Welcome to the second edition of what will be a weekly look at some of the best cosplayers from around the world.
This week we had the chance to chat with “small biz owner by day, costumed superhero by night”, Candy Keane.
How did you get into cosplay?
I guess I was was sort of born into it! My mom was dressing me up for Halloween since the age of 2. She took the clothes right off my Raggedy Ann doll and dressed me as the doll. Every year I’d wait for Halloween like some kids wait for Christmas. I’d start planning my costume months in advance and then my mom and I would work on both our outfits.
Once I discovered conventions, I was thrilled to not have to wait for Halloween any more! Now since I own a costume shop, it’s like Halloween year round. My friends and I make outfits for all kinds of themed events besides the big conventions. So now cosplay is part of my daily life.
Your shop sounds like a lot of fun- tell us where to find it!
My costume shop started as an online store in 2005, at ThreeMusesClothing.com. The website grew into what is now the Three Muses Inspired Clothing, Costume and Corset shop in Jacksonville, FL. I opened the store in 2009 and expanded from carrying just costumes to offering all kinds of fun dress-up wear from corsets to pin-up dresses, plus all the accessories like wigs and lashes for that final finishing touch.
The front half of the store is the boutique and the back half is my office and sewing area. The store is a mix of handmade and retail brand items, plus we do a lot of custom design.
What are some of your favorite costumes you’ve made?
It always seems like my favorite costume is whatever I’m working on at the time. I just finished making a Princess Peach ball gown and I’m now working on Rosalina from Mario Galaxy. My latest two favorite costumes to wear (I couldn’t pick just one!) are my original girly Chewbacca and Abbey Bominable from Monster High.
I’m too tall to pull off little petite characters so I enjoy doing outfits that take advantage of my height. I’m 5’9″ barefoot, so I’m over 6′ after I add heels or boots. I got tired of always stooping over in pics, so now I gravitate toward costumes that give me a reason to stand tall and just embrace it. However, I will actually be wearing flats with the Rosalina outfit, so for once I won’t be towering over everyone.
Any memorable cosplay experiences?
I have a lot of memorable experiences, but one of my favorites was discovering DragonCon. It’s not quite the same these days, but I’ll never forget my first time there. It was about 8 years ago, and costumed people outnumbered plain clothes 10 to 1 (now it is more like other conventions where costumers are a bit of a spectacle).
I arrived in a t-shirt and jeans and was surrounded by amazing costumes everywhere. I was planning on just relaxing and costuming the next night but I had to run to my room and change into something fun right away. The previous year I had suffered through my first Jacksonville Halloween, where the FL vs. GA football game takes over Halloween weekend and all the bars are focused on football, not costume parties. I felt like I finally found a haven for costumers who really appreciate the craft and the effort it takes to bring a character to life.
I still love DragonCon and am amazed at how quickly it has grown, but I will never forget that first time. That’s the con that made me seek out other conventions, though the experience has never quite been matched.
Follow Candy on Twitter @3musesclothing for updates and pictures of her latest creations!