Printed on: April 02, 2013
Dreams & dresses
Formalwear business going strong after nearly 20 years
By Ruth Brown
Treasure Johnston doesn't just sells dresses, she sells dreams.
Johnston owns Treasure's Formal, Bridal and Tux -- a formalwear boutique with outlets in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Rexburg.
The upper level of the Idaho Falls store features an elegant atmosphere with a golden-lighted runway, gold-lined furniture and countless designer gowns in every shade of white.
When soon-to-be brides come into the store, Johnston said she tries to make the experience something more than just another day of shopping.
"I came from Southern California and worked selling high-end gowns in Newport Beach," she said. "I just fell in love with brides."
When Johnston moved to Idaho Falls, she fell in love with the Shoup Avenue building that today houses her store.
Kathy Reed does window decorating, interior design and shoe design for Treasure's Formal, Bridal and Tux.
"Nobody does bridal like we do," Reed said. "The girls love to bring their mothers or their girlfriends or their entourage with them shopping."
The idea is to make the experience fun for customers.
"It's one of the last things a mother and daughter can do together before she gets her own family and her own life," she said. "It's so great to have that bonding."
While an appointment is not required, it is recommended so brides-to-be will have someone to assist them, Johnston said.
The store features a variety of bridal gown designers but also carries other types of formal dresses.
Quinceaeras, prom and pageant dresses, as well as flower girl dresses and costume dresses, come in every shape, size and color -- some lined in lace, others silk and others still in beads or rhinestones.
Tuxedos of every style are sold and rented at the store as well.
During prom season, Johnston said the store keeps track of their customers' high schools. Johnston makes it a practice not to sell the same dress to girls who attend the same high school.
"There's only one of the same dress that will go to the school from us. If they want a dress like everyone else; go to the mall," Johnston said. "But we will not sell it to the same school ... even if they beg."
During prom season, the Idaho Falls store stays open later than usual, keeping its doors open until about 8 p.m. rather than the normal 6 p.m. closing time.
Johnston employs two full-time seamstresses to handle alterations.
Alterations are available to meet every woman's body type. They also can add sleeves and straps to a dress, as well as raise a neck or backline.
Accessories such as jewelry, veils, tiaras, hats and shoes also are sold at the store.
Reed can modify and embellish shoes with beading and stones or dye them different colors.
"I've done this for so long that it's in my blood," Johnston said. "I love seeing what we can do with the brides."
Ruth Brown can be reached at 542-6750. Follow on Twitter: @ruthbrown1.
Treasure's Formal, Bridal and Tux
The formalwear boutique has three eastern Idaho locations:
635 Shoup Ave., 524-0343
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
149 N. Main St., 232-3676
Monday: Noon to 6 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: Noon to 6 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.
22 E. Main St., 356-3565
Monday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.