BY ALEXIA MCKAY
Not everyone’s prom dresses went to waste this summer. Last month, graduating high school seniors were given the opportunity to shine in a red carpet, prom pop-up event provided by a Central Florida-based luxury chauffeur company called Ge’odor.
Launched in 2019, owner LaTiesha Rivera says Ge’odor (pronounced like “Dior”) is not your typical limo business. In fact, they don’t use the word “limo” at all, since they say most of their clients prefer the motorcade, allblack appeal.
“We try not to say just limo because we don’t want anyone to limit us to weddings and events like that,” the 31-year-old Bartow native said.
“But we want them to consider us in their everyday trip to maybe dinner or the airport, if they want chauffeur service. That’s how we would like people to think of our business.”
Focus on community
However, like most businesses, Ge’odor has been severely impacted by COVID-19. Their
business clients who would normally use their services have not traveled as much. And the nightlife venues they would normally chauffeur them to are still closed.
“We depend on those type of events (nightlife venues) to service our clients,” Rivera said. “So, if they’re not going anywhere and participating in these events, we’re not receiving business.”
To navigate around the pandemic, the company instead shifted its focus to the local community and how it could assist people in their time of need. Hence the prom “pop-up,” or “prom-up,” was created.
“With (high school) seniors not receiving their typical senioryear sendoff, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to try to recreate that prom experience for them,” Rivera said.
Random student winners
Her company hosted three prom-ups in their service areas of Central Florida and South Florida.
Students were randomly selected. Contestants entered contact information, their school name and provide proof they were students. Three winners were randomly chosen.
The first pop-up took place in Orlando on June 12 for Olympia High School graduating senior Sukaina Garilus, along with her sister and a friend. All three girls aspire to work as first responders in the medical field.
Another pop-up took place on June 26 in Miami with graduating senior Jayden Tyson of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) at Florida International University.
Red carpet moment
Each student had their own “red carpet moment” to strut their stuff, which included a grand entrance and a free photoshoot the company sponsored. Rivera and her team also provided the music and decorations.
“They had the spotlight,” she said. “Everything was about them that day.”
She said the students really got into character and took the event to the next level, which made it a great experience.
But the pop-up that was the ultimate tear-jerker was the one in Riverview on June 13 for Mikayla Harris. The East Bay High School graduating senior suffers from congestive heart failure. Her touching story of endurance was an unexpected emotional moment for Rivera and her team.
“We learned about her condition a day or so before the actual event,” she said.
Harris had a double celebratory event to commemorate her prom as well as her June 25 birthday.
Enjoying the moment
Despite the vehicles being there, Rivera says no one cared to go anywhere.
“They were just happy about the experience and being able to celebrate that moment with their friends and family,” Rivera noted.
Event for teachers
Next on the agenda for Ge’odor is a community event for teachers.
“I know that they’ve been terrified about going back into the classroom (because of COVID-19),” Rivera said. “Now is a great time to show some of the educators how much we support them.”
On the business end, the company is also working to expand and add luxury Sprinter vans to their services.
“Some businesses saw what we were doing for the kids and reached out to us for events they are going to have as the world slowly begins to open up,” Rivera concluded.
“Business is still slow, but it’s nice to know clients are still keeping us in mind.”
To learn more about Ge’odor, visit geodorlux.com.