Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Salt Lake Tribune Press

Hot products named Next Big Things
Fashion trend » Utahn's frilly slip is a finalist.
By Dawn House

The Salt Lake Tribune
Posted: 01/17/2009 08:49:00 PM MST
Jennifer Young, Draper, was named one of two finalists in The Next Big...

The familiar caution that your slip is showing could become a fashion statement.

On Saturday, a Draper woman who designs frilly slips that peak out from under shirt hemlines was named a finalist in The Next Big Thing contest. The announcement was made during the Total Home & Gift Market show in Dallas.

The winning product, however, may not be a big seller in Utah. It's a spill-resistant martini glass. The goblet, designed by Renee Williams of Rowlett, Texas, has the traditional shape of a martini glass, with an added curved rim -- much like a toddler's sip cup -- to prevent spills.

Jennifer Young, founder of the Utah-based Vintage Hem, was one of two finalists from a pool of 100 contestants. Young, 32, got her idea from a favorite dress that had an attached slip which fell below the hemline. Why not design a slip that could be worn with other dresses and skirts -- particularly ones that are a bit too short, she reasoned.

"A slip could add a fun, romantic flair when worn underneath different outfits," Young said. "Then I started thinking about different ways to embellish hemlines."

Meredith Hite, spokeswoman for the Dallas Market Center, which stages 50 exhibitions each year, said Young's product caught the judges' attention "because it's a low-cost way to change your wardrobe while adding a little spice to what you wear."

To attract online customers to her fledging business, Young paid for a television ran after the closing LDS Church conference session in the spring of 2007. She choose the Mormon conference because women are advised to dress modestly.

Young paid particular attention to two slips she had designed that sparked the most interest after the single commercial was broadcast. One undergarment was edged with a simple tulle netting and the other had a single row of eyelet lace.

The first year she racked up $12,000 in sales for the six months she was in business and last year revenues totalled $20,000.

Young, who runs the business from her home, calls herself a one-woman show. She manages her Web site, Vintagehem.com, as well as the company bookkeeping, and stocks her inventory in the downstairs' basement. She holds a finance degree from Brigham Young University, and says she has learned from watching her husband Jason, whose career is in sales.

The couple has three young girls. And, Young is expecting their first boy in May, "so I'm hoping we can afford to hire some employees soon."

Her line of undergarments comes in black, blush, white, ivory, gold and polka dots. Prices start at $14 for the tulle slip to $28 for one edged with three rows of one-inch eyelet ruffles.

Young is presenting her Spring Tea collection for spring and summer hemlines during the Dallas Market Center show that runs through Monday. As a finalist, she was awarded free booth space and travel to the international market.

The second product finalist is a product skin-care line for girls age 9 to 15 years old, marketed by a New Hartford, Conn.-based company. Winners were selected by four judges, based on the contestants' product, trade space presentation and production plan.


photos courtesy of Sara Kerens photographer and expert snow angel maker, sara@sakphotography.com

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