Local costume shop dressing up Peoria for decades

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It’s not Halloween, but one local business has been bringing costume creativity to Central Illinois for decades.

For Steve Spain, every day at work is like a new costume change. Hundreds of historic hats, mystical masks and wonky wigs line the walls of his shop the Costume Trunk. Each piece has its own unique backstory.

Spain says his interest in costumes started off years ago as a college student.

“I have a background in sociology and theater minor at [Illinois State University]. So I knew costumes and the periods and shows and things like that a little bit,” he said.

Spain incorporated his passion for the theatrical arts into his own magic show. For years, he toured around the Midwest performing and he even went on to open a local magic shop.

In 1981, Spain launched a new endeavor and started the Costume Trunk in Peoria.

“So all these things are kind of illusion things. My whole life is kind of a giant illusion I guess,” he laughed.

Over the course of 37 years in the business, Spain says he’s dealt with his fair share of challenges including competing against online retailers and big box stores. So he makes an effort to have the Costume Trunk stand out as much as possible.

Spain said, “I kind of walk through the shop periodically and make sure that we have things that no one else does.”

Whether it’s a party, parade or special project, Spain says he gets excited when the Costume Trunk is able to lend a hand in the production.

“And I’m fortunate because I get to play a teeny tiny part in each of those events that they have. And it’s fun,” he stated.

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