The girl came in alone, shopping for a prom dress. She kept to herself, looking around the boutique for the right plus-sized gown.
A few minutes after the girl took her selections into the changing room, shop owner Kristen Harris’s mother called Harris over. The girl was crying behind the curtain. She came out red-eyed and handed back the dresses, the Enterprise reported.
“She had this look on her face like, ‘Just get me out of here,’” Harris said.
Before Harris could think to follow her outside to help, the girl was gone.
That night, around 9 p.m. Sunday, Harris posted to the Facebook wall of her store, The Designer Diva Consignment Boutique on Washington Street in Abington.
She put a call out for the girl – 5 feet 5 inches tall with dirty blonde hair, possibly wearing braces, looking for a size 22 – to come back. Harris didn’t learn the girl’s name or her hometown, but was hoping that her network of friends and family could help track the girl down.
“That mother instinct just kicked in,” Harris said.
By Monday afternoon, Harris had found her girl. She sent Harris a private Facebook message saying that she might be the girl, and after one look at her photo Harris knew she was.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Harris said. “My heart started beating faster.”
Harris said the girl was local, but was not ready yet Monday night to provide any more details. Harris plans to have her in for a fitting next Monday.
After Harris’s posting Sunday night, her phone line and Facebook page were flooded with more than 200 messages. Her calls for help were shared thousands of times on social media, and 50 dresses are now on the way to The Designer Diva by the end of this week, sent for the girl and to bolster Harris’s plus-sized selection.
“I can’t even keep up with the amount of people calling to donate dresses,” Harris said. “It’s been insane.”
Harris, an Abington resident, recently switched from real estate to clothing consignment. Her new boutique offers clothes for all ages and both genders, including maternity wear and plus-sized customers. But on Sunday, when the girl came in shopping for prom, Harris’s plus-sized selection was minimal because she had opened her doors unofficially only a few days earlier to start stocking up on dresses.
Now the boutique will have more than enough plus-sized dresses so that what happened to this girl doesn’t happen again to anyone else.
“I want this store to have something for everybody,” Harris said. “Everybody deserves to be beautiful.”