CosTalk: Special Edition – Candy Keane

I did an interview this week with Minsters of Good Taste for their CosTalk feature. This is also the first time I’m trying out the “reblog” option on wordpress, so this should be interesting 🙂

Ministers of Good Taste


  • Let’s get started, you’ve built a successful company of costume design and cosplay, how do you manage all that?  What tips do you have for starting your own business?

I started out just selling my old costumes on eBay and that grew into making costumes for others.  I started in 2005 and started selling retail brands as well as my handmade items to round out the selection.  Eventually that got too big to keep doing at home so I opened my boutique in 2009 with a focus on cosplay and corsetry.

With eBay and Etsy anyone can test out a business before they invest a lot of money.  It helps to start small that way and learn what sells, how to price things and how to handle customer service.

  • So where did your Nerdness come from and what kind of story is behind it?  Childhood?  Formative years?

I can’t…

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Three Muses Wonder Woman Costume in Good Housekeeping Magazine

It’s always exciting when a magazine contacts me to borrow a costume, but it almost always involves some crazy rush. Good Housekeeping Magazine was no exception- they needed a Wonder Woman costume to shoot asap so I had to scramble to get it ready and overnighted in less than two days. It was during One Spark so I was out of the store for five days and working the festival morning till late night. I was in luck though- my grandmother had already sewn some extra bottoms ahead of time and I always have extra accessories ready, so all I needed to do was get the corset ready.

The corset is the piece that takes the longest!  First the design is drawn on with chalk and then the outline done in gold dimensional paint. I don’t use any patterns and draw every corset freehand. The outline takes 24 hours to dry. Then to get it done in a short period of time you have to spend almost the entire day painting it, one layer after another as soon as it is dry. The final bright gold design is the result of five carefully painted layers of two different kinds of gold paint.

I was able to get the outline done that night and then left the corset with Jessica to fill in with gold. She was working solo at the shop while Brema and I were working One Spark. She managed to get it all done that day and I was ready to ship it the next morning. We found a FedEx place downtown and got it out in time!

And I am excited to say they used it in an article in the July 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine! The costume featured is the new 2014 design for the Three Muses Classic Wonder:

Three Muses Classic Wonder costume in Good Housekeeping Magazine

Three Muses Classic Wonder costume in Good Housekeeping Magazine

Wonder Woman tiaraWonder Woman cuffs

I confess, I am a Jedi Junkie

Now that Jedi Junkies has made it to Netflix, I get e-mails on a daily basis from people asking if that is me in the documentary. Yes indeed, it is me both on the cover and doing an interview while dressed as Slave Leia.

Jedi Junkies DVD

Jedi Junkies DVD

In early 2007 Mark Edlitz contacted me about doing an interview for a documentary he was doing on Star Wars fans. His angle was to make a film that would be the opposite of Trekkies and to show the fans in a more positive light (i.e. not make them look like crazy weirdos).  We agreed to meet up at DragonCon during the Slave Leia group shoot and do the interview.

I thought the interview went well. None of the questions were skewed to make me sound like an obsessive fan or someone who might be out of touch with reality. In comparison, when I interviewed years later for ComicCon Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, all the questions were posed in such a way that I was relieved they didn’t use any of my spoken parts in the final film. For this, Mark asked about my costume and had me explain the different parts. I just remember it being very windy outside and I was trying to keep my skirt down and not flash everyone, but also not look like I was struggling with my costume while explaining it.

Jedi Junkies interview

Jedi Junkies interview

Several years later in 2010, the film was released on DVD. They had asked me to send some pictures to use for promotional use and I was excited to see they had chosen one of them for the cover. The funny thing was, the pic was not of the same outfit I’m wearing in my interview and was probably my least favorite one I sent. I have always thought my head looked a little weird. But hey, I’m not going to complain about being on the cover and I think my belly button is the main focus of the shot anyway. The pic they used was shot at my house, by Rick Wilson, and was just going to be a catalog shot for my website for a new painted top style I was making at the time. Huge thanks to Rick for permission to use the pic!

After the DVD release, the film made its way onto Hulu for a bit and gained popularity. And now, six years after my interview, Jedi Junkies has made it to Netflix and is experiencing a resurgence of attention. In fact, I’m getting more e-mails about it now than I did when it was released!

