Someone once said that “every great dream begins with a dreamer”. For Daphne Hill, the dream of owning a women’s clothing boutique began before she could even articulate it. As a little girl living in Columbus, she would rush to find all the paper dolls in the latest McCall’s Magazine before spending hours pasting them on cardboard and dressing them in all the accompanying outfits. Reflecting on those moments, Daphne says that she’s “passionate about clothing because it’s an expression of who you are. Clothing can become generic, which sort of makes everybody the same, but we are all unique. So I like clothing that has character because it speaks to people that identify with that character.” Years after styling her McCall’s dolls, as a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Daphne’s dream became a something of vision. As she was riding a Greyhound Bus, she saw a huge warehouse-like building and envisioned her name written in her cursive handwriting in the top corner. It was in that moment that she knew that if she ever owned a business, it would be called Daphne’s. But it would be years before Daphne’s dream became a reality.
Daphne eventually moved back to Columbus and her dream faded for some time. She worked at Aflac for 17 years, rising through the ranks from a clerk to accounting to IT. Then she was offered an opportunity in programming, despite the fact that she didn’t know how to program. She spent her lunch breaks picking up pointers from a coworker and switched her studies from accounting to programming. She had fallen in love, gotten married, and had 2 children when she began to work night shifts on-call, so when an opportunity to work as a programming analyst presented itself at TSYS, Daphne took it and stayed there for six years. She left TSYS to work with her husband’s funeral business and part-time with her church, before transitioned to the church full-time. With no idea of what was next, Daphne took a leap of faith stepped away from her work at the church years later. It was during this time that Daphne’s dream of owning a boutique started to grow more, and she started doing research about what it would take to start a business. Then it happened.
A connection that Daphne had made at the Chamber of Commerce approached her about a business owner that was looking to sell. They worked out a deal, and in October 2008, Daphne formed Daphne’s Design LLC. On January 2, 2009, she officially became the owner of Jenie’s Bridal and Formals. The name of the boutique changed to Daphne’s Bridal Boutique in 2012, and the cursive in the Daphne’s logo was the very image that she dreamed about on the Greyhound bus all those years ago. Her dream had finally come true.
Today, Daphne’s Bridal Boutique is a full-service boutique. We carry a variety of bridal gown options, as well as dresses for bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, and flower girls, tuxedos, and accessories! We make it easy to be a one-stop shop for everything you and your party need to look stunning on your big day. The team is committed to providing a unique experience, allowing every customer to express their inward personality—something that has been important to Daphne since her days with her McCall’s dolls.
Daphne’s dream has never just been about selling bridal gowns. She wants to provide an experience that leaves each person walking away feeling seen and valuable, which is why she is intentional about stocking a variety of styles and sizes. Also, Daphne’s dream isn’t just about her. She would love for Daphne’s to be a jumpstart for women that are looking to get into the industry, be it owning their own store or learning about certain aspects of the fashion industry such as buying, finances, or marketing. Just as her coworker taught her how to program, she wants to be the type of person that freely offers the experience and knowledge that she has. She knows that she didn’t come to this point on her own and she’s determined to pay it forward.
Daphne’s dream was 40 years in the making when it was fulfilled. It was a long wait but one that was worth it.