Local schools, businesses gear up for prom season

Local schools, businesses gear up for prom season.
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 8:39 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Girls around the Rochester area are getting ready for prom and the first step is finding the perfect dress.

However, not everyone has the money to spend on a dress. Century High School social worker, Joli Mancilman, noticed this issue and co-founded the school’s dress swap.

“This year, dresses have gotten even more astronomically expensive so last year we started getting donations and we had our first prom dress exchange and this year we wanted to bring it back,” Mancilman said.

CHS was able to collect more than 72 dresses donated by students and community members. The school is hoping to expand its size range.

“Students seem to really appreciate that they could come, and they could try on dresses that are not super old and still in style,” Mancilman explained.

Just a short drive down Highway 14, you’ll find the Prom Shop, it’s been operating for more than 40 years. Assistant store manager, Laura Thomas reports business has been strong, already selling more than 2,000 dresses.

Due to past supply chain issues, the store advises girls to shop earlier to ensure they will get the perfect dress.

“Keeping up with the supply and the demand, you know so many girls want the same dress, so designers run out but other than that, we get dresses on time and in good quantity,” Thomas said.

The store has prom season down to a science, looking at statistics for sizes, color, style and more to make sure there is plenty to choose from.

“Watching them like light up because everyone wants to feel beautiful and when you get to help someone feel beautiful, it’s fun,” Thomas said.