Sloan and Turner

Autumn Sloan (left) helped her uncle Gerald Turner (right) with his outfit for Joy Prom.

WEST JEFFERSON — Prom can be one of the most memorable moments of anyone’s high school experience and is a staple of the late teen years. The dresses and tuxedos get immortalized into photo albums and add to the special nature of the event.

Unfortunately, the dresses tend to be on the more expensive side of clothing price ranges, and can be a deal breaker for some people. Autumn Sloan is working to change that in Ashe County.

Sloan’s nonprofit boutique, PROMise Formals Boutique, has been her way of giving young people the chance to experience proms without experiencing the stress of the associated high price tags. She gets formal wear such as dresses, shoes, accessories, ties, shirts and corsages by way of donations, monetary or otherwise, and passes them on to those who put them to use.

Sloan said the idea came to her while on her honeymoon. She saw a dress in a thrift shop in Las Vegas, figuring out what she had to do.

“I had seen a lot of prom dresses I wanted to buy but had no way to get them home, so I thought when I get back home I’ll start buying dresses when I see them and give them to girls who can’t afford them,” Sloan said. “Then in the same thrift shop I found a sign that said, ‘This is the sign you’ve been waiting on.’ I did buy that one and bring it home. I knew God was telling me that I needed to do this.”

Sloan said her next move is to find a physical location to run the boutique out of. Currently, everything is being stored at her home and having the physical presence would go a long way in helping out more young people in Ashe County.

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