The Swann Costume Shop, the half-century old enterprise in the 300 block of Layfield Road, Perkiomenville, is out of business, due to a fire at its store Tuesday.
Heidi Haring, the shop's owner, just checked in by phone.
"Everybody was okay," she said of the shop's employees. "It just appears that we probably lost our entire business."
The store caught fire around 2:30 Tuesday and was under control an hour later. According to early reports from Breaking News Network, which monitors fire calls, the flames were through the roof when firefighters got there.
Haring's phone no longer rings at the store number, she said. A myspace account of the store's history, written and signed by Haring goes like this:
"The shop was started 50 years ago by my great aunt Sara Swann and her little sister Margee. (my grandmother) They started out making costumes for neighborhood kids and family and it grew to be much larger than they ever expected. Sara died in 1997 and my father, Mouse, helped his mother, Margee, run the shop. I started in the shop in 1998, never thinking it would amount to anything, just a starter job. Margee, Mouse & I ran the shop together until 2006 when Mouse was hit by a car and killed in Florida while walking back to where he was staying. This was a tremendous blow to my grandmother and I being it was the day before he was due to come home. We carried on for about a year when my grandmother became ill and also died. Leaving just me. My uncle and I inherrited the shop, but he wanted nothing to do with it. So, he decided to put it out of business. I did not want to see it gone. The shop has become everything to me. My family is all gone, but the memories are still there. I fought for a year and got it all back! My little sister, Becky, is now my partner and we are starting all over, just as Sara and Margee did 50 yrs ago. With all the help of my caring customers, friends, and few family members, we will make this shop last another 50 yrs. We thank everyone for their continued support!" ~Heidi Haring~
If you google 'myspace' and 'swann costume shop,' you can look at a slide show of the shop's costumes, including Civil War dresses, people dressing up as goofy cans of beer, and all kinds and colors of enormous, fuzzy rabbits. There are crowns and headdresses of all kinds and rack upon rack of neat stuff to dress up in. The photos are just awesome.
To contact Haring, call 610-754-7933.