Most people think that February would be a slow time for a costume shop.... but really is not. February is the time when Independent Costume Retailers across the country are pouring over catalogs trying to decide what to buy and stock for the full year. As the purchasing agent, this is the most mentally taxing time of year at Beauty and the Beast Costumes. It is my job to predict what my customers will want in the coming year and to spend my budget wisely on items customers will want, that will be priced within their budgets. I also have to try to predict what national chain stores will carry and sell at or below my wholesale prices so that I can avoid direct competition with the buying power of Walmart.
Beauty and the Beast is the only full service, all year around shop dedicated to Costumes in a 200 mile radius of Chattanooga, TN. We are not only a family run and oriented shop, we are also a 100% female run business. As manager and purchasing agent, I try to insure that our inventory reflects our belief that women are always ladies, from the cradle to the grave. Flipping through catalogs, it saddens me how many companies follow the "Mean Girls" attitude that Halloween is nothing but Dress Slutty Day.
While I believe it is completely a young woman's choice what she wears and what makes her feel good about herself, I don't think that always means wearing animal ears with an outfit from Fredrick's. It simply means that I think someone needs to offer women a choice to wear something else. Not all young women feel comfortable in skimpy costumes and many more adult women are attending parties where such outfits are not appropriate. Beauty and the Beast Costumes strives to serve the often overlooked majority of women who are desperately seeking costumes that 'cover all their assets.'
At Beauty and the Beast, we cater to women who prefer sassy, fun costumes over sexually explicit designs. While we will never judge anyone for what they want to wear, we understand there are plenty of places where you can buy sexier costumes. As a woman who buys costumes to sell and sews costumes to rent, I will always strive to give my customers what they really want, not what a male dominated industry wants to push on us.