Tough Find: Year Round Costume Store in Miami Beach
The internet should the best place to find Miami Beach costumes—or anything else for that matter. Before the late 90s, searching for a Miami Beach costume store would have required a heavy phone book, a clear telephone line and full tank of gas. Even though the world has advanced rapidly since the internet became the best and fastest source of information, every now and then you will encounter a search term that challenges your patience. “Miami Beach costumes” is definitely one of them.
It’s not Google’s, Bing’s or Yahoo’s fault; they actually do a very nice job at listing all possible results for Miami Beach costumes—and indeed, there are many. The problem lies in the costume industry itself and the disregard that many Halloween retailers have for the public. If you are searching for a costume store in Miami Beach during September and October, you are in luck. Most likely, all of the results will land you at a Halloween shop that is open for business. What happens the rest of the year? That’s the frustrating part. After October, the majority of South Beach Halloween shops listed in major search engines as well as Yelp and Yellow Pages will have vanished. They go the same way they come, from one day to the next. You would think that they’d take down their ads and their web pages promoting costumes in your area, but they want to hold on to their positions online until the next Halloween season. Understandably, every business in Miami Beach wants to remain on top of the search results all year, but the ethical thing would be to remain open to the public as well. It is very misleading when a person searches for a costume shop in Miami Beach and finds that they have all closed until the next year, especially when inaccurate hours of operation are listed as well. You won’t know it’s closed until you actually show up at the locations and find a sign at the door.
The problem is that this doesn’t just affect Miami Beach residents. As a matter of fact, they are the least affected because they already know the drill: most costume stores in Miami Beach are fly-by-night seasonal retailers. The people who are mainly affected by this are the tourists who come to South Beach for business or pleasure. Miami Beach is the biggest tourist attraction in South Florida and many events held in town call for costumes outside of the Halloween season. For every holiday on the calendar, at least one nightclub in Miami Beach—though it is usually multiple clubs—throw theme parties where guests are encouraged to dress up in attire pertaining to the theme. Every week at Wonder Costumes, we get multiple calls from tourists staying at some hotel on Ocean Drive hoping that we could be the answer to their problem: not being able to locate a place shop for costumes in Miami Beach. The story is always the same and it is what compelled us to write this piece. To us, it’s ironic that one of the main places in the city that hosts costumed events does not have a costume superstore. Not just a small mom and pop shop, but a place where customers can browse endless options. Cosplayers attending the Florida SuperCon will tell you how difficult it is to find a year round costume store in Miami Beach.
The Florida SuperCon is one of the biggest cosplay and costuming events in all of Florida and it is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center every year. Many of our customers tell us about the difficulties that they’ve had while at the convention. They spend valuable time trying to perfect their cosplay costumes with great care, but nothing is ever perfect. Unexpectedly, costumes can rip, get stained, accessories can get lost, etc. The convention has many booths that sell costumes and accessories but they can’t have it all. Last year, Wonder Costumes rented a booth at the SuperCon where we met many people in this exact situation. Some had actually attempted to drive around Miami Beach looking for the costume shops recommended by Yelp and Yellow Pages. By the time they came to our booth they were drenched in sweat from the stress and heat—since SuperCon lands smack dab in the middle of summer—from going in circles looking for a costume retailer. By then, the costumes they worked so hard to perfect had been reduced to mere sweat rags. We were able to help a few and we even called in for some back up inventory of certain pieces that seemed to get lost often. That day, we learned just how tough it is to find a year round costume store in Miami Beach. Previously, we only believed that tourists had a hard time because they didn’t know the area, but we took a closer look and found that most Miami Beach costume shops listed online were closed most of the year or only sold costumes during the Halloween season (this is the case for party supply stores).
At Wonder Costumes, we have spent years developing our relationship with the Miami Beach community. We take great pride in being able offer our exceptional service year round, and although we are not located in South Beach, we serve you better than any other costume store in town. Miami Beach costumes may be a tough find online, but a short drive south for a sure solution beats driving in circles to no avail. Contact us at 305-253-5380 or e-mail email@example.com if you would like more information about our Miami store.