A Masquerade Costume is creating community. Trying keep the doors open for business!
24

patrons

It has been an epic journey owning a REAL BRICK AND MORTAR costume store, and for that I am grateful. Thank YOU for your support over the years! 

However, the end of the era may be close at hand, unless we can manifest miracles together. We are desperately trying to keep the doors open in our Redmond Store. We are in the last year of our 3-year experimental subsidized lease. 

Some of you may recall that we nearly went out of business after Halloween 2015, but we were rescued by a landlord who cut us a 3-year deal to get us back on our feet. It was a bold experiment we all decided to try. We pay "percentage rent" that tracks our sales, and the deal was that our "percentage rent" had to equal "market rate rent" by the end of the the 3rd year in order to stay in our location. We started the lease Feb 2016 with a Grand Opening of the new smaller, curated collection, downsized our 3000sf Bellevue Store to 1000sf Redmond Store, having purged about 1/2 of the collection. 

Year one ended Feb 2017 -- and our percentage rent was nowhere near market rate. Year two ended Feb 2018 -- and numbers were LOWER than 2017, and the trend was not going well. The  lease ends February 2019, so we are in our third and final year.

There is no cheaper retail location that is still accessible to my clientelle, so moving to a different store front is not likely. I did very thorough research in 2015 before landing where I am now. This is the cheapest. Real estate just keeps going up and the "market rate" for rent just gets higher.

In case the sales do not get high enough to pay market rent rates, I have a back-up plan in place. The idea is to move the inventory into my 1000sf condo (the store is also 1000SF, for scale). The concept is to have mobile pop-up business that takes costumes to events. Load up pirates for pirate festivals, load up steampunk for steampunk festivals, load up flappers and gangsters for your 20s theme party. You get the idea. 

I still believe that Everyone needs a costume eventually. Further, I think SHARING costumes and WEARABLE ART is great for the planet. I love supporting local makers of wearable art, by investing in their work (or having it on consignment in my store) and available FOR RENT, so we all share the joy and pitch in toward the value of the piece. 

I am grateful that through my store we can support local artists who make masks, headwear, clothing and other wearable art. The store enables said art to be accessible to the general public, by offering rentals at a fraction of the price it costs to invest in that art. I am honored and grateful to be the curator who tells the stories of the art and the artists.

We all have a chance to express ourselves in how we adorn ourselves, and I appreciate that my store is a place we gather for the sharing of wearable art, including make-up, and for that experimentation in self expression. Try it on! Play! See if it suits you! Test new colors of make-up or wigs! Rent before you commit to buying it! These are what make owning a REAL STORE so very enjoyable, the human interaction and sharing of joy as we play together and imagine ourselves in new ways.

I am extending my heartfelt THANKS to all of you who have supported my lifelong passion for collecting costumes and playing dress-up with my friends. I am especially grateful for each and every person who has walked over the threshold of my store since 2002, the year I moved the rental business out of my home. That was a big milestone to open a "real" brick and mortar store.

Over the years, we opened seasonal stores, and moved a few times, trying to find the right place to offer that in-store shopping experience. We even expanded to Georgetown in 2012 for a brief 10 months in our glorious 6000sf store that I loved, before we had to downsize back to a single store in Bellevue the following summer. In 2015 many of you supported me in my partial liquidation as we again downsized from 3000sf of real estate to 1000SF to our little store we now maintain in Redmond.

My goal with this Patreon is to pay off (or pay down) the debts that have accumulated these past 19 years in business. I plan to continue to pursue my passion on the road and online, taking one theme at a time out of my home and filling the RV we have been gifted, to go vend at festivals, or do pop-up shop at theme parties and events. I also plan to ship items like masks, wigs and makeup from my home-based business.

Walk-in shopping? I do not plan to have walk-in customers to my home like I did 1999 to 2002, so you will have to meet me on the road to play dress up. Or we can throw parties together, where I set up a pop-up at your party for your guests to enjoy as they enter. Hopefully the road show and the online sales cover costs, including mortgage payment and food on the table.

