The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce held an exclusive pre-party on Feb. 13 to promote ‘The Fashion Event.’


The pre-party event served as a way for the Chamber to gain exposure for the upcoming second annual ‘The Fashion Event.’ The spring fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in downtown North Little Rock. Justin Acri from the Buzz-103.7 and Marine Glisovic of KATV will serve as emcees for the fashion show.


“This has become my favorite event that The Chamber hosts,” the Chamber’s Communications Coordinator Elyse Cullen said. “I love how it brings together a new group of our members and allows them to network and have fun in a fresh and exciting way!”


‘The Fashion Event’ will provide an opportunity for those who attend to see the 2018 spring styles modeled by local ‘chamber celebrities’ as well as professional models.


“It’s great to see our chamber member boutiques and stores get a chance to showcase their merchandise and promote their businesses,” Cullen said. “All while raising money for the Chamber’s educational programs and a designated non-profit. Some of our ‘chamber celebrity’ models include: Mayor Joe Smith; Chris Olsen; North Little Rock Police Chief Mike Davis; Dr. Suzanne Yee; Breezy Osborne-Wingfield; Anna Beth Gorman; Holly Fish; Frank Lawrence; Laura Monteverdi; Isaac Henry; Kevin Newton; Michelle Towne; John Burgess; David Bazzel and Elicia Dover,” Cullen said.


For the first time, the proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity; as well as the Chamber’s educational programs. Each year, the Chamber selects a different non-profit to donate the proceeds to.


“Habitat for Humanity is the beneficiary this year and we are honored to have been chosen,” Habitat for Humanity Development Director Amanda Hodge said.


The exclusive pre-party was free to guests and hosted at the locally renowned Edgemont House, located in historic Park Hill. The Edgemont House is owned by Chris H. Olsen; and served as the location for the pre-party for a second year in a row.


“The pre-party was such a wonderful time,” Olsen said. “There was so much energy; I can only imagine what the energy will be like on April 26. This is my second year to host the pre-party and I was more than happy to have the event at my home.”


The pre-party event allowed guests to network over heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Catering services were donated by Gina’s Catering.


“This was our first year to be asked to participate and we are really excited,” Gina Simpson, owner of Gina’s Catering said. “We love that it benefits a good cause and it has opened the door to a new set of clientele for us. We love Chris and the Edgemont House; all of his events are always a great time.”


The guests that attended the pre-party were excited to be involved in the upcoming fashion show as well as the pre-party.


“The Edgemont House is a fashion event all on its own,” McCain Mall General Manager Lisa Meyer said. “It is the perfect location for the pre-party.”


Four stores in McCain Mall will provide attire for the models at the upcoming April show.


“This is our second year to participate on behalf of McCain Mall,” said Cheryl Ringgold, who works for the mall. “Four of our stores including: Charlotte Russe; JCPenney; the Buckle; and Maurice’s will be providing clothes from their spring lines for the show.”


Cullen and her co-workers at the Chamber hope the event connects local business owners and provides a platform for professionals to create working relationships.


“This event provides another opportunity for our member businesses to meet each other in a fun and relaxed environment,” Cullen said. “We hope that will lead to connections and relationships that hopefully encourage them to do business with one another. That’s what the Chamber is all about. Bringing businesses together.”


The fashion show is a unique event, different from many of the other events that the chamber hosts.


“‘The Fashion Event’ is one of my favorites because it really caters to a different industry than our other events,” Chamber Member Relations Coordinator Carley Lawson said. “I love that it really includes women in business.”


Chamber staff members expect the 2018 ‘The Fashion Event’ to completely sell out this year.


“I’m most excited to see how this event can grow from last year,” Cullen said. “Since 2017 was the inaugural year, it took some effort to get our members to sponsor and attend since they didn’t know what to expect. Once everyone was there, the energy in the room was incredible! You could tell everyone was completely captivated by the entertainment and show. This year’s planning is already off to a great start and I expect we’ll have a sellout event in April.”


This year’s Chamber member event sponsors include: Taggart Architects; Daddy’s Deli Catering; MADDOX; Face Your Day Studio; Sterling Imageworks Photography; The Bridal Cottage; DYV Events; Culture Clothing Company; Vesta’s; Beehive; Outlets of Little Rock; Delta Dental of Arkansas; Mainstream Technologies; Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub; CBM Construction Company, Inc.; Klassik Entertainment; TC Print Solutions; North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Mercedes-Benz of Little Rock.


Tickets to the ‘The Fashion Event’ are $75 for general admission; and $125 for VIP tickets. Bulk ticket packages are available for groups of five or more. To purchase tickets call 372-595; or e-mail elyse@nlrchamber.org; or register online at http://web.nlrchamber.org/events/The-Fashion-Event- 273/details.