I was invited to join a women entrepreneurs group on Facebook and I accepted the opportunity to network with many young women my age and see what they were doing. I came across a young woman named Dea Win and saw that she was promoting a “Pretty Girls Rock Dresses” movement. The name captivated me immediately and I had to check out the website. Dearroka L. Winfrey is the Founder/Owner of Pretty Girls Rock Dresses which is a movement that is sweeping across the nation. This movement reminds women of all ages what it is like to be a lady and helps them discover their true feminine power. It is truly amazing to see a young black woman doing something that will impact our society in such a beneficial way. I wanted to help spread word of this movement through my network so I reached out to Dea and she granted me the privilege of an interview. I hope that this movement inspires you as it has inspired me!
Dea: Joking with my friends Sonya Johnson and Antonette Copeland, we talked about how we would “ROCK” dresses 3 days a week. We would wear gloves, tights, and heels. I suggested that “PRETTY GIRLS ROCK DRESSES”. A joke between friends went viral and struck a chord with so many people. We started the dress challenge from March 1, 2011 and it went through June 31, 2011. A pretty girl was any woman who participated in our challenge and embraced the ideas of femininity.
L: Could you tell us a little more about Pretty Girls Rock Dresses and what inspired the creation?
D: The movement was a JOKE. On Martin Luther King’s birthday I was watching Malcolm X. I suggested that men should follow the dress code of the Nation of Islam. I was inspired by Denzel Washington looking good in a blue suit. One Facebook friend suggested that women should dress more like ladies then the men would follow “SUIT”. A conversation ensued and PGRDresses was born.
L: Dressing like a “lady” is becoming rarity judging by the way some young ladies dress today, how do you feel this impacts the attitudes of these young women and how they are perceived by society?
D: The way we dress impacts how we feel and how people treat us. Since starting PGRDresses, many of my pretty girls have discovered their feminine power. Women and men alike treat a well dressed woman differently. You feel better about yourself when you put on a nice dress; it’s empowering. On the onset of this challenge so many women were receptive; I also got a little backlash. Some women wanted to know why they should wear dresses. I suggest that the dress is merely a symbol; the rules for the challenge were loose for women who just couldn’t get with the idea of “ROCKING” DRESSES.
L: Unless you are in the office environment you don’t really see a lot of women dressing like ladies in respectable dresses and feminine suits, what do you feel has contributed to this habit over time?
D: I think laziness is one reason. We live in a society where going the extra mile is not expected. How many of us have been guilty of throwing on a bummy t-shirt and those extra comfortable jeans? I mean you’re just running to the store right?. The office dress code is business casual, so why should I wear dresses or suits? I think society moved away from going the extra mile. How many times have you looked at a well dressed person and think, “Why are they so dressed up?!”
L: You have those days where it is so easy to throw on a pair of sweats and go!! I love the fact that you have created this challenge for women to put some effort into their appearances and throw on a cute dress and heels. What makes you put in the extra effort on those days that you may want to skip the dress and just throw on your sweats?
D: LOL, I feel compelled to dress the part now. Yesterday, I wore a pair of dress slacks to work and so many people had something to say. I realized that this was the first time I’ve worn slacks in months. I was that girl who just threw on jeans and tennis shoes. It’s amazing that I am the head of an organization of girlie girls. I have come to the realization that I am a BRAND. We all are brands. Our image is what we show the world. I want my image to be one of classiness, refinement, and feminine empowerment. Dresses are so empowering and pretty. I have an affinity for pretty things.
L: Your blog covers a variety of topics such as fashion, healthy lifestyles and relationships, where do you get the inspiration for these topics?
D: Thank you. I work hard to cover topics that will be of interest to my followers. I am blessed to have a great group of people who submit posts to ensure all voices are heard. I try to share ideas, thoughts, and businesses. I love the opportunities that God has given me to help others. There’s nothing like reaching a stranger. So many people have reached out to me regarding my blog and the dress challenge. One woman emailed she was rocking a dress for the first time in over 30 years. That’s POWERFUL. I have young girls participating in my movement. I have great-grandmothers participating in my movement. My movement is colorless, classless, and open for all women and girls. I just want to give a voice to the voiceless. It’s an honor.
L: Could you tell us more about your Pretty Dapper Fella of the week and PGRDress Star of the week sections and what a person could do to be featured?
D: Pretty Dapper Fella is a way to get the fellas involved in the pretty movement. We have some brothers making moves in the community and doing good works. Pretty Dapper Fella is an opportunity to highlight these men. PGRDress Star is our star of the week; a woman who is doing good things in the community or in business. I love to celebrate good people doing good things. PGRDress Stars used to be a daily event but that was just too much work. So once a week we feature a Pretty Dapper Fella and a PGRDress Star. We accept nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org
L: Having a consistent following for a blog, or movement is tough, how did you stay motivated in the beginning stages of the Pretty Girls Rock Dresses movement and what types of things did you do to gain support?
D: In the beginning, there was so much excitement. We had so many topics to cover and rules of engagement so the blog was just a natural outcry. I was blessed to have support on the onset. I mentioned earlier that my movement started on Facebook and it went viral. I had a captivated audience and it was all a matter of stepping up to the plate. God threw me a great ball and I was there to catch it. It has been an amazing ride.
L: What is next for the “Pretty Girls Rock Dresses” movement? Do you want to expand the movement on a global basis, or do other challenges?
D: We have so many wonderful things in store. I am excited about my new partnership with celebrity stylist Adrene Ashford of the House of Adrene. We will be hosting pretty parties in Atlanta and we will be executing “PRETTY D.E.E.D.S.” to service the community. Our new website is scheduled for October 1st, 2011 the same day of our Fall Swapnista Party in Atlanta. We are excepting vendors and pamper suite participants. You can check it out at http://www.swapnista.blogspot.com/. We also have new blog contributors coming on board. This includes: Pretty Financial Advisor, Pretty Dapper Fella Relationship Column, Pretty Advocate, and Pretty Physical/Mental Wellness Spot. I am beyond ecstatic about the direction of PGRDresses. We have PGRDress REP-STARS in several cities. We do pretty works in New York, Boston, Houston, Memphis, and we have other cities in the works. My goal is to continue the movement, reach more people, and be the change that I want to see in the world. Thank you so much for the opportunity and I invite your followers to check us out at http://www.prettygirlsrockdresses.com/.
Check out these Pretty Girls Rocking Dresses!!
You can connect with Dea on Facebook
Follow the movement on Twitter @PGRDresses
Support the movement http://www.prettygirlsrockdresses.com/