Many parents who bring their children to the Fun Tree for their Halloween costumes at the United Plaza on N. Cleveland Avenue are very familiar with the place, since some of them got their costumes there when they were kids.
The Fun Tree is the oldest costume shop in the area, selling and renting Halloween costumes and decorations and other holiday decor for nearly 40 years.
Among their top sellers are make-up, wigs and masks, and costumes that begin at $15, said second-generation store owner Donna Faught, who added that nothing has yet to emerge as the "it" costume this season.
Items on sale at the Fun Tree on N. Cleveland Avenue.
"Our medieval things like Cleopatra and Marc Anthony sell well," Faught said. "There's nothing hot yet that I've seen."
The store was opened in 1974 on Edison Avenue, where the Salvation Army now stands, by Faught's mother, who found there wasn't a costume shop in North Fort Myers. Her husband was a doctor, so she had the capital to open the store.
"She wanted to buy some things for her kids and there wasn't a store around. They had to go out of town," Faught said.
In the beginning, they sold a lot of materials they used for the floats for the Edison Festival of Light. It was also the party headquarters, according to Paris Frantz, Faught's daughter.
But things have changed, as you can get those items at big box stores. Also, many other Halloween shops, both permanent and seasonal, have popped up to take a chunk out of business.
"We persevere all year long and we take a hit at a time that's like our Christmas," Frantz said. "But my mother is a hardcore woman. She finds a way to make it happen."
Even though Halloween is their busiest time, the store is more than just costumes. In November the store goes into Christmas mode, then into party mode for New Year's.
Frantz said Santa suits are a hit and they do good business on Valentine's Day and Easter and for any other special event that happens during season.
"There's always an opportunity to get dressed up. There are '80s parties, '70s parties, all that," Faught said.
The Fun Tree has just opened an online store as a way to drum up more business, as it slows to a crawl during the summer.
But the name recognition has kept them coming.
"We're known by people around town, so if people want something unique we have it," frantz said
The Fun Tree is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call 652-0041.