Bee J Stanley’s upstart business got a boost this week, when one of the dresses she designed was worn by a contestant on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
The Keller mom of four, who owns Blutterfly Baby Boutique, was thrilled when 9-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker wore her gown during Tuesday night’s finals.
Stanley, who makes handmade vintage-inspired dresses, custom gowns and wings for girls, contacted Brinker’s mother over Instagram, hoping her daughter might be interested in wearing one of her creations on the show.
Soon enough, the AGT wardrobe department contacted Stanley to see if she could send some gowns to Los Angeles where the long-running $1 million talent show is staged.
“They picked six gowns, and said, ‘Would you be able to overnight them?’” Stanley agreed.
But the designer still wasn’t “100 percent” sure that Brinker would be wearing one of her gowns until the singer appeared on the live broadcast.
But there she was, wearing Stanley’s custom creation featuring pink and purple rainbow beads and sequins. Several layers of bridal tulle and crinoline plus horsehair braid completed the elaborate dress—which had the judges’ votes.
“When Sofia Vergara said, ‘You picked the perfect dress today, I love it!’ I literally screamed like Heidi Klum, and then started crying. It was so unreal,” Stanley said.
Stanley’s dresses range in price from her Timeless Vintage Collection (starting around $100) and go up to her Luxe Couture line ($925). She said a dress can take anywhere from 20 to 40 hours’ work, and everything is handmade.
While Stanley has a few outside contractors — and gets help from her stepmother who makes the petticoats — she has her hands on every design.
Brinker did not make it to the top five acts, but her appearance helped to raise the designer’s profile, and for that, Stanley says she is grateful.
“She may not have won on AGT, but she won my heart,” Stanley said.