Postmistress Susie Patten launches Fancy Dress Hut in Ipswich
Chelmondiston postmistress Susie Patten is a busy mum - with a son and daugher, Daniel aged 14 and Anna 11 years-old at school at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook.
Now, with both of them at high school she is realising a dream and has opened her own business, Fancy Dress Hut in Ipswich.
Susie, 44, who has been post mistress for 10 years, has a large family with two children at school and four grown-up stepchildren as well with families of their own.
So she know plenty about the celebrations and family occasions that need fancy dress; like birthday parties and Halloween,
She has opened her Fancy Dress Hut shop in St Stephen’s Lane, not far from the bus station.
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Susie has a business degree and has worked in a variety of jobs over the years. As well as being postmistress she was bar manager at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club for six years.
She said: “That really helped me, I learned about dealing with suppliers, stock and orders. I had the two jobs. I worked in management accounts before the children.
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“I felt this business was the combination of all the skills I had learned - this is bringing them all together and it is what I wanted.”
Susie said: “I have been looking for the right place for a while. I wanted to do something new and more challenging. I chose this because it is a great area.
“Fancy dress is growing year on year. I love dressing the customers up. We look at America and things follow over year - and fancy dress is huge over there.
“It is all sales, rather than costume hire, and I can get anything here overnight if it is not in stock. I have all the authorised costumes for Disney and Marvel and DC Comics. We were very busy for Halloween. The shop was packed.
“This is a lovely old building, full of character, and right in the centre of town. I have started out small but aim to grow, with separate departmments for men and children,”
After the usual witches and warlocks at Halloween there are plenty of popular themes, she said, including Viking gods - Thor and Loki, Zorro and pirates.
“They are always popular. I like Cleopatra, and classic Abba and the 1920s flapper dresses and style as well. They look really good.”
She also has a selection of Spanish flamenco dresses - which is appropriate. She added: “I am Spanish originally, and was born in Madrid, and I am married to an Englishment.
“I have a very supportive husband, but he has his own job. This is my own thing.”
She having a website designed, so customers could order online and then come to the shop to collect, she said.
“I am ambitious. I want to be the biggest costume supplier in East Anglia.”