NEW GLASGOW – Internet killed the costume shop. That’s one of the reasons Darryl Moir thinks he’s lost business.
Moir operates Moir’s Costumes and Events on Provost Street in New Glasgow, for the next month or so anyway.
He’s planning to close up shop in early 2014.
“What’s killing all small towns is online (shopping).”
He needs more foot traffic to survive, and he’s just not getting it.
He says he needs the kind of traffic malls receive, but he has had trouble breaking into that market in the past.
“It’s the end of an era,” Moir, who has been in the costume business for 29 years, said.
He says his 2,000-square-foot location is one of a kind in Atlantic Canada.
Moir has gone from a small-scale business with 100 handmade costumes to thousands of costumes and accessories jam-packed to the 15-feet ceilings in some rooms.
He has an overwhelming collection of costumes he’s manufactured from many different periods and genres, including Victorian, Tudor, and Celtic.
It all started with a woman he met in Ontario who ran a successful hotel business with her husband.
He had no entrepreneurial training, but after talking to her, he decided he wanted to run a business.
“She held my hand throughout it all.”
The only problem remaining was that Moir had no idea what kind of business he wanted.
He began writing in a journal every day for a year, only writing one sentence each about the best and worst part of his day.
“I found out this is what I’m interested in,” he said.
He had no manufacturing education, but he found it came to him easily.
Since figuring out what he wanted to do, he’s designed a room’s worth of costumes as well as pieces that have been used in local productions.
“It’s so great to be able to manufacture something that couldn’t be found in the community.”
He opened his shop in New Glasgow less than a year ago after operating in Truro for almost two decades.
Although the business may not be lucrative anymore, it is his passion.
The part he enjoys the most is the ability to be able to help someone, whether it’s helping them find an elusive product to showing them how to put on theatrical makeup.
“It’s about getting involved in the community.”
He’s looking forward to starting a new stage in his life, despite his financial losses. He plans to relocate out west.
Although he blames online costume purchases as much of the reason behind his decrease in sales, he says the state of the economy doesn’t help either.
His store doesn’t sell anything people necessarily need to have.
“When you’re selling ‘wants’ through economic hardship, you’d better make sure you have enough (money) to keep you afloat.”
Until the shop closes, all departments are 35 per cent off while Moir liquidates the entire store.