CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Lowcountry high schoolers are buying dresses and renting tuxedos for prom dances with no COVID-19 restrictions for the first time in two years.

This means that local dress shops and tuxedo rental businesses are rebounding from two years of not having the springtime dance in some schools.

“We feel like we’re drinking out of a firehouse a little bit, but we’re really trying to handle it,” said Monique Semper, the owner of Charleston Tuxedo in Mount Pleasant.

Semper says that sales at her store are up about 60% from the spring of 2021.

“We are so excited that events are taking place and people are excited about it. They are not even hesitating to go ahead and buy tickets for prom,” said Semper. “This spring is unprecedented. We are thrilled about it.”

Two businesses in North Charleston are seeing a rise in sales compared to the height of the pandemic as well.

Compared to 2021, Tuxedo Junction has had a 32% increase in sales. The store had an 18% increase in 2021 from 2020.

“This is my pickup list for next week. You’re looking at about 145 people and that’s going to possibly double by Monday of next week,” said Barry Johnson, the owner of the store. “So for us to be open right now is a blessing. So I just thank God every day for the business we have.”

In the Northwoods Mall, Sash is handling orders that are causing a 50% rise in sales over the last two years.

“It’s been great. The girls are going. It’s been nice for these girls to get what they want,” said Jade Whited, the owner of the store. “This is the best day of their lives so far. You know prom is a big deal to these high school kids and I think they’re excited.”

All three businesses say that their suppliers are running low on products this spring. Orders for the shops include formal wear for weddings, graduations and military balls as well.

“We have three main suppliers that we use. Just yesterday we heard that we cannot place any more orders for this week. All three are out,” said Semper.

It’s an issue that Semper and Johnson say has never happened before. Both stores have multiple suppliers for their tuxedo and shoe rentals.

“The greatest thing is that we keep everything in stock. I don’t have to order much,” said Johnson. “In 17 years I’ve had no problem getting a shirt until this year. It took me five months to get shirts when it usually takes me two weeks.”

“We’ve run out of inventory and have to order it again, but (customers) will wait,” said Whited.

The businesses are at different levels of staffing as the season reached its peak. Semper has given pay raises to her employees after she sensed that this year’s prom season was going to be big for sales.

“I wanted to keep them motivated and keep them excited. It’s definitely a teamwork situation” said Semper.

For Johnson, it’s a different story. He and his wife run most of the operations of Tuxedo Junction, but they are having to do so under a hefty workload.

“Our only issue right now is staffing. We have the product, we have the weddings, we have the proms. We just can’t find any good help,” said Johnson.

Whited’s staff has grown in size from two employees to 12, but the workload is tough on her individually since she likes to have her hands on as many dresses as she can.

“It’s been so busy. We just can’t keep up. We don’t turn people away, but they don’t mind waiting,” said Whited.