings, thigh-highs and a couple of lingerie-type items.
Francis opened the store on mid-May and is seeing a good response. She’d like to see more customers shopping for men’s clothing, “because I have lots of shirts,” she said.
She adds items frequently so there’s always something different.
“I shop every week if not a lot of people are selling to me,” she said.
She enjoys costumes and costume parties and has put together a selection of costumes at the back of the store.
“Like Burning Man-type stuff,” she explained.
She went to Burning Man for the first time last year and plans to go again this year with her boyfriend, who has attended the Nevada desert gathering for 12 years, she said.
Francis would like to participate in the Auburn Art Walk and is planning to have a grand opening to coincide with an Art Walk later this summer.
Reach Gloria Young at email@example.com.
Where: 1021 Lincoln Way, Downtown Auburn
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
Phone: (530) 906-1328
On Facebook: get dressed!