Our Story

Our Story

Once upon a time (specifically, New Year's Eve 1980), a brown-eyed girl named Kay made a wish that she would finally meet a nice guy. Along came Mike, a former Navy man who loved the land and trees as much as the sea. They married that March and later had two daughters, Kristin and Kelly.

Mike worked hard building a forestry business, and Kay clipped coupons and sewed the girls' clothes, so they could afford for her to be a stay-at-home mom. She always made or put together the best costumes for Halloween and school projects and plays - nurse costumes, prairie dresses, clown costumes, even Beetlejuice once. Their dress-up box was filled with thrifted prom dresses, hand-me-down plastic Halloween masks, and one really awesome black Renaissance shirt that was perfect for dressing up as the Dread Pirate Roberts.

When the girls were in high school, Mike sold his timber business and bought Party Makers, a costume and party store painted cotton candy pink. Kay went from making costumes to becoming a costume buyer and seller, and Mike did the behind-the-scenes business stuff.

Party Makers in the Pink Building Downtown

At Halloween the place buzzed with energy. Everyone in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, came in at least once to find the perfect costume or just capture the exciting Halloween spirit. The store was jam-packed with costumes, wigs, colorful tights, funny hats, and just weird stuff you couldn't find anywhere else in town! It was a wonderful place to browse and an even better place to have a plastic sword fight!

Party Makers Interior

Kristin and Kelly both worked at the store in their teenage years, and at Halloween, Mike and Kay called in everyone in the extended family to help. It was the best time of the year.

Then Kay had the idea to start a website. Kristin built it in her spare time, and Candy Apple Costumes launched in September 2006. At first the website operated out of the back room of Party Makers. Then it moved to a warehouse nearby, then a bigger warehouse. Kristin joined the team full time.

Mike and Kay made the tough decision to close Party Makers in 2010. They launched Partyon7th.com, named after the street Party Makers was on, to cover the party supplies side of the business. Kelly came on board to manage it.

These days, seven out of ten regular employees are family members (not including the two little granddaughters who like to be helpers).

Granny and Ruby in Cat Eye Glasses
Granny Kay and Ruby in pink cat eye glasses

We are honest, hard-working people who want to provide a service and do it well. We love this business, we love costumes, and we love our customers. Every time you buy from us, you become part of our story, too.

Please come join us in our dress-up box. We hope you have fun!

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