Coast Monthly chats with locals who are making a difference in ways big and small.
Jill’s Fashions and Bridals store in League City was bustling on a recent prom season morning. Boys lined up, filling the shop with laughter as their measurements were taken for tuxedos they would wear to prom.
The rentals are free and part of many charitable donations coming from Diana Montes and her daughter, Danielle Smith.
The women, who own Jill’s Fashions and Bridals, also donate 100 dresses each year for proms or quinceañeras, along with shoes and jewelry, to various charities, such as the Periwinkle Foundation, which supports children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Montes and Smith also contribute to the Cinderella Project, which donates gently used prom dresses to women challenged by financial hardship. The donations often are made through the Assistance League of Bay Area, which connects business owners willing to donate with various philanthropic charities.
Jill’s Fashions and Bridals has been in business for 40 years. Montes took over 13 years ago, and kept it going with the help of Smith, who is responsible for marketing.
“We are one of the last remaining mom-and-pop businesses and have had tremendous support from our customer base,” Montes said.
The women wanted to give back to the community, they said.
“Fitting people with these gorgeous outfits brings to mind Cinderella’s fairy godmothers,” Smith said. “Beautiful clothes put a special smile on people’s lips. A smile everyone deserves.”