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Michelle Brisebois Prom Dates


Written by Michelle Brisebois
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prom_flowerMy ears perked up recently when a local hair salon owner confessed to being thunderstruck at how lucrative high school formals and proms had become for his operation. He’s not alone. According to Macerich Co. research, teenage girls will spend $379 US for this year’s prom.

Female teens plan to spend the majority of their budget on a dress at $190 US. Males plan to spend most of their budget on prom tickets, dinner and transportation, about $300 US.  That’s over $800 Cdn, a far cry from my day when the dress was made in home economics class and your car was older than you were. The current crop of Echo Boomers has been raised to emulate celebrities on the red carpet and they don’t blink at paying a premium price to make sure every detail is perfect.  Since flowers are a key part of any prom night, this is great news for our industry. The question is – how do we intercept them?

Target your messages where teens are focused.  The traditional direct mail or newspaper placement probably won’t do the trick here.  Contact local high schools about buying ad space in the high school newspaper, or on their website, if they have one.  Some schools will distribute flyers if you go through the proper channels and if you have a relevant message.  It would also be wise to identify those clothing retailers in town popular for prom gowns. 

Introduce yourself and propose that the two of you team up to present a seminar on helping teens create the “perfect red carpet prom look.”   If you bring along a hair stylist, the bases will be covered.  While traditional corsages and boutonnieres will remain a big piece of the prom opportunity, providing the arrangements to adorn the table could also prove to be a niche.  Many proms are themed (Casino Royale is popular this year) and if you contact the prom committee and indicate you can do arrangements to complement their theme, it’ll be a win for your business and the kids too.

What’s trendy for prom flowers 2007?  Pink remains the most popular colour and matching the boutonniere to the corsage is a big look.  If you saw the Oscars recently, you know that strapless dresses are “in vogue” so focus on wrist corsages, upper arm corsages, small bouquets and floral hairpieces.  Some innovative florists are creating “twisting vine corsages” that snake up a bare arm “à la Cleopatra.”  Young ladies are adorning the tops of their strappy sandals with floral decorations too.  Matching flowers and ribbons to the dress is a popular look so be sure to carry a robust array of colours.

These kids are young, adventurous and waiting for their red carpet moment.  It’s definitely a good time to be a part of their fantasy!
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