FOR many of us, going to the prom is something we've seen in American teen movie.

But the last few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of proms for teenagers as a rite of passage as they end their school days.

Most secondary schools now have a prom for pupils after they have taken their exams - often elaborate affairs at hotels with students arriving in style in limos or fancy sports cars.

But it can still be a mission to find that perfect prom dress.

Ffansi Ffrogs opened in Ruthin in October last year after owner Wendy Thompson, originally from Wigan, decided there are no local shops that specialise in prom dresses.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur said: “I opened the shop because last year we had to get a prom dress for daughters’ prom; she’s in year 12 at Ysgol Brynhyfryd and there wasn’t anything local. 

“We started the idea around July because after we had been to Liverpool to get her dress, I realised there’s nothing in North Wales, particularly for just proms.”

She wanted the shop to be an experience for the girls visiting, adding: “Because were just prom we can have pink, we can have flowers, we can just be young so when they come in, they seem to be comfortable straight away.

”It’s about having fun for the time they are here, a bit of an escape from reality.”

They have two suppliers for the dresses which are Ruby Prom and Tiffany, of which they have an exclusive supply in North Wales.

The shop works by appointment only with an hour and a half slot.

The shop is run by Wendy with the help of her 16-year-old daughter Robyn Unsworth.

She said: “Me and her do most of it but I’ve got two or three other girls that help.

“It’s a dream job for them, we have a couple of girls that had prom last year and a couple that have got prom coming up and they’re in the best place to help the people that come to the shop.

"They’re really helpful because they’ve either just done it or about to do it. They can tell the girls what type of dress they had, and girls will rather have the advice of other peers.”

From her own experience with her daughter, Wendy raised the issue of having to go to either Manchester or Liverpool if you’re from North Wale.

She said: “If you go to Manchester or Liverpool and your parent takes you can’t be like really come back for another look before deciding. It’s not realistic we’re all busy people have got other kids.

“If you’re going out from around 9-5 on a big prom dress shopping mission you’ve to put aside a whole day whereas with us, you can drive to us for half an hour have the 90 min app and your back home again.”

“It’s not a big drama, it doesn’t have to be a stressful and expensive experience.”

The shop even has a system in place to make sure that no schools will have the same dress sold to two people

Wendy added:: “Once someone from a school wants a dress won’t sell the same dress to the same school even in a different colour. When it’s sold to that person, we take it off the rail.”

She said the shop has been a success since the opening, adding: “I have been really happy about how much people have enjoyed; they love having somewhere they can drop into locally instead of going so far away.”