The 50,000 dresses project

Our Vision

Our vision is a successful brand that demonstrates our belief in social equity through our methods of PRODUCING and SELLING fashion apparel and accessories, and through our GIVING.

Eq●ui●ty  ek-wi-tee, noun.

Just and fair inclusion.  An equitable society is one in which all can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow each to reach their full potential.  In short, equity creates a path from hope to change.  

Our Mission


To train unemployed and underemployed women to sew and provide them with opportunities to earn, while also supporting their efforts to continue or pursue their education. 


To provide women with engaging shopping experiences that validate their uniqueness and value their individuality.


To help financially support the work of the organizations that share our products and our mission with their members and people in their circles of influence.


Casting Down Our Buckets

I both graduated from and taught at Tuskegee University where I was  inspired by the stories and philosophies of both Booker T. Washington and Dr. George Washington Carver. Both men used their God-given gifts abundantly in a manner that uplifted not only their communities, but our world. Washington's philosophy was that you should "Cast down your buckets where you are"...which I took to mean that whichever field you work in, you should use it as an opportunity to make a difference.  

I have been working in the field of fashion for over 35 years, and began offering the Essential Element collection of knit garments in 2011. Because of the simplicity in the construction, the collection provides the perfect tool to provide earning opportunities for unemployed and underemployed women in the U.S. So we are using the collection, with emphasis on the basic dress, in what we are calling "The 50,000 Dresses Project."  The project is designed to not only increase sales, and subsequently earning opportunities for women, but to help others raise funds for causes they are passionate about.

However, for me, before Washington and Carver, there was the influence of Dove and Mary Ballard, my parents, who demonstrated to my siblings and me that we should always be willing to help and stand up for others. I dedicate this project in memory of my parents, who demonstrated the belief that we are "our brothers' and our sisters' keepers."

~ Marva G. Ballard

   M.G. Ballard Designs  

Contact Us

MG Ballard Designs

1331 Union Ave, Suite 926. Memphis, Tennessee 38104

901.290.2296 | 855.516.5558 | |

Appointments available for individual and group fittings.

Call 901.290.2296 to schedule.