COLORADO SPRINGS — For a local couple with a passion for costume making, the days leading up to Halloween are some of the busiest days of the year for them.
For decades, making costumes has a labor of love for John and Eva Juzwiak. The two opened Saunders Costumes in 1997.
"The pandemic hit and we closed down. We've been closed for two years. But still, people will call us and find us," said John.
Through word of mouth and working with the community for years, they've still been able to run their business out of their home. They have around 10,0000 costumes. Hundreds of them are hung on racks, while others are in tubs or stored in a 24-foot trailer the couple owns.
The costumes are made for all ages. Many of the costumes are western, Victorian, rolling 20's or even renaissance. They can be used for parties, weddings, plays, films, and other events, but can also be used as a Halloween costume.
"Halloween is a fun time of year. The costuming aspect of it has changed over the years. There's so many different kinds of costumes now that they're used to be. There's cosplay costumes, there's Disney costumes, there's old school costumes. We love helping people create a dream and create a fantasy."
Eva says if you have an idea in mind she can make it. She says she's created nearly 40,000 costumes in the years, and could probably fill a warehouse with them.
"I do create and design 90% of what we have here. I can build anything in the way of a Halloween costume. We do a lot more older costumes and historically correct costumes," said Eva. "Everything in history is a costume if you think about it, because at some point, someone needed to wear that."
Most of the costumes are something you won't be able to find anywhere else.
"You find things here you're not going to find in a regular store," said Phyllis Rogers who picked up her costume today. "I looked at a couple things at the store the other day, just out of curiosity, and I said we're going to Eva instead."
The couple also say that there's a costume for every occasion and for every costume, there is a story to tell.
"We love hearing when someone comes back, 'You did my wedding in 2000, and now we got kids that want to do this.' And they'll find us, and no matter where we are, they find us," said John. "It's a labor of love when we see a kid's look on his face when he gets a costume and he's doing a school play or something."
Costume making has run in the family for 65 years. Eva said her mother opened Saunders Costumes in 1956, and she also ran the business out of her home, then passed the tradition along to her kids.