Cochise County: Meet the Mavens of Formal Occasions

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Cochise County: Meet the Mavens of Formal Occasions

On Saturday, March 18, Vista Formal Wear will host the 2017 Prom and Bridal Show at the Sierra Vista Mall.  The gala will commence bright and early at 8:30 with a morning mixer for vendors.  Throughout the event, attendees will have opportunities to shop a formal dress consignment sale, browse reception table designs, and meet with various professionals who help spotlight the day with catering, flowers, photography, etc.  The most important part of the event will surely be the cake-tasting, scheduled from 10:00 – noon.  The fashion show runs from 3:00 – 4:00, and the models will feature not only dresses and accessories, but hair and makeup, as well.  Last year’s Prom and Bridal Show came off with great success, and now the masterminds behind still infuse life, laughter, and love into Cochise County.    

“Everything started with wigs,” Lea Griffin, owner of Vista Formal, philosophized during a short visit.  Her first step to entrepreneurship happened through hosting fashion and accessory parties in her friends’ homes.  Lea knew she was meant for more than small success, and she opened Mane Beauty Boutique on Fry Boulevard.  It transcends a mere fashion accessory enterprise.  “In my family, we have different hair textures and the family members go for different styles.”  She knew a successful store which met the needs of a diverse ethnic community would offer an array of products for straight hair, curly hair, dry hair, healthy hair …. and no hair!  “I’ve had experience with various family members fighting cancer, and that’s why I carry wigs.”  Mane Beauty Boutique stocks wigs for adults and children not only in different colors, but in different styles including Senegal twists, classic straight locks, and loose flowing curls.    

In April 2016, Lea ventured further into the formidable world of Sierra Vista small local businesses and opened Vista Formal Wear.  The only other formal attire store was shutting down, the annual Prom and Bridal Show was left without a host.  Lea took on the project of planning and executing the event, and transformed it into an exposition.  She teamed with Cochise College and other local event-hosting businesses to turn out a raging success of an expo.  Some notable society stars in attendance were representatives of high profile pageants and councils including Miss Sierra Vista, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sizzle of Sierra Vista, and the Cinderella Pageant.  The expo helped network the employees, the mall community, and the city small business community.   

With the hustle come and gone, Lea and Auntrill gave Sierra Vista a reason to put their pretty dresses and formals back and come out for another special occasion: a Fall Tea, geared towards mothers and daughters, themed after a Disney princess (in this case, Cinderella).  It was quite the affair, attendees enjoyed a tea resplendent with tea (of course), sandwiches, pastries, etiquette tips, games, coloring pages, picture frame décor, laughter, bonding, and anticipation of another tea in the future. 

Wedding display at Bisbee Restoration Museum

       This was indeed the beginning of the Seasonal Mother and Daughter Teas, but before the 2016 Winter Tea, Lea and Auntrill enthralled Sierra Vista with the Father and Daughter Dance hosted over the holiday season.  Lea’s father drove from South Carolina to escort his daughter to the special event.  The event brought together fathers and daughters who shared no relation but wanted to attend the dance accompanied by someone willing to fill the missing half.  Auntrill commented, “You saw the ‘Macho Daddy’ thing go out the window.”  The fathers enjoyed the outing immensely and hinted that they would attend such an event more than once a year.   

The January 2017 Winter Tea was themed on the movie Frozen.  By now, other mall vendors welcomed the opportunity to celebrate a festive occasion.  Bath and Body Works donated coupons, and other businesses participated with the set up and hosting.  Then in February, the team hosted a Mother and Son Sweetheart Brunch to commemorate Valentine’s Day.

So, this month we can enjoy the Prom and Bridal Show and see what other festivities they are organizing for Cochise County (and surrounding) society.  Dressing up and mingling with other finery is not for everyone, but those who enjoy these socials can agree that this team is setting great benchmarks for the county – Many Thanks, Ladies! 

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