Instead of eager children and curious adults, the Imperial Centre was filled with women of all ages Tuesday, as the Rocky Mount Telegram sponsored its annual Charm Night Out.
The event, which has been going on for six years, serves as a way for women to meet, network and take a look at a sample of what local businesses have to offer, Carolina Charm Editor Jenny White said.
“I think the goal is to create a sense of community among the women in the Twin Counties,” White said. “The magazine itself celebrates women, and this event is an offshoot of that.”
For the more than 40 vendors that participated, the event was a nice way to get to know potential customers, said Debbie Outlaw, the manager of Abudantly More Boutique.
“I like the networking and being out in the community,” Outlaw said. “You think living in a small town that everybody knows where you are at. You’ve been in business for 20-some years, but it still surprises me, as people come in they say ‘I never knew you were here,’”
It is important for local businesses to get out and support each other, Outlaw said, because one place’s success can only benefit the others.
“I think people would be surprised if they knew what all Rocky Mount had to offer,” Outlaw said. “You do not need to drive to Raleigh and fight the mall traffic. With our location, you park right there in front of the door and you walk in. It’s not like at the mall where you drive and then walk in and find your store. I am all about keeping that money here in Rocky Mount.”
During the event, nearly $1,000 was handed out in door prizes, and many of the local clothing stores put on a fashion show.
“It is awesome,” said Connie Honeycutt, who was making her first trip to the event.
“I had no idea when I got here there would be this much to see. It is really nice and a good way to connect with local vendors and a lot of places I had no idea existed.”
In previous years, the event was held at the Dunn Center for Performing Arts at N.C. Wesleyan College, but the move to the center was needed, White said, to accommodate the expected growth in attendance.
“We have more people here than we ever have before,” White said. “It does get bigger every year, but this year really exceeded expectations.”