Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January - New Year, New Start

Don't worry, we're not dead!  Just going incognito for a bit while we take a much needed 'breather' after the Holiday Season.  Most people don't realize how crazy busy the last four months have been.  With the addition of our New Web Site and Blog, the Halloween prep actually started last summer, but it didn't get fully rolling until September.

September is, naturally, time to get ready for Halloween.   It's a month full of re-arranging the store, checking in merchandise and finding ways to squeeze all the cool the new stuff in with the regular stock while waiting on excited Halloween customers just getting a jump start on the season and looking at all the new trends and hunting for bargains as older styles move toward the clearance to make room.

October is all about the Scary!  It's longer hours at the shop to accommodate our customer's busy fall schedules.  The employees ran ourselves ragged showing off our staggeringly large selection of adult and children's sized costumes for sale to all our walk in customers while still trying to get more of the rental costume pictures up on the internet for our virtual shoppers.  We have high hopes of getting our more popular retail items and newest arrivals on line for next year.

November might seem like a rather dead time for the costume business, but it really isn't.  While Thanksgiving is the only major holiday, and not a big dress up party time, it does include a large number of school functions that require Native American and Pilgrim garb.  It is also the time to make the mad rush to "Hide the Scary and drag out the Merry."  Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga often suffers from the heavy burden of trying to make an overnight switch from Halloween to Christmas without the benefits of huge space and massive numbers of staff so common with chain stores.  So, while our many happy Halloween rental customers were bringing back their costumes which needed to be sorted, washed, and put back on the racks... We were making the mad rush to clear space and bring the Christmas items out of storage and get them up for viewing as fast as possible.  November 2014 also heaped on the extra burden of trying to get some form of adult sized "Elsa" dress made in time to rent for the early December parties and parades. 

December is all about the Jolly Old Elf in a red suit and his friends.  It is always amusing how many people are dumbfounded by the concept that anyone ELSE would want to rent a Santa suit, a group of elves, Frosty the Snowman or Grinch costumes.  But, believe me when I tell you, there are A LOT of parties and parades and charity events that want to brighten the day with delightful costumed characters.  It is a full time job just keeping Santa's clothes clean and his hair sets washed and styled.  Then there is looking for those misplaced furry hands for mascots and cleaning or repairing the suits and heads after every party.  But it's FUN and it keeps us jumping!  The majority of Christmas shoppers have an idea of what they want, it's just a matter of finding a size and price range that fits their individual needs.


The first of January is always a little bit sad as all the pretty, bright and sparkly Christmas items have to be taken down and packed away again.  As much fun as it is to put up the decorations, it always seems a little disheartening to take them down.  But never fear!  Mardi Gras is just around the corner!  We're taking a little breather for now, cleaning the cobwebs out of the corners that just got pushed aside in the mad 4 month rush.  We're bringing out the unfinished projects and getting back to work on costumes for "Grease" the musical.

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