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Tina Freckleton

Dressing for Halloween success (and the rest of the year)


No one claims the Odd Fellows Temple in Boise is haunted, but ghosts might feel right at home inside the century-old Broadway Avenue structure, thanks in large part to the building's newest tenants: Tina and Mark Freckleton, owners of Reveal, a rare year-round costume shop stocked with all things Halloween.

On a recent weekday, a host of familiar faces stood inside the doors of 1753 Broadway Ave., including Deadpool, Harley Quinn, Harry Potter, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Behind them were shelves filled with jewelry, makeup, wigs, hats, shoes, boots and thousands more items. With just a few days left until Monday, Oct. 31, Tina Freckleton sat down to talk about why it makes sense to operate a year-round costume shop in Boise.

Tina, I've known you professionally for 15 years but primarily as an advocate for foster children.

I spent about 20 years with the Family Advocate Program in Boise and running the guardian ad litem program in Canyon County.

How did you go from that to this?

It was hard work: deep commitment and often emotional; but, for 13 years, we also used to help out Halloween Express, the pop-up temporary store that would return to Boise every October. The owners chose not to return last year, plus it's been a few years now that the year-round Costume Shop closed on Chinden Boulevard. My husband and I thought the timing was perfect for us to do this.

You must have a good deal of fun in the costume business, but can you convince me that this is a good year-round business model?

Costuming is a major reason for all types of get-togethers: conventions, cosplay events, parties big and small, murder mystery parties. Plus, we help businesses with specialty themed promotions: We dress up all of their employees. And weddings are big.

What kind of weddings?

We've helped out steampunk weddings, a circus wedding and a superhero-themed wedding.

Speaking of which, I'm noticing a lot of superheroes in your shop. Can I presume you need specialty licenses to sell these?

We're licensed for Marvel and D.C. Deadpool and Harley Quinn are wildly popular this year.

Let's say someone wants to be Deadpool for Halloween. That could cost...

Maybe $60 all the way to a few hundred dollars. Star Wars characters and Harry Potter are still huge this year. We're licensed to sell those as well, but we do a lot of custom orders. My husband is a seamstress—I guess that would make him a seamster.

Some people live for Halloween, but when does that energy start to build?

About Labor Day. Let's face it, that's when you start seeing Halloween items in a lot of stores.

How busy is October for the shop?

We're here seven days a week, and our hours get longer and longer as we get closer to the 31st. This is really our first full year; we opened last fall.

I'm guessing Reveal was one of many Boise businesses crippled by the closure of Broadway Bridge much of this year.

We talked to some neighbors that lost 40, even 50 percent of their normal business. You want to talk about scary? Now, that was scary.

Let's talk about something more pleasant, like those two red jugs on the shelf.

They're gallons of fake blood. Some of our more popular items aren't costumes, they're props and decor for the home. Look behind you.

What the hell...

(A life-sized ghost/mannequin began softly singing a creepy lullaby to a baby in her arms as her chair begins to slowly rock).

She's motion-activated. Wouldn't you love that on your porch?

Not particularly. I know this is a bit like asking a chef if they eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but do you dress up for Halloween?

Not so much. We're too busy helping everybody else have fun.