In the SPotlight
...with Devora Wilmowsky and Chana Seligson/ The Gown Gmach
When you hear the word “gmach”, what comes to your mind?
Maybe some worn out donations? A musty backroom full of last decade’s throw-aways?
Not so at the Simchas Rochel and Golda Gown Gmach! Named in the memory of two holocaust survivors, the grandmother and mother of co-founders, Devora Wilmowsky and Chana Seligson, this Brooklyn-based gmach provides a whole new definition of the word “gmach”.
Although they started out as a two-rack donation-only operation in Devora’s kitchen, they have now expanded into a whole boutique, carrying top-of-the-line, high-end rentals in all sizes, from preteen to women’s plus. They no longer rely on donations, but use the nominal rental fees (only $135 per standard gown, including cleaning!) to buy a large variety of high-end, designer gowns.
Devora and Chana take pride in the fact that their gmach not only services those in dire need, but also those who might be able to afford more, but would rather not spend a fortune on a one-time event. Their goal is to provide affordable gowns at a time that although filled with so much joy, also comes with a lot of financial pressure. And the quality of the dresses would never have an outsider guessing they came from a gmach! People come from all over the tristate area to rent a one-of-a-kind, gorgeous gown from the Gown Gemach!
The Gown Gmach is not only about the actual gowns—it is also about the service a customer receives when walking into the boutique. Both Devora and Chana, along with the other women who work at the gmach, love helping women and teens find the gowns that make them feel beautiful. They make sure anyone who comes in has a pleasant—and dignified—experience, just like any other regular shopping trip. The atmosphere is comfortable and respectful. There are large fitting rooms and full-length mirrors—and a “sales team” to help give advice on the rentals. No one should have to feel like there is a stigma attached to coming to the Gown Gmach.
The Gown Gmach has a large team of supporters for this much-needed chessed. Many have chosen to donate their time and resources to help the gmach continue to grow and keep up its high standards. From new furniture donations from local stores to the fashionistas that model their dresses on social media (not to mention the photographers who do the shoots!), so many people have volunteered to help make the Gown Gmach the success it is today.
To schedule an appointment for your next simcha, call or text the Gown Gmach at 347-770-4136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular Gown Gmach hours are Sundays from 12-4 pm and Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 pm. You can check them out on Facebook @Simchas Rochel and Golda or on Instagram @gowngmach.