Joy Theatricals Inc.
Joy's Theatricals is a unique costume shop run by Joy herself, a pleasant and talented woman who's been in the business since 1980. Joy's had the store on Davenport since '88. "This will by my 31st Halloween in the business," she tells me excitedly. As she greets me at the storefront, she assures me that Halloween is about the only time she runs a walk-in shop...though she does keep the store open from 11-7 until the holiday concludes.
"I usually run my business on an appointment basis," she explains. Joy returns to her workroom located at the back of the store, where she continues to sew away at some masterpiece-in-the-making. As I look around the room, I notice a mess of materials, including scattered pins and buttons all along the table and floor. Working with materials such as satin, spandex, plastic, leather, or cotton, I can tell she devotes herself to piecing together the perfect costume for every customer. Joy explains that in her shop, her expertise lie in making high-design, custom-made 'works of art'...and it doesn't stop at theatrical costumes.
In addition to the many lavish ensembles displayed in her charming boutique, she also specializes in wedding and evening gowns throughout the year. While the majority of her inventory is sold on a rental basis, she does sell merchandise depending on what the client has requested. She also sells various accessories, such as gloves, headpieces, boas, masquerade masks, and wigs.
One of Joy's most acclaimed costumes is her Wonderwoman, which she finds herself making more often than not. This year, she's working on her first Poison Ivy woman. I wasn't quite sure what this was, but she showed me the female manikin that had a dress made of leaves and ivy. I realized then she'd do just about anything to please a client. Her rentals will usually sell between $65-$250.
Photos by Jesse Milns