Alfred Angelo’s slogan “your dream, your dress” became “your loss” when the bridal giant closed last month, declared bankruptcy, and left brides-to-be lined up and stood up.
“We’re never gonna see ‘em again. Let’s not even bother. They’re gone,” said Stephanie Huey about how she felt when she heard the store closed.
And they were gone. Both of her bridesmaids dresses and the dresses of other heartbroken women that had been purchased at an Oklahoma City store.
But they were gone because Rozettia Ellis took them.
“Loaded in my car, front, trunk, back seat, side panel, floor board, until they stacked all the way up to the top,” Ellis said. “And headed home, yes sir.”
She was a contracted seamstress of the store who’d lost her job but rescued the dresses.
“At that point, we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you,’ you know. We were so grateful,” Huey said.
But Rose, as she’s known, had one more surprise.
At her home in Tulsa, she’s been working on a special wedding gift: Stitch by stitch, she’s altering more than 80 dresses for free.
“I was dumbfounded, honestly dumbfounded,” Huey said.
Rose said that she had to do it.
“My integrity says I have to, ok? You have standards for yourself then you live up to those standards,” she said.
So once a week, Ellis has filled her car with dresses and driven 110 miles to an Oklahoma City hotel to deliver dresses and size up brides to be.
Motivated to show her thanks, Huey has raised more than $20,000 for Ellis through a GoFundMe page.
Ellis says that she’ll continue working 15-hour days and making the weekly drive to meet the brides until the 20 or so gowns that are left fit just right.
“It makes you want to go out and do nice things too because if doing the right beautiful thing is her gut reaction, then maybe we could all learn a little bit from that,” Huey said.
Infinite joy, provided by a single rose.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.