Note Handwritten by a Pennsylvania Woman Pinned to a Prom Dress From 2014 Leads to a Viral TikTok

Side by side picture of shop owner Nimick and the blue dress and Potosky with her prom date

Shania Potosky's handwritten note she left with her donated prom dress led to a TikTok search and a new inspirational secondhand donation trend.

A Pennsylvania mom and daughter found themselves in the middle of a prom dress version of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" in 2014, and now their handwritten note clipped to the donated gown has gone viral on TikTok.

Shania Potosky and her mom, Theresa Thieler, drove over an hour to a large, popular dress store, where they had trouble finding a dress that was both flattering and reasonably priced. 

“They were way, way, way out of our budget.” the mom said.

“Guys don’t have to take out a loan to get a tux, but us girls are pressured to get that $300 or $400 dress, and in fact, some of the ones she tried on were more expensive than a lot of people’s wedding gowns.”

They opted to check out a bridal shop closer to their town and headed straight for the discount rack. A blue, sparkly number actually caught Theresa's eye first. Potosky told Inside Edition that she initially turned her nose up, but obliged her mother’s back-to-back requests to at least try. 

Theiler said that when her daughter was silent, she figured it was because she hated it, but the then high-schooler was stunned and said, “I can’t believe I like it this much!”

“She was just beaming when she came out of the dressing room.” the mother recalls.

The dress fit just right without the need for any alterations. “Some things are just meant to be,” Theiler said.

In their excitement, they found a serial number that led them to another interesting discovery.

“We found that it was actually supposed to be shipped to Chicago, but it never made it there.” Potosky said. Apparently, after searching the number online, they found that it had been marked as “lost in route.”

This tidbit alongside an inspirational Facebook post about a donated wedding dress led her to write a note of her own and put it inside the bedazzled gown before donating it. 

Somehow, the dress ended up back in Mount Pleasant even though they had donated it to an Angela’s Angels drop-off location in Latrobe — a city over 30 minutes away — two years ago. 

According to Trib Live, shop owner Jillian Nimick was touched by the note she found paper-clipped to the dress and set out to find the previous owner on TikTok.

The video went viral, and Potosky and her mom caught wind of it. Thieler, Potosky, and Nimick all have similar goals of changing the tide when it comes to prom dress shopping and expectations. “I’m hoping that all of the publicity over this helps drop the stigma against buying inexpensive or second-hand gowns.”

The local publication said that Nimick plans to create an inspirational note that she will put with every dress set to be donated as a new tradition thanks to Potosky.

“I knew (the dress) needed to have a greater purpose since the universe seemed to work so hard to get it to me.” Potosky said.

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