With one master’s degree in clothing and textiles and a second in the history of clothing, Monica Ladd is uniquely qualified to run a costume shop. But after twenty-three years of dressing people up, Ladd’s ready to move on, so she’s selling Fantasy Attic to longtime employees Bill Brennan and Wendy Wagner-Satwicz.
In 1985 Ladd bought what was then called Lucky Costumes, a seasonal business above what was then Lucky Drugs on Main Street. She changed the name, opened year round, and did well enough that when her downtown building went condo in 2000, she could afford to move to much larger quarters at Packard and Platt.
Brennan and Wagner-Satwicz have both been with the store since before the move—and now they’re moving it again. They’ll take over three adjoining storefronts in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town; that sounds like a lot of room, but they’re actually downsizing from 8,000 square feet to 5,000. In December they were shooting for a January 5 opening.
Ladd isn’t sure what she’ll do next, but she knows it’s time for a change. “This kind of business is hard on you,” she says. “I have to tote all the costumes from the storage area up to the front. I have to iron them. I’ve schlepped more stuff than many moving companies. I’d like to go before they take me out on a gurney.”
Fantasy Attic, 19 East Cross Street, Ypsilanti, 429–5409. Mon.–Wed. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Thurs. & Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed Sun. fantasyattic.com