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Halloween Shoppers Find Plenty of Inspiration at Goodwill

Myka Bertrand wanted to look like Peter Pan, but not for a trip to Never Never Land. She was headed to her workplace on Nashville’s Music Row, where they were having a Halloween party for employees.

“Since I had to wear it to work, I thought of it more as an outfit than as a costume,” Myka explained.

She had a hat, shoes and pants she thought would suffice, but she needed a green sweater and T-shirt and a belt to make her ensemble fly. She headed to her favorite Goodwill store near Rivergate Mall in Madison.

Because Goodwill separates clothes by size and color and has “an abundance of simple pieces,” Myka felt confident.

“I knew I’d be able to find (the items) fairly cheap in the color I needed,” she said.

And because she shopped on the first Saturday of the month, everything in the store was half off the regular price. She said she spent $10 for everything she needed to complete her costume. It wasn’t her greatest Goodwill find ever — that was a pair of Seven brand designer jeans she got for $7 — but it came close.

Her co-workers loved her outfit, and they were even more impressed when she told them she got a lot of it at Goodwill.

“It was like, “Are you serious? I would have just gone to (another retailer) and paid a million dollars for a costume.”

That was last year. This year, Myka just got braces on her teeth, so she plans to go to the Halloween party dressed as Darla, the dentist’s rambunctious niece from the movie “Finding Nemo.” She will be returning to Goodwill to search for a plaid schoolgirl skirt.

She advises others who are going to shop Goodwill for Halloween to go in with a plan, shop on sales days such as the first Saturday of the month and to think of their costumes as outfits. That way, they can re-wear them, and like Peter Pan, they will never have to say goodbye.

“I still wear my green sweater to work,” Myka said, “and I’m actually wearing my belt right now!”

Frequent Goodwill shopper Rebecca Wright keeps an eye out for Halloween props year-round. With two boys at home who love to play dress-up, she often buys plastic masks and swords, etc., from the toy section.

“It never fails that once Halloween comes around we find the entire costume to match the props,” Rebecca said. “Then you’ve got a costume with props for under $10.”

Last year, she found a Disney Store Hercules costume for her now 5-year-old son Wyatt. It was “a steal at $2.99,” she said.

The costume appeared to have barely been worn, and a little research revealed a similar costume was priced at nearly $50 online. The sword to match was a previous Goodwill purchase for just 99 cents.

Rebecca’s Halloween shopping doesn’t end with her children. The award for the best Halloween find goes to her husband Jason who found a heavy, silk Superman cape for just $2. The tag revealed it originated from an expensive costume company with a price of $300.

This year, she already has one costume out of the way. Her 8-year-old Tyler expressed his desire to be a Power Ranger. Their stockpile of costumes for play time at home made his request easy to fulfill with a Power Ranger costume purchased from Goodwill last year. It matched perfectly with a mask and sword from separate shopping trips.

With Halloween coming up, Rebecca suggests that Goodwill costume hunters be creative and have an open mind.

“Just because it looks like it’s supposed to be one thing doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into something else,” she said.

It never fails that once Halloween comes around we find the entire costume to match the props. Then you’ve got a costume with props for under $10.”


Read the Fall edition of The Ambassador for more great stories like this.

Ambassador is Goodwill’s quarterly magazine which provides readers with stories of events, activities and the inspiring changes Goodwill is making in the lives of others.

Goodwill Industries International is partnering with Sony Pictures Entertainment

for the upcoming theatrical release of “Hotel Transylvania 2,” the sequel to its 2012 hit animated film. With the return of a star-studded cast (Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Chris Parnell), “Hotel Transylvania 2” promises to be another fun, family experience for Halloween. Characters from the film will be featured in a nationwide “Be Your Own Monster” campaign encouraging families to shop Goodwill for their Halloween costumes. Special events are planned in Nashville ahead of the Sept. 25 movie premiere. For additional details visit our:

Find the perfect Halloween costume at a Goodwill store near you  

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