From Images, head west on Whitley toward Chittenden Avenue. Continue for approximately 338 ft.
The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to the early 1940s, was a severe economic downturn caused by an over-extended stock market and a drought that struck the South. It was hardly a time in which some would consider opening a new business but that’s just what three immigrant brothers from Lebanon decided to do. In 1932, as the country was in financial ruin, a dress shop known as Mode O’Day was born. The idea was to manufacture dresses and sell them straight from stores to the customer, bypassing wholesalers and retailers, and passing the savings on to the customer. At one point, most dresses cost $1.
The first Mode O’Day shop was founded in Glendale, Ca. By the mid 1960s, there were over 700 stores in 30 states. The Mode O’Day corporation franchised most of these stores and also supplied the owners with the materials, such as dress displays, to get started. The small business owners would then purchase the dresses directly from the Utah factory.
The company was eventually purchased by the Gamble-Skagmo Corporation. Gamble-Skagmo owned many companies including retail chains, pharmacies and hardware stores. In 1980, Gamble-Skagmo was sold to the Wickes Corporation which went bankrupt in 1982.
Pollyanna’s was once the site of the early dress shop, Mode O’Day. The Museum has created a window display paying homage to the early women’s fashions born of the depression. The display features a female seamstress hard at work on a vintage ironing board. Her surroundings are a replica of dress shop.
Pollyanna’s is now a flower shop once owned by Sheila Brewer and since 2000, Carolyn West. West continues to own and operate Pollyanna’s providing the community with unique gifts and floral displays.