When Christine Goutos filled out an application for employment at Rockabella Boutique, she never imagined how life would unfold. She took this little job, as many Skidmore College students do, while evaluating career paths. (I mean who on earth REALLY knows what they want to do at this point in their lives?) With incredibly hard working parents who started a business when Christine was quite young, she wasn’t COMPLETELY surprised that years later, she was buying the store from the previous owner. Taking reign as the new prom queen of Saratoga. With mothers and daughters from near and far, scheduling their one hour of shopping at the dress boutique that she now owns.
As we all know, it’s been a crazy two years. Especially for those markets that rely heavily on formal events and gatherings. Although there were some limited area proms in 2021, Christine commented that just about every school is moving forward in Spring of 2022 with an in-person celebration. Creating VERY excited students, and filling her books early this year. In a typical year, February is Rockabella’s busiest month. This year, January, February and March were equally busy, with students ready to make up for lost times.
PROM, THEN AND NOW
Although my children are years from prom season, I’ve heard the stories. Tales of what prom season has become. Now I am PROUD to admit that back in the early 90’s, I was getting that up-do. I purchased sparkly shoes and plenty of cubic zirconia to coordinate with my already embellished dress. Prom was a big deal back then, and a different type of big deal today. Added to the hair appointment are often appointments for nails, tanning, eyelashes, makeup application, limo services, and photographers. Making the prom prep process sound more to me like a wedding than a school event. Making me grateful that I have four BOYS. And making me thrilled for Christine, that the prom dress purchase is the first stop on the prom prep train.
MORE THAN A PROM DRESS SHOP
Because I haven’t been out in search of a prom dress in years, I had no idea that Rockabella also has a ready-to-wear section, with a selection of ultra feminine sundresses and a few separates. And the selection only gets larger as they transition from prom season to track season. I found myself ogling over a floral gown and few pastel blazers as Christine commented that she loves pairing some of her unique separates with pieces from other go-to stores in town, like Violets of Saratoga or Encounter.
As tough as it is (especially these past two years), Christine thrives on the day-to-day challenges of owning a small business. The more challenging the day, the more gratifying it is. She LOVES the fact that Rockabella has now been a go-to for women and girls of our community for over a decade, dressing girls for their first school dance and even for their wedding day. She feels that it’s still just the beginning for Rockabella, and looks forward to influencing the styles of the girls and women in our community for many more years to come.