Thrifting your way to creative costume attire


The Halloween season is upon us which means getting the house decorated, purchasing candies for trick-or-treating, and the most important decision… what to wear?  

The staff at local thrift stores like Goodwill are ready to assist you with finding a costume, while you the help out the community and the environment.

“Welcome to our Halloween boutique,” said Hillary Bradbury, Director of Marketing for Goodwill Southeast Georgia. “We have tons of inspiration for your do-it-yourself Halloween look.”

As she walks through the Halloween area at the Pooler Goodwill store, Bradbury notes the exceptional value on shopping there. 

“We have brand new costumes, some still in the bags or containers, and gently worn costumes, as well, that are ready for a new life. So, if someone comes in and is looking for, say…a Superman costume for their child, we can steer them to this area, as well as help out with anything else in the store that might add to their overall look.”

The Halloween Boutique is set in the front of the store with items the staff has collected throughout the year’s donations. “Everything is tagged and signed for easier shopping. We also have tons of fun items and accessories like decorated headbands, glasses, wigs, capes, hats, hair pieces, plastic knives and other accessories from throughout the store that might work. We can also help with pretty much any look someone can envision. We have a look book of all sorts of ideas that’s perfect to flip through.”

Bradbury explains they can help kids, teens, adults, groups, etc. 

“We can help with anything imaginable. We even have some previously do-it-yourself costumes people have donated back to us, so you can get inspiration from other people’s ideas, as well. We can do a chic devil or a Hawaiian tourist, pirates, witches, you name it.”  She holds up a tattered dress and adds, “And remember…anything can be made into a zombie.”

Christina Rentz, store manager in Pooler, adds some roaring 20s looks to the rack and says, “All of our stores have the look books, but the specialty boutiques are here in Pooler, the Statesboro store, and in Richmond Hill.”

Staffers dressed in florescent orange shirts, partnered up with the new The Addams Family 2 animated movie, are available on the floor to assist anyone in cobbling together their outfit. “We cover a 33-county service area and operate 19 retails stores and two outlet stores,”Rentz said. 

With standard Goodwill pricing for most all items, Bradbury says someone can put together their Halloween look for  around $20 or under, which makes for a lot of possible creative fun when you are literally discovering hidden treasures. 

“The outlets are in Savannah on Sallie Mood and in Brunswick. We just opened our very first children’s boutique in St. Mary’s with higher end luxury kind of items which are an incredible value,” noted Bradbury.

Shopping at and donating to Goodwill helps in many ways, Bradbury states. “Out of our revenue, about 85% of each dollar goes back into our mission to help people get back to work, by providing free job training and support services for anyone in the community who wants to use it.”

“You are also helping out the environment by shopping here,” Bradbury said. “By donating, you’re not only helping out your neighbors and the community, but everyone has extra stuff they need to get rid of and we provide that outlet. Sustainability is a big part of our mission, as we help divert millions of pounds of textiles from the landfills every year.”

“When you donate instead of throwing it in the trash, you give it a new life here. The benefit of donating is the good feeling, helping the environment, and not adding to the landfills, and the nice thing is, you get a tax deduction for your donation,” Rentz said.

Production tech, Joy Martin, modeled some easy-to-do looks of Where’s Waldo, a 20’s flapper, a resort tourist, and a comfy cow outfit.

Shopper Judith James said she came to the store for her daughter’s homecoming and, instead, left with almost all of her Halloween.

“I have a store in City Market, and during October, I love to dress up a lot for the season,” James said. “I had to have the resort tourist and a few other things.”

Bradbury concluded with, “I love everything we do here and this is one of the best times of year. We invite everyone to come see us and let us help dress you for that party, event, or just plain old fun.”

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