From the moment we enter high school and throughout our sometimes arduous journey there, there’s one common goal planted firmly in mind – to graduate, and to do so in style. Second to the ceremony itself is the glitz and glamour of ball night which has, undoubtedly, become an important occasion in a teen’s life, almost like a wedding. Uzuri International has recognised this fact and is pulling out all the stops to make the occasion an epic one.
On Sunday, June 2, the franchise will hold its inaugural Prom Shoppe 2019, an expo-type event catering to all the needs of ball night. Speaking with Youthlink, Mark McDermoth, one of the owners of Uzuri, said, “We were seeing the attention that the bridal market gets; there are numerous bridal fairs where everything bridal is celebrated in all its glory. But we looked around and we noticed that a very important market that we cover – the prom or the graduation ball market – was never covered with the kind of detail, and we thought both markets bore the same kind of significance,” he said.
According to McDermoth, each year, despite climatic conditions or other factors, schools will consistently and constantly have their proms. “So, we thought that what we need to do was to create an event that will be a one-stop shop, whereby everybody who is going to attend a graduation ball will have all the items they need in that one shop,” he said. “They can get their graduation gowns, tuxedos, makeovers, nails, accessories, shoes, and even spa treatment.”
ABOUT THE DAY
Set to take place at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, 39 Lady Musgrave Road, the $1,000 admission tag grants access to expert advice, expert suggestion and expert care in all things related to prom.
“We’ve brought suppliers under one roof,” said McDermoth. “The event starts at 10 and goes up to six. Throughout the day, there will be demonstrations on stage, like how to tie ties, care shoes, how to care the hair, lectures, fashion presentations – you name it.”
He said there will also be a special guest who will be speaking about looking at universities overseas.
“We even have a limousine service that will be there, so for students who are interested in renting a limo for that special day, that will also be available,” he went on.
The brand Uzuri has made its name through franchises like the Miss Universe Jamaica competition. This is the first time the brand will be stepping outside of that niche and catering to a different demographic in this way, although, according to McDermoth, teens are flocking the show-stopper gowns Uzuri is known for from the pageant.
“Looking at proms over the past few years, it’s clear that the demographic is going for the show-stoppers,” he said. “They’re going for drama – sequins and feathers.”
He told Youthlink, “Someone who is interested in getting a graduation gown can come and see from the stock, but there is also a custom aspect to it, too.” He said, “If they see something but would like it in another fabric, we can give it to them in that fabric and that colour. If they want something added or subtracted – absolutely.”
Touching on the point of gowns being unique, McDermoth said that for custom orders, a one-of-a kind gown is a sure guarantee. “If we’re dealing with Merl Grove, for example, we know who is getting that style there, so we won’t repeat it among Merl Grove students,” he said. “That’s one of the best features for a graduate, because they know that they are getting that custom design and a one-of-a kind piece.”
Prom Shoppe 2019 by Uzuri will be the first of its kind in Jamaica, and the brand is even looking to assist needy students in preparing for the big night.
“We’re going to some schools in the Corporate Area and we’re trying to assist needy students,” McDermoth told Youthlink. “We’re giving one female student a total makeover and nine others tuxedo or gown assistance.”
Noting some of the suppliers to complete this year’s show, McDermoth mentioned D’Marie Institute, which will cater to all make-up needs; Exotic Child and Bling Bling for accessories; Flawless Lee for haircare as well as nail tech Donya Thompson.
“We’re hoping to bring some of the persons who have worked with us throughout the Miss Universe branding on board, too,” he said.
So, where will you be on MJune 2? All roads lead to the Prom Shoppe, Uzuri’s one-stop shop for everything prom at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa! Food and refreshment will be available at a cost. Purchase tickets at the gate and check out @uzuriinternational or @officialmissuniversejamaica on Instagram for further details.