Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

New business dressing up downtown

Published on

Cathy Dobson

The stars seem to be lining up for Cat Cabajar.

First, she met her new business partners Nicole and Steven Brown at a Sarnia Pop Culture Show and found they have much in common.

They not only share a strong creative streak, but each wants to turn those skills into a lucrative business.

Then in August, Cat learned the owner of Images, a home-based costume business in Sarnia, wanted to sell her stock.

Meanwhile, Nicole had lost her job when the Marriott call centre shut down. At the same time, the landlord who was renting to Cat for her long-established The Painted Cat face painting, makeup and party business, agreed to rent out his entire building.

The Browns and Cat quickly agreed to buy more than 800 costumes, accessories, patterns and material and open their own costume store.

On Sept. 1, they took occupancy of 3,500 square feet at 143 Christina St. North and began a month of intense cleaning, painting and rebuilding.

“I love when everything comes together like that,” smiled Cat.

The result is Costumes Canada, which is more than a costume store.

“When there are lulls in costume rentals and sales we have other projects that will support the business,” explained Nicole, who has 20 years of retail experience.

A party room rents for $25 an hour in the back of the store for social get-togethers, classes and meetings.  There’s a large workshop for craftspeople who need space to work on projects. Workbenches and tools are offered to members who pay $30 a month for “Maker Space.”

A photo studio is available at $25/hr for professionals to set up photo sessions.

“Anyone can come here, dress up, get their makeup done, then have their party and get photos taken,” said Cat. “I think of it as an interactive, creative space.”

The opening of Costumes Canada was officiated by Batman during October’s First Friday.  The Halloween season is keeping the new shop busy. If a costume is not in stock, it can still be ordered within the next couple of days.

Halloween hours are Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays noon – 5 p.m.; Closed Mondays; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Call 519-491-7148.



This is the final week to enjoy enchiladas or burritos at Zola’s on Murphy Road, as owner Tania Auger prepares to convert her Mexican restaurant into a New York style dining room.

Zola’s will close for three or four days starting Sunday, Oct. 19 while Auger does extensive redecorating.

“We’re going to have a new look, a new menu with wonderful items like homemade gnocchi and specialty meatballs.”  There will also be an all-you-can-eat spaghetti night.

Auger expects to reopen the as-yet-unnamed restaurant at 549 Murphy Rd. by late next week.



I’m spreading the word this week about a free service regularly offered by a local business for recovering cancer patients receiving chemo or radiation.

Relax Rejuvenate Body Care at the Health Clinic & Spa at Maestros on Cathcart Boulevard, provides complimentary facials, pedicures or manicures, with your oncologist’s approval, to soothe dry, cracked and dehydrated skin after cancer treatments.

For more, visit Facebook at “Relax Rejuvenate bodycare” or call Ingrid Hall, certified esthetician, at 519-331-4401.

Pass it on. October is Cancer Awareness month.

Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.

More like this