Peer Perspective: Kathy Foote, Magic Mirror Costume Shop

(Kathy Foote enjoys a laugh with her son, Devin, at the Magic Mirror in Traverse City, Michigan)

Kathy Foote

Owner, Magic Mirror Costume Shop

Traverse City, Michigan

Although not a newbie to the costuming world, Kathy Foote is still a new retailer, having purchased the Magic Mirror in September 2016. Foote’s vision for the Magic Mirror is as the go-to for costumers, Cosplayers, LARPers and theater troupes, and she’s having a great time making it happen.

How has the learning curve been with makeup products?

I am still learning how to use and sell my inventory. I have my little makeup basket with all the products (right behind the counter). Last Halloween — our first Halloween in 2016 — I didn’t really know and I couldn’t really help people. …

Now, I have the Ben Nye tester board and I have my sponges and my little mug. I’m like, “This is how you do this.” It’s an amazing process; people think it’s so fun. I can now confidently recommend things I’ve learned from (local makeup artist) Nicole (Enger). It makes all the difference in the world.”

How are you utilizing social media?

Social media has also been a huge boon for us. The Magic Mirror page, when we bought this store, was neglected. It had been established, but it hadn’t been utilized. We had a new website built just before Halloween, but most of my contact is still through Facebook. I’ve started utilizing Instagram, too. We do costume of the week, and we do product of the week; just letting people know what’s here, what’s new and what’s coming in. We get great response from it. Facebook offers you the chance to boost your post to reach past just your immediate audience, which are just the people look like your page. You can target and area or entirely different group with the ad. … It is extremely reasonable for what you get. We’re reaching people who didn’t know we were here.

Do you feel like you’re finding your niche?

I’m not here to compete with the Halloween pop-up stores or the party giants. But when it comes to costume rental, we offer a different kind of costume. When it comes to the makeup, we have a different kind of makeup here. It’s a theatrical quality makeup. You get what you pay for with the richer pigments and the staying power and the adhesives. Everything about it is a whole other level. We’re striving to differentiate ourselves so people know what to expect when they come in here. It’s going to be something a little more. 

Originally posted Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

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