Molly Limpets Shop

Sheffield independents – Molly Limpets offers free handmade costumes to promote your business

In a bid to celebrate and promote independents in Sheffield, Molly Limpets Theatrical Emporium Ltd, a costume hire company in Woodseats, is offering independents a free costume hire to help advertise their business.

Molly Limpets, the largest costume hire company in South Yorkshire, has a stock of approximately 20,000 costumes. With such a vast range of outfits they aim to provide each independent with a costume that reflects what they do or represents their company name.

Nick Hedley, who runs the Molly Limpets Woodseats shop gave an example of a hire they made to Millhouses Park Café last year:

We hired two cake themed Dame style costumes to two ladies who are known as the ‘pudding ladies’. The aim of this project is for the company to use the costumes to get eye-catching photos to use in their own marketing or on their website. In return we get a copy of the shots to add to our portfolio, with perhaps a credit or link if images are used on their website.

Nick said the idea is still in development and the best thing would be for independents to get in touch or pop by to chat about what costume would best represent their business and provide some quirky publicity shots.

As well as hiring fancy dress costumes from their shop in Woodseats, Molly Limpets also supplies theatrical costumes to theatre and pantomime companies across the UK and Ireland.

Molly Limpets Costumes

Molly Limpets Costumes

What’s in a name?

Molly Limpets began thirteen years ago when designer Scott Mckenzie started designing costumes for his own productions. Scott soon built up a big enough collection of costumes to start a shop with the view to dressing theatre productions.

Nick explained the unusual and attractive name of the company:

The name was actually Scott’s niece’s nickname as a baby. ‘Molly’ as that was going to be her name, and ‘limpet’ as she was poorly and a bit clingy as a baby. The name stuck and Scott used it as it had the connotations of a Victorian music hall and sounded very theatrical.

Whilst Nick runs the shop, Scott and his colleagues meet theatre clients, measure costumes and choose shows to put together around the UK. In the meantime a team of three make costumes on-site every day in their 4000 sq ft costume studio in Sheffield.

Molly Limpets Studio

Molly Limpets Studio

Nick said:

“We dress any theatre company from village hall to city hall. One of our biggest clients is Manor Operatic Society here at Sheffield City Hall, still the UK’s largest amateur panto.”

Nick hopes that offering free costumes to independents in Sheffield will have the knock-on effect of bringing more customers to the shop if they have a party or need a costume in the future. He hopes this project will help the shop to survive in the future:

I’m more and more concerned about the face of the high street changing. Shops are disappearing, as people prefer to shop online or get anything you could need in life from the supermarket. The theatre side delivers nationwide and people generally know how to find us, but I want to start singing the praises of the shop that has given us all work for the past thirteen years.

Molly Limpets Studio

Molly Limpets Studio

Nick, 33, has been working at the shop for eight years. He met Scott when he directed a show he was in and ended up running the shop. Nick says that a customer wearing their costumes is their best advert, so quality is very important:

Since day one we’ve provided quality costumes at realistic prices, and we give a lot of service to our customers, so we make sure they’re really happy and look great, no matter what they want or what size they need. People return to us each year because of the quality and value for money, but also because they know that a lot of the time they will get a unique outfit. There’s no point going to a party and seeing five other people in the same costume they’ve bought off the internet.

Nick says Molly Limpets covers any theme and staying up to date is critical:

“We look at what films and TV programmes are popular and use that as a springboard to design and make new costumes that will capture peoples’ imaginations. For instance, the Hen Night dresses from Gypsy Weddings have been a big hit, as well as our Muppets mascot style costumes.”

You can see some of Molly Limpets costumes on their website.

If you’d like a costume to advertise your independent then contact Nick via their Facebook page.