So yes, I admit, not only am I a Slave Leia wearing, light saber wielding, Chewbacca fanatic Jedi Junkie, I’m also the poster girl.

1000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas, and 3 of them are from Three Muses!

1000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas

1000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas

There’s a new costuming book out that delivers just what it says – 1000 Incredible Costume and Cosplay Ideas.
The book, available on, features photos of each costume along with the name of the character, person in the photo and photographer. I have it sitting out at the shop so when people have no idea for an outfit I can be like, “Well here’s 1000.” They include several different genres from anime to TV shows, plus original works and some props as well. It’s a great overall peek into cosplaying. I’d love to see the idea expanded where you get to learn the story and work behind each costume. Some are so amazing you just want to know more!

The 3 photos from Three Muses that made it in were Harley Quinn, Alice & Mad Hatter and Spanish Rose Dawn (Cry for Dawn). Interesting selection because it pretty much encompasses my time at DragonCon throughout the years. The first big cosplay I did there was Spanish Rose Dawn for the Cry for Dawn look-a-like contest. The photos for Alice and Mad Hatter were actually shot there, on the side staircase in the Marriott. And last year I wore my new original version of Harley Quinn, which I will have back on the site and available this Halloween.

Cry for Dawn

Spanish Rose Dawn, by SolKat Photography

Alice and Mad Hatter, by Dim Horizon Studios

Alice and Mad Hatter, by Dim Horizon Studios

Harley Quinn, by John Rennie Photography

Harley Quinn, by John Rennie Photography

This weekend in the Muse

We’ve had one busy week after another and are just trying to keep up! A couple of fun photoshoots led to some great new photos. I posted some on my portfolio site for the new Harley Quinn outfit. More pics to come from several more costumes!

Coming up this weekend we have the Factory Prom on Saturday Night and The Steampunk Exhibition East on Sunday. The expo will be going on all weekend Fri-Sun, but we can only make it out for the last day. Looking forward to doing some shopping in the Grand Bazaar, checking out Cupcake Burlesque and watching the costume contest finals.

All weekend long we’ll be getting clips for the new video blog we’ve been planning. In the last year 2 different producers have contacted Three Muses about doing a reality show. Nothing has come out of either contact so far, so we decided we might as well just do our own show. So coming soon: The Thursday Evening Muse. We’ll be doing a wrap-up of the week, a little shop talk about what’s new in the store and what’s going on, maybe a how-to segment on costuming and then a details on the fun events coming up that weekend. More details coming soon… 🙂

Steampunk fairies

Steampunk Fairies, ready for battle


Santa and Mrs. Claus costumes in Jacksonville Magazine Christmas Spectacular

Jacksonville Magazine

Jacksonville Magazine Christmas Spectacular

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Jacksonville Magazine asking if I made Santa costumes. They were putting together their Christmas Spectacular issue and were looking for unique local items to feature. The fact that I had not made a Santa suit before did not stop me from saying “Yes, of course!” I figured I can make just about anything, it’s just that nobody had asked for a Santa suit yet.

So Brema and I dove into the project determined to make a swanky Santa suit and elegant Mrs. Claus dress in just one week. Since this would be representing Three Muses style, I didn’t want it to be the same old red velvet suit and frumpy dress. We picked out a red microsuede fabric and Vogue suit pattern for Santa and a deep red stretch satin for Mrs. Claus. Both outfits were trimmed in white plush faux fur with a hint of sparkle. Since this was going to be a younger version of the couple, I got a blond beard instead of white and a poinsettia headband instead of the usual Mrs. Claus bonnet.

One week later we were ready to go and my husband Sean and I went to the Jacksonville Magazine office to model the new outfits. The result was a great full page photo in the December issue along with a nice little write-up on the business. Somehow my first name got spelled with a “K” but I can’t complain because at least the business name was correct and “Kandy Keane” is close enough. And to give credit where credit is due, I made the dress, but Brema made the suit. (I just added the fur trim and made the hat) Overall it was still great press for the holidays and we are excited to be included in this issue!

Three Muses Santa and Mrs. Claus in Jacksonville Magazine

Three Muses Santa and Mrs. Claus in Jacksonville Magazine