Raleigh costume boutique hopes customers will shop local this Halloween

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The business leading up to Halloween is always very important for Raleigh-based costume company, The Tilted Stage Costume Boutique, but, amid the pandemic, it's even more so this year.

Tilted Stage specializes in costume rentals. Like so many others, the industry was hit hard by the pandemic shutdowns in the spring.

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"March, April, and May are our other big months of the year," said Tilted Stage store owner Valerie Curran. "That's when all the schools have their end of year musicals and plays. And then, the sororities and fraternities at the end of the year all have big parties that they rent from us so we missed all of that and summer was slow because no events were happening. We are banking on Halloween this year," Curran said.

Curran is hoping customers shop local as the holiday approaches. She has seen an uptick in business as customers plan Halloween meetings on Zoom or families plan to dress up and customers seem to be requesting elaborate costumes.

"Everybody is really taking it to the next level this year and getting creative and having a lot of fun with it," Curran said. "I think it's much needed right now."

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While there are pandemic-related costumes available on the internet including toilet paper and a Corona beer costume, Curran said she isn't getting a lot of requests related to the pandemic or the election.

"We've not gotten the political requests either," Curran said. "We're seeing people staying completely away from both of those things. I think they're wanting to have nothing to do with those things anymore and wanting to dress up as a character from a different time and be somebody from another time and really not think about what's going on in the world right now."

Tilted Stage will be operating under extended hours the week of Halloween: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday (Halloween) 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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