Wendy Goldstein - Unmasked

For Wendy Goldstein, owner of Costume Specialists, one might say she celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. But before you start visualizing gnarly ghouls or even a taffeta-frocked fairy princess frolicking, think again, 'cuz this ain't your average dime store costume company.

Credited with crafting corporate mascots like the Energizer Bunny to school mascots such as the beloved Brutus Buckeye, Costume Specialists is one of the top costume companies in the country. As her website promises, they've got everything from "Captain Courageous to Costume Outrageous."

Goldstein's creative flair for fabric and crafts started as a child when she would sew with her mom or scavenge her Pennsylvania neighborhood for odds and ends to take back to her "Make It Shop" where she created her own personal treasures. Later, she would take every costume, clothing design and figure drawing class she could schedule at Ohio State.

"I tried to build my own major and they told me I would never make a living [making costumes]," she reflects. "When that didn't happen, I finished up with a degree in fashion merchandising."

After graduation, Goldstein worked as a buyer for Lazarus by day and designed and sewed costumes for local theater productions by night. Eventually, she proved her college advisors wrong and opened her first retail shop. Today, her rental shop thrives with clients like Ricart Ford and WNCI, while the downtown design department produces custom orders for book publishers and entertainment-based productions such as the animated flick Pirates Who Don't Do Anything – A Veggie Tales Movie.