By Ellen Bryant Lloyd

Friendly Center has been my preferred shopping center for the last thirty-five years. I discovered Friendly the week after I began my freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was convenient to campus and had everything I needed. I purchased dorm room essentials at Woolworth’s, enjoyed movies at the Terrace Theater, and shopped at the department and specialty stores.

Today, Friendly remains my top destination for shopping and dining. From gifts to everyday shopping to special occasion purchases, I have always found everything I need there. Naturally, when my daughter Anna and I talked about her upcoming prom, my first thought was to plan a trip to Friendly.

Planning our prom shopping experience

Prom is such an exciting event for high school students. I have the best memories of shopping for a prom dress with my mother, so I dreamed of having just as special an experience with my daughter.

We soon realized that shopping for prom involved more than finding the perfect dress. Anna would also need to find a coordinating pair of shoes, handbag and special occasion jewelry, and decide on the perfect hairstyle and makeup to create the complete look.

We scheduled mother-daughter shopping time for two consecutive evenings and planned out the stores to visit. We were excited!

First stop:  Macy’s for the prom dress, shoes and handbag

Since Anna found the perfect dress at Macy’s for an event she attended several months ago, we were confident Macy’s would deliver again. We were right! Macy’s always has the most up-to-date styles and the best selection. The friendly, helpful staff led us to an array of beautiful dresses that were perfect for prom. We had a great time perusing the dresses and deciding which ones matched the look Anna had in mind. It was difficult, but she finally decided on her top twelve to take to the dressing room.

The first dress Anna picked out was the first one she tried on: a navy blue-laced, mermaid-style floor length dress with a high neck and flesh-colored background. I realize I am a little biased, but I thought it looked stunning on her! She tried on the other dresses and loved several of them, but the first one was the clear winner.

Next, we ventured over to Macy’s fabulous shoe department. After deciding to go with a neutral color, Anna tried on several cute pairs. We left with chunky-heeled sandals with a wavy strap across the toes that looked really pretty with the dress.

After selecting a simple, classy clutch to go with the dress, we were ready to explore hairstyles.




Second stop:  Jade Aveda to plan the prom hairstyle

We were greeted by the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Jade Aveda in The Shops at Friendly. They gave us a tour of their locally-owned salon and shared information about their eco-conscious products and services. They even gave us a nice welcome gift!

We met Anna’s stylist and showed her a photo of the dress. We discussed several options for styling her hair to best complement her dress. The talented stylist suggested a style with soft curls accented by a portion of her hair pulled back in a loose, side twist, and then proceeded to bring the style to life. Anna’s hair looked gorgeous! Needless to say, we booked an appointment for Anna’s hair to be styled the same way on prom day.

Jade Aveda has made a generous offer to all Triad Moms on Main readers — Mention TRIAD MOMS for 15% off 2019 prom appointments. {Jade Aveda at Friendly Center only. While appointments are available.}



Third stop:  Kendra Scott for jewelry

Anna and I had heard about Kendra Scott Jewelry, but hadn’t seen any of their pieces before. As soon as we stepped inside the store located in The Shops at Friendly, we knew we were in for an exceptional experience. The bright, well-appointed store featured several collections of beautiful jewelry. We couldn’t wait to see them all!

A cheerful sales associate gave us a tour of the collections and then introduced us to their signature Color Bar. Customers visit the Color Bar to select pieces of jewelry from a variety of styles, and then choose from four different metals and an assortment of vibrant gemstones to create custom pieces. After trying several styles with different gemstones, Anna made her selection and the associate created an elegant pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a ring that looked lovely with her dress.

We loved the experience and were excited to learn that the store welcomes groups to schedule a Color Bar event — perfect for birthday parties, bridal showers, girls’ night out, or just for fun. We can definitely see a Color Bar party in our future!

Kendra Scott has made a generous offer to all Triad Moms on Main readers — Mention TRIAD MOMS for 15% off your purchase. {Friendly Center in-store location only through May 1.}



Fourth stop:  Sephora for professional makeup application

To complete the look for prom, we went to Sephora for a professional makeup application session. The personable Beauty Advisor asked questions to learn about Anna’s skin, the look she wanted and any preferences she had.

The Beauty Advisor gathered a group of products tailored to our discussion, took time to explain why she chose them and gave tips on how to apply them for a natural look. I was taken aback when she finished and turned Anna around to face me — WOW! It was definitely a special “mom” moment. The wide smile on Anna’s face told me she loved her new look as well.

Anna was excited to purchase products the Beauty Advisor used and looked forward to using them at home. In addition to Makeup Deluxe sessions like Anna had, we learned that Sephora also offered mini-makeovers, classes and the opportunity to book parties with groups of friends for special occasions or “just because.” We would definitely keep this information in mind! Since appointments fill up quickly, we made an appointment for the Beauty Advisor to recreate this special look on prom day.



Last stop:  The Cheesecake Factory for a mother-daughter dinner

With all our shopping done and appointments made for prom day, Anna and I were ready to relax. Instead of going home and calling it a day, we decided to cap off the experience with time to reflect on the experience and enjoy a nice dinner together. With her busy, teenage schedule, it is sometimes challenging to carve out time for the two of us. We took advantage of this perfect opportunity and headed over to the popular restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.

We were were warmly welcomed by their attentive staff and seated in a cozy booth in the well-designed, visually appealing restaurant. We poured over all the great menu options — it was difficult to choose just one! Our delightful server answered our questions and helped us make selections. We enjoyed a delicious meal while having a fun conversation about each stop of our prom shopping experience. With no room left for dessert, we got two slices of their legendary cheesecake to go. We definitely look forward to enjoying future meals at The Cheesecake Factory.



And finally…

If you would like to stay up to date with all things new and upcoming at Friendly Center, I encourage you to join their Mobile Text Club — I did! They will send exclusive deals, chances to win, new store announcements, and event invites. Join by texting keyword MOM to 444-222. Your MOM text enters you for a chance at a $100 gift card to your choice of retailer at Friendly Center.

Anna and I had the best time preparing for her upcoming prom at Friendly Center and will always cherish the memories we created. I am truly grateful to have had a special prom shopping experience with my daughter, just like I had with my mom.


  • Sponsored by Friendly Center