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

Trapped humpback whale freed from salmon farm near Tofino

“All of these problems could be solved by the farms moving onto land and getting out of the ocean.”

Ucluelet police searching for missing man

Ucluelet police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 29-year-old.

VIDEO: Santa visits Tofino

The event included a hearty breakfast, highland dancing and a Purple Dragon demonstration.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

VIDEO: Santa visits Tofino

The event included a hearty breakfast, highland dancing and a Purple Dragon demonstration.

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read