Princess Diana was well known for her majestic and always trendy fashions. Pieces from her extensive dress collection are displayed in exhibits around the world. Often, her pieces are sold as part of charity auctions. Unfortunately, one woman’s mission to keep Diana’s charitable nature alive has led her to bankruptcy in the wake of economic turmoil. However, pieces from the epic collection are now helping protect the charity’s founder from financial ruin.
Keeping The Dream Alive
In 1997, one Florida woman purchased a dozen of the royal pieces as the beginning step to starting her own charity. The woman purchased a dozen of her dresses at a charity auction, just two months before the princess died in the Paris car crash. For $670,000, the investment was used to begin the dress exhibit that would one day raise money for charities. The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation was formed and the dresses were scheduled to be displayed at various exhibits. A woman after Diana’s own heart could not have known what tough times were ahead.
The Fall Of An Idea
The cost of being an entrepreneur, often, comes at a high price. In an industry where debts are the sole burden of the foundation, it is often difficult to find investors or lenders. Unexpected costs of international travel, marketing and fundraising, cost the foundation money it did not have. The founder sunk nearly $1million of her own money into the foundation. The gown tour brought in only enough to cover costs and never profited. As economic times have grown tough, the charity foundation collapsed. The tour wasn’t as popular as anticipated and attendance was sparse. The strained economy pushed dresses purchases out of reach for many, and the tour suffered from lack of demand for the dressed.
The final straw resulted from the founder’s investment in a real estate project where the gowns were used as collateral. When the real estate deal collapsed, so did the foundation. With the dresses now up for grabs by the real estate project lenders, the founder filed for bankruptcy protection in January of 2010. Fortunately, the dresses were able to be protected in order to sell them in a Toronto auction later this month. The dresses are expected to bring enough to cover the debts and satisfy the creditors.