Devils & Vampires & Witches . . . Oh My!  

It’s FALL Y’ALL!  I love this time of year.  Watching the leaves start to fall, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING (yes, I’m on that band wagon too!), football . . .Go HOKIES!, and of course Halloween.

So with my love of everything fall, I could not have a better job. In the world of Goodwill, Halloween is a very special time.  In fact, October is usually the busiest month of the year for our stores, which translates into critical dollars to support our job training and employment programs.  But it does take a lot of work to get ready to be the Halloween Headquarters for our customers.  So, we thought we would give you a behind the scenes peek at how “Halloween Comes Alive at Goodwill”!

Let the Planning Begin . . .

We had our first meeting to start planning for Halloween in November of 2016.  Yes, you read that correctly.  At this meeting our Marketing team (Chelsea, Michele, and myself) met with our retail leadership and we discussed all that would make up Halloween 2017. We also found out that for the first time our Goodwill stores would have accessories to complement Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Costumes.  We brainstormed and left the meeting with a clear vision of what we needed to do.

We were excited and started formulating the plan.  However, Halloween remained on the back burner for much of the year until the accessories started showing up in early August. Wigs, makeup kits, and a variety of other accessories started our imaginations running wild. We needed models. . .and several brave employees from our stores stepped forward to help us out.  We literally had devils, angels, vampires, cowboys, cowgirls, witches, and pirates roaming the hallways of Goodwill!  Once the photos were taken the real work began.

I’m so lucky to work alongside such amazingly talented people.  Michele is one of those people.  She is not only one of the nicest, most level headed people I know, but she is also behind the Halloween promotional materials that you will see for Goodwill.

The Journey of the Cowgirl Photo at the Masterful Hand of Michele. . .

photo shoots . . . photo editing . . . graphic design

As a graphic designer things like photo editing and graphic design are second nature to Michele.  But last year I walked into Michele’s office and said “I have an idea.”  This is a phrase that, if truth be told, probably makes her cringe.  Why?  Because typically it means she has to figure out how to do what I have come up with!  So, my idea was that we could create our own Halloween commercial, in-house.  Translation . . . “Michele I think you can create our Halloween commercial that will run on TV!”  And she did.  She learned a new software program and made it happen.  This year she once again created the commercial using the photography we had done of our employees dressed for Halloween.

Michele Halloween Commercial cropped
Michele working on this year’s Halloween commercial . . . See our Cowgirl again!

I asked Michele about all the work that has gone into Halloween . . .

Halloween is such a busy time for Goodwill. I love all the creative opportunities involved with the Halloween campaign, such as video, photography, and graphic design. It’s definitely a team effort for our Marketing department to make everything happen in time for the Halloween season and it’s really satisfying to work hard and see it all come together. It’s also a lot of fun to see the retail employees having such a great time with Halloween, dressing up and decorating the stores. They really love this time of year and look forward to helping shoppers create one-of-a-kind costumes.

Halloween is also a time when we get many customers who may not be regular Goodwill shoppers. It’s a wonderful opportunity to let them know how shopping and donating to Goodwill helps thousands of people in their local communities. The chance to use our marketing efforts to convert those once-a-year shoppers into regular Goodwill supporters makes me feel like I’m serving our mission in an important way. I’m really proud of the work Goodwill does and to be able to contribute to the mission of helping others achieve their greatest potential is humbling and deeply meaningful.  ~ Michele Crim, Marketing & Social Media Manager

This Year’s Halloween Commercials

Why Do Goodwills Love Halloween So Much?

This may sound like a lot of effort being put into Halloween, but in fact, a recent survey by Goodwill Industries International found that fifty percent of households will have at least one person wearing a Halloween costume this year, and 16 percent will have at least one pet in costume!  For those of you who have read my blog posts before you have met Bentley . . . well you know we couldn’t let Halloween slip by without dressing him up.  Especially knowing how many people plan to dress their pets this year!

Bentley and Bella were not nearly as excited about dressing up as we were!

But, back to the survey.  It also found that when asked what type of costume worn by someone else would make the best impression, the most popular answer was a one-of-a-kind costume. And for years the public has turned to Goodwill as the place to find those one-of-a-kind costumes.  So each year we strive to make it easier and easier for our customers to impress on Halloween.  Each of our stores have an Idea Book that is filled with countless ideas for Halloween costumes.  We’ve also have Pinterest Boards featuring Unique DIY Costume ideas for families, couples, groups, and kids of all ages and DIY decorations & entertaining tips.

This blog could go on and on.  But I encourage you to visit the Halloween page of our website to discover even more! Hint. . . DIY Videos!

So from everyone at Goodwill . . . Happy Fall & Happy Halloween!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, hat and closeup
From our appearance last year on WFXR for Halloween.  Mary Poppins (that’s me), Alice in Wonderland (Chelsea), the Mad Hatter (Michele – she made the hat out of cardboard and items found at Goodwill!), and a Go-Go Girl (Charlie Cooper – reporter)


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