By Carley Dangona|
WESTFIELD With prom season approaching, Kevin Kousch decided to launch his new cooperative venture, http://urprom.com, an all-inclusive stop to preparing for and planning a prom.
Kousch is the proprietor of Formal Affair in West Springfield and member of the Westfield-based NDC Fashion business cooperative.
Kousch opened Formal Affair in March 2008 after his former employer Yale Genton closed. He explained that he originally secured the "urprom" domain at that time and has surveyed the needs of his customer base since then to appropriately time the launch for success.
"I realized that there is nowhere to go for one-stop shopping with reliable and trustworthy vendors," Kousch said. "This is a cooperative collection of the top vendors in Western Massachusetts that clients can feel comfortable and secure working with."
He continued, "Urprom will be an informational source for prom students. It's geared toward students in need of product and to be used as a tool by schools in planning proms. It's unique and there's nothing like it."
Fellow NDC businesses Marx Entertainment of East Longmeadow, Deluxe Limousine Service of Agawam, Images Hair Salon of Westfield joined Formal Affair along with The Log Cabin/Delaney House of Holyoke, Ci Ci Boutique of Northampton and Big Y Foods Inc. in the venture.
"All the businesses are family-owned there's a lot of history in urprom," Kousch commented. "We all know each other and have reputable backgrounds. To be in business today, you have to think out of the box and explore all opportunities."
The "urprom" name itself was one such innovation. "The next generation abbreviates everything and doesn't spell out words," Kousch said. He added that the site would eventually host a live blog and active photo booth where customers can share their experiences and memories.
Kousch said that next year the site would seek sponsors. Long-term, he would like to create a nationwide venture where consumers can choose their state to get a list of preferred vendors in their home areas.
In addition to centralized shopping, urprom will offer discounts and coupons for vendor services. Kousch noted that a mass mailing announcing the launch will be sent out by the end of March and will target a 20-mile radius from West Springfield.
As for NDC Fashion, creator and owner Dawn McCann gave Reminder Publications an update on the cooperative's progress.
She said, "NDC has been in business for six months now. The first year is a learning curve, but everything is going great."
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