One of the great things about having a community paper is the opportunity to really get to know our local business community. It is diverse. From financial services to real estate to the local mom and pops, these businesses work in tandem to ensure that our local economy keeps chugging along. Our retail businesses and restaurants are the heartbeat of that economic engine. It is important we support them. read more...
Halloween is right around the corner and you still don’t have a costume? Well Sophia may have exactly what you are looking for. After all, she is an expert, helping costumes find that perfect costume for the past 35 years.
“It’s fun to actually play with people and make them go back to their childhood sometimes,” said Scarpelli.
Sophia Scarpelli has provided her customers with unique and whimsical merchandise since 1981.
“I started to restore clothes myself and sell them; I started with vintage clothing. So I had the vintage clothing store for a couple of years and people were constantly asking me for two time periods more than anything. The 50s and the 20s. So I got this idea. They wanted me to rent my authentic stuff and I didn’t want to re-bead a dress and then have somebody ruin it so I sold them. Then people started asking me to rent the dresses again so I decided I was going to make some and sell those and see what the response would be. I made about 12 poodle skirts and then maybe 12 fringe dresses and took off,” said Scarpelli.
And it really did take off. “Now I have about 3,500 really good costumes that we rent and then we sell probably about five or six hundred different styles of costumes.”
Scarpelli says the landscape of business has changed since she opened.
“It is harder now I think. Even harder than before because the internet has destroyed so many little businesses because they can’t compete. There are few ma and pop stores left. That is why I appreciate the loyalty of the people to come here for years.
In addition to costumes, masks, hats and wigs, the store also features a vintage clothing section that returns in November and a Christmas village in December.
And after all these years in business, Scarpelli says there is one thing that will always be her favorite part of the Halloween season.
“For me, little kids are a blast. You see, especially with a really little kid around 5 or 6 years old, you see the wonder in their face. That is a blast for me.”
“The people that I have met through this store bring a lot of different elements. I have met a lot of different people. I have met a lot of bizarre people, a lot of crazy people and I have met a lot of wonderful people and my life has been colored by all the experiences I have had in this store.”
You can find out more about Sophia’s Costumes by visiting sophiascostumes.com.read more...