27 Years and Counting...

 

After 27 years in the costume business, Debbi Reck has seen many Halloween trends come and go.

Adults dressed as babies and caveman outfits were wildly popular a few years ago, Reck said.

"But I can't remember the last time I sold a jumbo pacifier," she said.

Cavemen have since been replaced with other characters, like pirates.

Right now, however, the relics of some fads are back in prominence at the York Township store.

You see, Reck got her start in the costume industry working as a designer for community theaters.

She learned to sew from her mother, who specialized in intricate gowns for dolls.

But I wanted to make gorgeous clothes that would fit me," Reck said.

By age 14, she was making elaborate Halloween costumes that were the envy of her friends.

"They would call and ask to borrow some´ thing, so I got started just lending things out," she said.

Years later, Reck started a small rental business out of her house. Eventually, her husband gave her a push to open her own shop.

It was 1985, and the only place to get costumes for rent were local theaters or hand- making them, Reck said.

Sewing was already "becoming a lost art," she said. "It's hard to find the materials and the time."

After six years in the business, the shop was doing well enough to expand, taking over the hair salon space adjacent at 100 Pauline Road.

Now located in her  new store, 2709 S. Queen St. in Arlington Plaza where you will find an integrated layout, it will also have retail accessories and products featured alongside rental costumes that would pair well, she said.

"People are more interested in buying quality these days, even if  it's more expensive," Reck said.

The one change Reck is not ready for is a move to the Internet.

"I hear stories all the time about Internet purchases. 'It didn't look like that in the picture,' or 'It just doesn't fit,'" Reck said. "I like the brick-and-mortar model, where people can touch and feel the costumes, and try them on."

“My only hope is that with our website, it would help customers find us easier.”

In addition to having two seamstresses on staff, Reck designs and makes many of the rental costumes herself.

"We're about pulling together a character, rather than a costume," she said. "And our customers know quality because they can feel it."

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