When walking in to Costume Rentals by Judy, you’ll see row after row of costumes of every imaginable kind. Judy Denker, who has owned the Fenton business for 15 years, says she has more than 3,000 costumes to choose from. “I always loved dressing up for my kids,” laughs Judy, “and I decided that if I had to work, it was going to be doing something fun!” The most often-rented costumes are Gatsby-style dresses, gangster, and pirate costumes. But the variety is endless. Judy has a costume for any occasion in your life – theme parties, birthday celebrations, weddings, a Renaissance fair, every holiday and more.
And these are not the typical costumes that you find at a Halloween outlet store or a big box retailer. Judy attends costume trade shows where she acquires high-quality products, and she keeps up with the latest trends. “These are really good-quality costumes,” she boasts. Halloween, of course, is the busiest time of the year for costume rentals, closely followed by Christmas and Easter. Santa suits are popular at Christmas and every year at Easter, The Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth rents Easter bunny costumes from Judy. They are also renting “Star Wars” costumes for an event they are hosting in December. The costume collection at Judy’s is primarily for adults and there are no children’s Halloween costumes available. She believes that hers is now the only costume rental business in Genesee County. “I’ve had customers come in, choose a costume, put it on right here at the store and then go out to a party!” she exclaims.
Judy recently received financial help from Christmas in Action, which is a nonprofit organization that helps seniors. They installed an electric conveyer system for her, like you would see at a dry-cleaning business, to make it easier for customers to view the costumes.
If you are looking for a costume to rent, Judy will also help you customize one, with the exception of Halloween time, when she is extremely busy. As an example, a flapper-style dress will also come with a headpiece, a string of pearls and a feather boa. Another fun idea for a couple is pairing an astronaut costume with a Planet Earth costume that she had specially made. “Wizard of Oz” costumes are also very popular and have been rented for the City of Davison’s Trunk or Treat event.
During October, Costume Rentals by Judy is open seven days a week, by appointment only, to meet the extra demand at Halloween. Normal business days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, also by appointment. “I try to offer costumes that are unique,” says Judy. “I love what I do.”
Photography by Mike Naddeo