In Hispanic culture, the quinceanera – a rite of passage when a girl turns 15 – is a milestone event, one that requires considerable planning. Targeting the U.S. quinceanera market, Pace Communications, the parent company of the Exclusively Weddings catalog, launched the Quinceanera Elegante Website on Oct. 2. A 48-page print bilingual (Spanish and English) catalog is available via request and, starting Oct. 24, will be packaged with Pace’s “Quince Girl” magazine.
“We’re starting our launch plan with pay-per-click advertising, which should kick in the next week or two,” says David Stubbs, director/general manager of the Greensboro, NC-based Quinceanera Elegante. “We’re definitely considering direct mail. The difficulty is finding the audience. We’re in a niche where the customer happens to be 14-year-old Hispanic girls.”
Typically a family will spend $5,000-$10,000 on a quinceanera ceremony and reception, Stubbs says. “With approximately 400,000 Hispanic girls turning 15 every year, there is a huge and growing market for quinceanera products,” he adds.
Stubbs compares the quinceanera to a wedding, with the celebrants purchasing invitations, formal wear, parting gifts for guests, and reception accessories ranging from cake tops to serving sets. As a result, he says, there are multiple similarities and synergies between Exclusively Weddings and Quinceanera Elegante.
Traditionally the quinceanera celebration begins with a religious ceremony followed by a reception in a house or banquet hall. The festivities include food and music, and usually a choreographed dance performed by the quinceanera and her court, which consists of 14 young women (damas) and/or young men (chambeláns).
Maria Schnaith-Ivan, brand manager for Quinceanera Elegante, says the quinceanera celebration is a “coming-of-age introduction into adulthood.” During the ceremony, she says, the girl’s father changes her shoes to high heels, “symbolizing her entry into adulthood,” and placing a tiara on her head and giving her a scepter to signify authority and responsibility.
“We’re excited for the girls,” Schnaith-Ivan says. “In the past they’d have to go to bridal shops. Now there is a Website and catalog. There are some similar Websites out there, but as far as catalogs, we don’t know of anyone doing this at the level we’re doing it.”