My sequined and sparkling dresses for beauty queens
THERE is plenty of sparkle, lots of glitter and rails brimming with colourful, glamorous dresses in the latest addition to Savile Street.
Alex Birch, of Hedon, has opened up a unique city centre store, Alex Ashleigh Prom, selling a range of dresses for beauty pageants.
The demand for these dresses is "massive", according to Alex, with girls now preparing for the Miss Hull Galaxy competition, which will be held this month.
Alex, 21, said: "There are usually 30 girls in the final of the competition, so they will all have to get a dress and I have had a lot of interest already."
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The entrepreneur, who is running her new business alongside her role as regional director for Galaxy Pageant UK, orders dresses from Paris, America and London.
Alex said: "Pageants are huge in America, so it is a good place to order my dresses from, but I am looking everywhere to find the ones I think girls will really like.
"The dresses are different to prom ones as they are more glitzy and slim fitting but they can be suitable if girls wanted them to be."
The businesswoman has competed in a number of beauty pageants herself and studied fashion and clothing at Wilberforce College, as well as textiles design.
She said: "I realised there was a high demand for pageant dresses and girls were having to go out of the town to get their outfits.
"I kept getting asked if there was anything closer but there wasn't.
"There is so much interest in this industry at the moment and it is nice to bring something like this to Hull."
Alex, who got support from the Acorn Fund to launch her business, said in order to keep customers happy, she will be changing her stock every two weeks.
She said: "When girls come in to get their dresses, they don't want to see the same ones, so I will be ordering new ones in every couple of weeks."
Plans for Alex Ashleigh Prom don't stop at dresses.
Since acquiring the premises six weeks ago, it has been refurbished. The upstairs will be used for beauty business Butterflies.
Alex said: "It means that when people come in to get their dress, they can get the full package.
"I love the street. I think it is quite exciting and there are a lot of independent retailers here."
Dresses in the shop can be hired or purchased. Alex also hopes to launch evening wear and "going out" outfits.
Alex said: "My customers can have one-on-one appointments, so I can find them a dress that suits them. I can also do any necessary alterations."