The Rockin' Frocks in Northfield Center back in action

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Melissia Leonard, left, the mother of Jensaya Leonard, 18, assists her daughter in choosing a prom dress at Rockin' Frocks April 30 in Northfield Center.
Linda Imrie, the director of Rockin' Frocks, displays one of the dresses on April 30 in Northfield Center.
Linda Imrie, director of Rockin' Frocks, covers a prom dress for a patron April 30 in Northfield Center. Rockin' Frocks provides prom dresses and accessories at low or no cost to patrons.

NORTHFIELD CENTER -- While there is no such thing as good timing for a pandemic, the timing of the shutdowns and cancellations due to COVID-19 last year hit The Rockin' Frocks in Northfield Center especially hard.

"We shut down pretty early, about mid-March, right before prom season," said Linda Imrie, who runs the non-profit store that accepts donations of formal gowns and accessories and gives them for free or at reduced cost to girls who may struggle with the costs of purchasing such items. "Even before kids realized there wasn't going to be a prom."

Imrie said the organization was able to keep afloat and pay the bills by selling items online through Posh.

"We just kind of floated," she said. "We had to come up with rent every month. We didn't lose money, but we didn't make money. We survived, actually."

Jensaya Leonard, 18, of Garfield Heights, twirls in her prom dress pick at Rockin' Frocks April 30 in Northfield Center. Rockin' Frocks provides prom dresses and accessories at low or no cost to patrons.

The Rockin' Frocks only recently started to open its storefront, by appointment only, Imrie said. Information on getting appointments can be found on the organization's Facebook page or by emailing info.rockinfrocks@gmail.com. Imrie said appointments have filled up quickly.

"It feels good to be able to help some kids," she said. "We aren't doing groups as we usually do. We just schedule every 1 1/2 hours. It gives them the opportunity to have a lot of time and try a lot of stuff on, so they aren't rushed. I disinfect in between and masks are mandatory."

Those allowed in the store during the appointments are limited to the shopper and one guest, although if there are sisters all living in the same house who want to come in, they "can be accommodated," Imrie said. She added that the store hasn't called in its volunteers at this time. 

Shoes are also available to patrons at Rockin' Frocks in Northfield Center. Rockin' Frocks provides prom dresses and accessories at low or no cost to patrons.
Accessories are also available to patrons at Rockin' Frocks in Northfield Center, which provides prom dresses and accessories at low or no cost to patrons.

Imrie said that The Rockin' Frocks was still taking donations, including monetary donations. Financial donations can be done through Paypal, Venmo, or by stopping in with a check. 

The Rockin' Frock's storefront will most likely close up temporarily once prom season winds down, Imrie said. 

"We generally are not open in the summer," she said. "Because of COVID, when it makes sense to close, I will."

The Rockin' Frocks is at 138 E. Aurora Road in Northfield Center. For details, or an appointment, call 216-983-9210. The organization's website is down to undergo upgrades.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com