Locally-owned custom costume online store Mythical Gardens was the recent recipient of the Pinal County 2018 AZSBDC Success Award from the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center.
The company is an up-and-comer in the $5 billion Cosplay industry. Cosplay is a combination of the words “costume” and “play” and is a performance art where people called “cosplayers” dress up in costumes and represent a character. Cosplay is most popular among video gamers.
“Through their online store, they create opportunities for consumers to express themselves, provide healthy alternatives to escapism and find hope and joy through their own creative fantasies,” said an announcement from the Central Arizona College Small Business Development Center. “The locally owned company was one of 13 Arizona small businesses recognized by the Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC) recently at the state capitol for their outstanding accomplishments in the small business field.”
Owner Jenny Zarogoza, of Maricopa, discovered the idea for the company a few years ago when she traveled to the annual entertainment and comic convention San Diego Comic-Con International with her family.
“While navigating the crowds, they saw not only the variety and creativity of costumes and characters, but also took notice of what a great time everyone was having,” the newsletter said. “A year later, they were back at Comic-Con as vendors, selling their own clothing and handmade crafts from a small table.”
For the second year, the company reserved an even larger booth, and word of mouth continued to spread. Zarogoza soon learned that some of her customers had been turned away by other retailers, and there is much demand for fully-customized outfits and costumes. Offerings of the company include hats, corsets, bustles, jackets, full costumes and items for character-themed events.
SBDC Director Kevin Fort praised Zarogoza for her success as an entrepreneur.
“Jenny and her team have not only proven their talent in the design field, but have shown great commitment, aptitude and versatility in organizing the business side of things, from prioritizing financial matters to securing a marketing presence, Fort said. “The CAC SBDC provided guidance, resources, and confidence where necessary to maintain a successful, thriving venture. Mythical Gardens not only provides a prosperous livelihood for a Maricopa family, but also contributes great economic value to Pinal County.”