We are a female run, 501(c)(3) non-profit based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Our founder, Ruby Franzen, saw a gap and opportunity to grow the formal event experience. Young women (including herself) were buying formal dresses, only to wear them once and have them be set aside in their closets. Since inception, Pass Down the Gown has been collecting theses dresses to allow anyone to rent them for free. What started out a a rack of dresses in a basement has grown into a sustainable nonprofit, serving 100+ through volunteer service and donations. Our hope is that as Pass Down The Gown grows, people use us as a more eco-friendly and affordable option for event shopping!
Meet Our Founder
Ruby Franzen attended Cretin Derham-Hall High School in Saint Paul, graduating in 2018. As seniors at CDH, students take a class requiring them to volunteer once a week during class, and read books addressing social, political, economic, and environmental issues in the US. This class ultimately led to her inspiration of Pass Down The Gown. She loves events, dressing up, walking into a beautiful ballroom with friends; but also saw that these events are often inequitable. With the help of her friends like Alex Fitzgibbons, Katie Shearer, and Addy Johnson, she was able to grow her idea and start picking away at the inequity she was seeing. More than anything, she owes Pass Down The Gown and what she has been able to learn to Mr. Syman, her senior year english teacher.
She now attends The University of San Francisco, pursuing a degree in International Studies and Economics. In her free time she likes to play piano, go on walks with friends, and make cocktails.