After 36 years in business, Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors. (Samantha Anderson)

After 36 years, an iconic Lower Mainland costume shop will close its doors

Costume rental shop has been a Cloverdale landmark for nearly four decades

After nearly four decades, Cloverdale’s costume rental shop Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors.

For co-owners Freda Mattern, 75, and Joanne Thompson, 72, “it’s time.”

If someone came in today and offered to buy the whole store’s stock, they’d be gone tomorrow, said Freda Mattern.

Their building has recently come under new ownership, she explained, and a rent increase has given them the extra push into retirement.

“Both me and my partner are in our 70s, and with the rent increase, it’s time,” she said.

Mattern said she hadn’t been thinking of retirement, but she knows she “has lots to do.” She may teach sewing after the store closes. She is well-qualified — she has taken courses in dressmaking, designing, millinery, pattern making, draping and more — and over the years, she has created a good deal of the costumes that Ye Olde Piggy Bank has to offer.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank started out in 1982 as a crafts, antiques and collectibles store. When several other craft stores opened in Cloverdale, Mattern, a costume maker of many years, proposed they switch their focus to renting costumes.

“It was a slow process. We still had antiques and collectibles, it was just a transition from one to the other,” she said.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is named for the building’s origins. When it was constructed in 1912, it was the first bank in Surrey, the Bank of Montreal. It hasn’t been a bank since 1958, but certain reminders remain, such as the bank vault, which is now used as storage.

There are certain challenges to running a costume rental shop, of course. One needs to have what is popular and in demand, and in the needed sizes. Over the decades, Ye Olde Piggy Bank has amassed a huge variety of handmade costumes and vintage clothing.

“You name it, we’ve rented out for it,” said Mattern.

“One fellow rented a knight costume and he also went out to rent a horse and he proposed to his girlfriend. That was cute. That was nice.”

The most popular costumes, she said, are from the Roaring Twenties or “what they call Great Gatsby now,” medieval costumes, and period clothing from the 1950s.

“We have a lot of retro clothing all throughout the different eras,” Mattern said. “We have clothing right from the 1920s.”

“We also have a big black bear [costume] that people have rented to jump out of the bushes and scare their friends camping. It’s very lifelike,” she said, laughing.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is currently selling its costumes, rather than renting them. As for a closing date? Mattern said, “As soon as we can.”

What she’ll miss most, she said, is Cloverdale itself.

Mattern has long been involved in the Cloverdale business community, not only as a business owner, but as a representative of the Business Improvement Association (BIA). She is a founding member of the Cloverdale BIA, and has served on the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce as well.

She is currently a BIA board member, and she said she hopes to find a way to continue to be involved in the business community after Ye Olde Piggy Bank closes.

One of the best things about being in business in Cloverdale for so long was seeing the community improve “constantly” and being a part of that change, she said.

“It wasn’t much in the beginning, but it sure is now,” she said. “At one time Cloverdale was a rodeo parade. You had that one three-day weekend where everybody came to Cloverdale and then left to go to the fairgrounds.”

Now, she said, a point of pride is the variety of events that take place throughout the town centre, all through the year.

Ye Olde Piggy Bank is located on downtown Cloverdale’s main street, at 5683 176 Street.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

After 36 years in business, Ye Olde Piggy Bank will soon shut its doors. (Samantha Anderson)

Just Posted

North Cowichan warns localized flooding expected in some areas this winter

Flood protection system contains some natural gaps

Descoteau’s mother, girlfriend reflect on tribulations of murder trial

Friends a strong support system in getting through testimony details

VIDEO: Newcomers join favourites in rounding out Sunfest’s amazing lineup for 2019

The Washboard Union, Cody Johnson, Mitchell Tenpenny, Aaron Goodvin: it just gets better and better

Super suppertime singers

Centremen Songsters entertain following Christmas dinner at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre

Deck The Halls

Ladies in great voice for holiday classics and jazz tunes

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

Most Read