The time table for that POSSIBLE TRANSITION from store front to road show is between now and Feb 2019. That gives us another Halloween 2018, and another Masquerade Season after that, to manifest a miracle and turn this story around.

I do believe in miracles. I do believe I am the luckiest person I have ever met. And, while I surrender to the universe and embrace the next thing life presents to me, I will be pleased if together we raise all this money AND GET TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN AT THE REAL STORE!

Thank you for all we have done together and for what lies ahead. My heart is full of gratitude!!
Tiers
Cuppa Joe (willing to give up one fancy hot beverage per month)
$5 or more per month
Ok, you do not have to actually give up the cup of coffee... it's just figurative. You will receive $5 in store credit for every $5 you donate here, so pitch in a little each month and accumulate until you are ready to play in the collection!
High Five (10 fingers between our two hands)
$10 or more per month
Receive $10 store credit for every $10 you spend here on Patreon. Just gives me monthly planning capability while you can still save it up and accumulate rewards to use it all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Hug (Embracing our love of costuming together)
$25 or more per month
Receive $25 store credit for every $25 you spend here on Patreon. I receive monthly planning capability while you are permitted to save up and accumulate rewards to use all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Honey-Do (Every hunny helps us DO more wearable art)
$100 or more per month
Receive $100 store credit for every $100 you spend here on Patreon. I receive monthly planning capability while you are permitted to save up and accumulate rewards to use all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Sugar Baby (pour some Sugar on me)
$1,000 or more per month
Receive my undying gratitude for keeping the lights on and for the peace of mind. How would you ever spend your $1000 store credit for every $1000 you spend here on Patreon? You could try, or you could just wear that great smile of yours that goes with everything. You can even spread your sugar and share your rewards.
Goals
24 of 50 patrons
MAY 19 is my next tentative THEME PARTY CELEBRATION at Little Red Day Spa -- TIME MACHINE THEME!! When I reach 50 patrons, I will host a THEME PARTY for us all to enjoy playing dress-up together in the collection we are supporting and sharing.
1 of 1
It has been an epic journey owning a REAL BRICK AND MORTAR costume store, and for that I am grateful. Thank YOU for your support over the years! 

However, the end of the era may be close at hand, unless we can manifest miracles together. We are desperately trying to keep the doors open in our Redmond Store. We are in the last year of our 3-year experimental subsidized lease. 

Some of you may recall that we nearly went out of business after Halloween 2015, but we were rescued by a landlord who cut us a 3-year deal to get us back on our feet. It was a bold experiment we all decided to try. We pay "percentage rent" that tracks our sales, and the deal was that our "percentage rent" had to equal "market rate rent" by the end of the the 3rd year in order to stay in our location. We started the lease Feb 2016 with a Grand Opening of the new smaller, curated collection, downsized our 3000sf Bellevue Store to 1000sf Redmond Store, having purged about 1/2 of the collection. 

Year one ended Feb 2017 -- and our percentage rent was nowhere near market rate. Year two ended Feb 2018 -- and numbers were LOWER than 2017, and the trend was not going well. The  lease ends February 2019, so we are in our third and final year.

There is no cheaper retail location that is still accessible to my clientelle, so moving to a different store front is not likely. I did very thorough research in 2015 before landing where I am now. This is the cheapest. Real estate just keeps going up and the "market rate" for rent just gets higher.

In case the sales do not get high enough to pay market rent rates, I have a back-up plan in place. The idea is to move the inventory into my 1000sf condo (the store is also 1000SF, for scale). The concept is to have mobile pop-up business that takes costumes to events. Load up pirates for pirate festivals, load up steampunk for steampunk festivals, load up flappers and gangsters for your 20s theme party. You get the idea. 

I still believe that Everyone needs a costume eventually. Further, I think SHARING costumes and WEARABLE ART is great for the planet. I love supporting local makers of wearable art, by investing in their work (or having it on consignment in my store) and available FOR RENT, so we all share the joy and pitch in toward the value of the piece. 

