Jan’s Costumes of Kasson-floor to ceiling fun!


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Women in Business

It’s October and time to select Halloween costumes. Look no further than downtown Kasson where owner Candy McKern has managed to jam-pack Jan’s Costumes of Kasson floor to ceiling with everything “costume”.

How did this plethora of fur, fabric and feathers come about? Blame it on the Grinch. For the past few seasons the McKern’s (Candy and her husband Chris own McKern Financial Group, Inc.) had rented the Grinch costume from Jan’s Costumes in Stewartville for Christmas in Kasson. The McKern’s had seen a for sale ad for a costume shop and asked Jan if it were hers; no, but, it is for sale, are you interested was her reply. One thing led to another and in July 2010 Candy opened Jan’s Costumes of Kasson in the Mini-Mall in downtown Kasson.

Jan had 25 plus years invested in her sizeable collection of custom designed and created costumes and was anxious to find a happy home so to speak for her work. Jan had started making costumes when she owned a craft shop and customers knew she could sew and would ask her to make costumes.

But wait, there’s more. Last December, Brenda from B’s Costumes in Pine Island approached Candy asking if she were interested in purchasing her business. It was tax season and Candy was too busy to give it any serious thought. Brenda persisted and before Candy knew it she was assimilating another store’s inventory into her store at the mini mall. B’s Costume Store had more contemporary, commercially produced costumes which nicely complemented Jan’s inventory.

October is the obvious time for the shop to be busy, but Easter (bunny suits) and Christmas (Santa suits) hold their own also. During the off seasons local theatres, (including area schools putting on productions), community celebrations, festivals and parades, (think characters meandering through the park during the Kasson Festival in the Park) all are customers of the store. More specifically care centers have rented costumes for fashion shows, Renaissance fairgoers rent costumes to wear to the fair, Titanic dinner patrons wore period costumes for the dinner at the Hubbell House and murder mystery participants dress for their parts all contributing to the customer base. This year once again Jan’s Costumes is co-hosting a Halloween party at the American Legion with special drawings for those who rent their costume from Jan’s Costume of Kasson.Also this year all kids’ costumes are renting for $10.

Jan’s Costumes of Kasson is one stop costume shopping. For example, if a customer is feeling a gay nineties vibe a flapper costume would include a dress, feather headpiece, boa, pearls, fishnet stockings and shoes all for one price. Generally costumes are rented for the weekend, but Candy can make exceptions when needed. The store also sells items like teeth, make-up and tights and other accessories.

Just for those wondering, Candy washes and sanitizes everything, which explains seeing her walk down Main Street to the Kasson Laundromat with an overflowing laundry basket. She also does repairs and maintenance on all the costumes.

Why a costume shop? Candy shrugs her shoulders and says she is not quite sure even though both of her children were involved in speech and theatre. Anna and Jim, now young adults, wish mom would have entered the business a couple of years earlier. Jim updates the shop’s Facebook page and tweets on Twitter to the shop’s benefit. The shop’s website has some inventory listed and Candy is in the process of organizing the rest.

This Halloween season prepare to be overwhelmed while visiting Jan’s Costume Shop in Kasson. You will find five rooms floor to ceiling with headpieces, wigs, shoes, make-up, jewelry, accessories and more. In the first room are costumes, but don’t forget to visit the kids’ room, animal room, formal room-wedding dresses and tuxedos-(yes, they have been rented for weddings) and so much more. If you are lacking for a costume idea Jan’s is just the place to help you out. No excuse for not dressing for the holiday.

October or anytime, Candy McKern of Jan’s Costumes of Kasson is ready to dress you up for whatever the occasion may be. Stop and see for yourself the floor to ceiling array of costumes just waiting for a place to go.


Kasson State Bank employees Teri Gillett, Wanda Voigt, Judy Engelhardt and Mary Kay Aarsvold all clowned around during Crazy Days in Kasson last summer in costumes rented from Jan’s Costumes of Kasson located in the Mini-Mall on Main Street.

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