About 40 years ago a successful local realtor by the name of Marjorie Gondeck was in charge of the sale of a building at 809 Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN, when she was inspired by her passion and hobby of collecting trinkets and treasures. They found a home in this vacant space and her dreams paved a new direction when she purchased the building instead of selling it, and launched Rainbow Trades.
Now, Mrs. Gondeck was an innovative business woman who invested in many rental properties within the community, and even struck a deal with a costume shop to rent part of her storefront every October. Her daughter was so enamoured by the imaginative magic of the first costume her mother bought for her, A Genie.
The sparkle in her daughter’s eyes inspired Marj and her husband to go to their first costume convention in Indianapolis where they bought 25 get-ups and Costume World was born in 1989: A place to rent a costume anytime of the year! Dressing up was not just for halloween or Christmas anymore: For Michigan City, Superheroes could show up to a birthday party at anytime and Parades came to life. Sadly, she passed away in August of 2015, and yet her spirit presents itself with every laugh and moment of joy her costumes bring to those who wear them. Sue Copeland was that daughter, and I had the privilege of listening to her share these memories. She took over the family business and carries on the family legacy. According to Sue, “I still have and rent the costume that started it all”, as pictured Sue with the genie costume.
According to Sue, “Costume World has over 1200 costumes to rent from as little as $15 to the most expensive at $125 with an average cost of $25-$65 and some for purchase…” but this store offers so much more: Mustaches to masks, heels to boots, wigs to coffins, real costume makeup (not the cheap stuff from Walmart, but the real stuff they use on sets), kids to adults, superheroes to mascots, sassy to sexy, furies to firemen, this place comprises every accessory needed for the full effects of a theme party.
I just love the creative mind this store offers our community and to have this family business here for 30 years truly enriches the art district. During her off season, she usually is open by appointment only, but with the help of supportive friends, she will be participating in the First Fridays again. Thanks Sue for carrying on the delightful family traditions your mom started in our community!! Not to mention, I finally found a place to buy clothes in my style !!!