I am grateful that through my store we can support local artists who make masks, headwear, clothing and other wearable art. The store enables said art to be accessible to the general public, by offering rentals at a fraction of the price it costs to invest in that art. I am honored and grateful to be the curator who tells the stories of the art and the artists.

We all have a chance to express ourselves in how we adorn ourselves, and I appreciate that my store is a place we gather for the sharing of wearable art, including make-up, and for that experimentation in self expression. Try it on! Play! See if it suits you! Test new colors of make-up or wigs! Rent before you commit to buying it! These are what make owning a REAL STORE so very enjoyable, the human interaction and sharing of joy as we play together and imagine ourselves in new ways.

I am extending my heartfelt THANKS to all of you who have supported my lifelong passion for collecting costumes and playing dress-up with my friends. I am especially grateful for each and every person who has walked over the threshold of my store since 2002, the year I moved the rental business out of my home. That was a big milestone to open a "real" brick and mortar store.

Over the years, we opened seasonal stores, and moved a few times, trying to find the right place to offer that in-store shopping experience. We even expanded to Georgetown in 2012 for a brief 10 months in our glorious 6000sf store that I loved, before we had to downsize back to a single store in Bellevue the following summer. In 2015 many of you supported me in my partial liquidation as we again downsized from 3000sf of real estate to 1000SF to our little store we now maintain in Redmond.

My goal with this Patreon is to pay off (or pay down) the debts that have accumulated these past 19 years in business. I plan to continue to pursue my passion on the road and online, taking one theme at a time out of my home and filling the RV we have been gifted, to go vend at festivals, or do pop-up shop at theme parties and events. I also plan to ship items like masks, wigs and makeup from my home-based business.

Walk-in shopping? I do not plan to have walk-in customers to my home like I did 1999 to 2002, so you will have to meet me on the road to play dress up. Or we can throw parties together, where I set up a pop-up at your party for your guests to enjoy as they enter. Hopefully the road show and the online sales cover costs, including mortgage payment and food on the table.

The time table for that POSSIBLE TRANSITION from store front to road show is between now and Feb 2019. That gives us another Halloween 2018, and another Masquerade Season after that, to manifest a miracle and turn this story around.

I do believe in miracles. I do believe I am the luckiest person I have ever met. And, while I surrender to the universe and embrace the next thing life presents to me, I will be pleased if together we raise all this money AND GET TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN AT THE REAL STORE!

Thank you for all we have done together and for what lies ahead. My heart is full of gratitude!!

Recent posts by A Masquerade Costume

Tiers
Cuppa Joe (willing to give up one fancy hot beverage per month)
$5 or more per month
Ok, you do not have to actually give up the cup of coffee... it's just figurative. You will receive $5 in store credit for every $5 you donate here, so pitch in a little each month and accumulate until you are ready to play in the collection!
High Five (10 fingers between our two hands)
$10 or more per month
Receive $10 store credit for every $10 you spend here on Patreon. Just gives me monthly planning capability while you can still save it up and accumulate rewards to use it all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Hug (Embracing our love of costuming together)
$25 or more per month
Receive $25 store credit for every $25 you spend here on Patreon. I receive monthly planning capability while you are permitted to save up and accumulate rewards to use all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Honey-Do (Every hunny helps us DO more wearable art)
$100 or more per month
Receive $100 store credit for every $100 you spend here on Patreon. I receive monthly planning capability while you are permitted to save up and accumulate rewards to use all at Halloween, or right before you leave for that thing in the desert, or when you need to work on your Con attire, or whenever. You can even share your rewards!
Sugar Baby (pour some Sugar on me)
$1,000 or more per month
Receive my undying gratitude for keeping the lights on and for the peace of mind. How would you ever spend your $1000 store credit for every $1000 you spend here on Patreon? You could try, or you could just wear that great smile of yours that goes with everything. You can even spread your sugar and share your rewards.