Belle of the Ball 2014 Recap
US's Marketing Department Makes A Difference at Local Community Event
10 Apr 2014
Belle of the Ball 2014
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
Orange Coast College
(see previous post here)
Cristina Szewczyk and Maria Rydder, the U.S. Marketing Manager and Coordinator, respectively, visited the event to see how Enzoani's donation of 500 Love by Enzoani dresses would impact the young women of Orange County. The event is a yearly collaborative event put on by WHW/Men2Work, Girls Inc., Orangewood Children's Foundation, and Orange Coast College that aims to provide 300 under-privileged teenage girls with the opportunity to shop for a prom dress, shoes and accessories while being exposed to the possibilities of what their future may hold on a college campus. Even more, they help empower impressionable teenage girls to broaden their scope of possibilities, improve their self-esteem and to provide them with a prom dress and accessories at no cost that their families may not otherwise be able to afford due to limited financial resources. Read about their experience below!
Stepping onto the Orange Coast College campus we were surrounded by volunteers in black shirts with their morning Starbucks and excited teenagers chatting with their groups of friends. Already, the atmosphere was fun and inviting as so much was about to happen. There were several different check- in tables in the courtyard, and we headed to the press check-in table as advised. We were greeted by the sweetest woman, Alisa Driscoll, the Assistant Director of Development Communication and Events for Girls Inc. We were shortly introduced to Elizabeth McCann, the VP of Development for Girls Inc., whom would play our host for the rest of the day. We also met Trina Fleming, the VP of Marketing and Communications at WHW, whom was snapping pictures at every turn. And we also enjoyed the company of Stephanie Cripe, the Community Development Coordinator for Girls Inc.
During the opening ceremony, Cristina and I learned about the nature of the event. Did you know that the event had received 2,337 dresses, 1,630 shoes, 982 pieces of jewelry, and 439 purses? Incredible! Each girl is allowed one dress, one pair of shoes, two accessories, and one purse - so there is plenty leftover for future events! Irvana Kanarek, the Executive Director and Founder of Rewrite Beautiful, spoke about how to improve your self confidence and redefine the word "beauty" to accept all women. Milla Mathias is a Fashion Stylist on Brazilian TV and now Image & Lifestyle Coach, and she spoke to the crowd about the hottest prom trends - which perfectly describes all the Love by Enzoani dresses we donated!
We creeped into the room with all of the prom dresses before the first round of young women went in to choose their prom dress. It was a beautifully organized room - sorted by sizes and colors for easy access. As we went through the racks, Cristina and I found a Love by Enzoani gown in every size and even picked our favorites out with Stephanie. It brought up memories of our own prom shopping experience and how crucial it is in your teenage years - a ritual! Going through the dresses we discovered how similar it is to shopping for your wedding gown where you need to find "The One" with the perfect fit and style.
We attended a few seminars to see how the organization is reaching out and empowering these young girls. The first seminar was a part of the Body Image workshop which was really inspiring - they talked about photoshop use on celebrities and models in magazines and online advertising. They even played a Dove Real Beauty Campaign which shows women that they are more beautiful than they think they are by comparing self-descriptions to those of strangers. Afterwards, we visited the Professional Styling workshop where an alteration professional showed the young women how dressing themselves properly in business attire can boost confidence and help you to appear powerful. Both workshops were eye-opening, and Cristina and I just wanted to learn more about everything they had to offer!
“I am so happy to have been able to donate 500+ dresses to such a great cause that focuses on empowering young women! Seeing the smiling girls holding our dresses and knowing that we were a part of making their prom dreams come true was such a rewarding experience. I couldn’t have donated the gowns to a better cause and hope to continue this partnership year after year.” - Cristina Szewczyk, Marketing Manager
It is by attending events like these and seeing the process for your own eyes that you realize how important it is to support your local community. It was a pleasure working with all of these great organizations, and we hope to expand our efforts and make it a yearly commitment. See more pictures below! Can't get enough? See the full collection on their Flickr