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Costume Closet Helps South Tampans Dress Up

The business opened a few months ago on Howard Avenue.

Masquerade balls, pub crawls and parties are a few reasons why south Tampa and Hyde Park residents stop by The Custome Closet to snag Frankenstein-esque masks and princess dresses.

The business opened a few months ago at 935 1/2 S. Howard Avenue, and also boasts a photography studio in the back.

We recently talked to owner Susan Slater about her love of costumes and what prompted her to open the shop.

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On why she opened her doors: "I worked in the costume business for 10 years, and I've been a photographer for 18. When I got situated someplace I knew I was gonna stay for awhile, I found this space, and it was perfect. Store in the front, studio in the back."

Tell us your experience in the costume business: "I worked at Boston Costume in sales. The reason I started to work there was because I could get a discount on props for photography. It catered to theatre, photographers, people doing commercials, TV."

What she likes about costumes: "It's creative. You can be whatever you want to be."

Items she sells at the store:  "I don’t stick to just costumes. There's costumes, accessories, makeup, decorations, jewelry. We rent as well as sell."

On the pressures of running a small business in south Tampa: "Being able to let people know what I do here and have the stock that they need. I am just getting to know there's a different mindset here. People come in here for a masquerade party, balls, pub crawls. They may come in and say, 'Do you have this?' I said, Ugh. I don’t. then I know I have to get it.

Making sure I have the right things in stock for what people need. That’s the real pressure."

Contact Slater at 813-312-9778.

The Costume Closet December 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Thank you for the article! We are gearing up for Gasparilla now...got some great surprises with a pirate storyteller, a motorcycle show bike with a pirate theme and lots of fun accessories and costumes. We are right on the walkway on South Howard to the parade! Please stop by!
The Costume Closet December 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I know this is a costume store, but it also serves as a Professional full-service photography studio. I have been a professional photographer for 18 years specializing in portraits, weddings and fashion as well as small business marketing. I have managed to schedule three amazing family portrait shoots in the first week I opened the studio in the store! Let's hope I get to see more of you and create family memories and heirlooms!

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