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Charleston Costumes Gets Creative to Save Halloween and Local Theater Companies

Charleston Costumes Gets Creative to Save Halloween and Local Theater Companies
October 2020

The designers and rental shop pivot to mask making and making the holiday extra safe and special

Their signature masks include a note about the fabrics‘ origins.

When theaters drew their curtains due to the pandemic, costume designers Kristen Bushey and Emma Scott got creative.

The co-owners of Charleston Costumes began using fabric remnants to produce more than 1,000 masks to donate to health care workers and first responders. After a positive response, they continued to make the face coverings to raise funds for local theaters impacted by the shutdown, donating more than $10,000 since May.

Both active in the local theater scene, Bushey and Scott met on the set of Midtown Productions’ Pippin in 2014, where Bushey was the costume designer and Scott had an acting role. The duo joined forces in 2016 to open their costume design and rental business and have been outfitting Charlestonians ever since. Last year, they assembled more than 60 full-scale productions for most of the area’s major theater companies, dozens of schools, film and television production companies, cultural events, holiday rentals, and “of course Halloween.”

Although the pandemic caused a loss of six months of contracts in less than 24 hours, the business partners remain positive: “As more theaters and schools reopen in accordance with safety guidelines, we are confident our design schedule will fill up fast.”

And while this year’s Halloween festivities will no doubt look different, Bushey and Scott expect sales to be strong. ”We anticipate that most people will welcome Halloween as a nice break from 2020 and will find fun, new ways to celebrate,” they say. “We think people are more likely to go over the top with things like costumes, yard decor, and personal parties to get a bit of holiday excitement.”