Halloween World, so scary
You would think the scariest time to open a new business would be during an economic slump. Actually, the scariest time to open a new business is at Halloween, especially if the name of your new business is Halloween World.
Halloween World opened in September at Lakeside Plaza. Owner Eric Williams is glad he chose Salem for his first attempt at entrepreneurship.
“Officials in Salem City government have been extremely helpful and efficient in helping me get all of the forms and licenses I needed to open,” the William Fleming High School graduate said.
The colorful but eerie store is stuffed with scary costumes, masks, mechanical props, monster make-up, accessories, party favors and even creepy musical CDs. There are, of course, masks of politicians and the like, but Williams said they are not selling as well as others.
“People just want to have fun and leave the politics at home,” he said.
He said business has been good so far and that customers’ reactions have been positive. He said a lot of customers repeated visits to the store. He said the most popular items have been sales of super heroes, costumes, wolverines and Ninjas.
Williams said he got the idea for the store while visiting in Virginia Beach. He said he hosts an annual Halloween party at his home, and “one thing let to another.”
He decided to take the plunge into owning a business. He said he has attended business seminars and classes, wrote a business plan and received financial assistance from Carter Bank.
“You have to give it a shot and make sure you don’t look back later in life and wonder, what if,” the 38-year-old Roanoke resident said.
The store employs about 10 workers.
“Our motto is Fun, Sexy and here to stay,” Williams said. He added that after Halloween, the store will be renamed and will become a seasonal retail operation depending on the holiday observances at the time of year.
Williams also has a storeon South Main Street in Blacksburg. He also works for Ogden Directories, a yellow page, print and Internet directory company in Salem.
“We are going to be here for a while,” he added.
By Mike Stater