PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Katie Centeno presents the perfect prom moment in Peoria.
“We all love what we do,” Centeno said. “I mean, who wouldn’t like to dress up?” »
As owner of the pop-up store, Gowns Bridal and Formal Boutique, this is now Centeno’s third year at The Shoppes in Grand Prairie. This is a sign of growth for his business.
“As we grew, we had a lot of girls from the Peoria area coming to our Springfield store. And I was talking to a couple co-workers and they said, “You know, Peoria doesn’t really have a lot of options for prom.”
At the store, shoppers will find dresses of all colors, styles and sizes lining the walls.
“They bring us so much joy when they find the perfect dress and it’s fun to be a part of that experience for them,” Centeno said.
Working in the wedding industry had been the backbone of Centeno’s career. She said it also helped that she came from a family of small business owners.
“My parents both told me they just wanted me to enjoy what I was doing and have a good time with what I was doing. And when I told them five years ago, ‘I think I want to open a bridal shop,” they said, “What?” Centeno laughed.
The support and courage to venture into her own business, even in the midst of challenges, has been a great asset to her. Centeno said prom cancellations resulting from COVID-19 have posed challenges for her over the past two years, but her clients are getting creative.
“Whether that means having their proms outside or having their parents help them out, or just dressing up to take pictures, we can be part of those moments for them,” Centeno said.
Gowns Bridal and Formal is open at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie on Saturdays and Sundays in February and March.