Matt Schulte and his wife, Lynn Lucas, were pretty much predestined to open up a costume shop. When walking through Detroit one day, they noticed a costume shop had shuttered its doors. They wondered if they could buy up the place’s whole inventory and take it back to Lansing.
“Unfortunately, that fell through. Instead, we found someone else on Facebook,” said Schulte. “I’ve always been into cosplay, Halloween and horror, so this was kind of like the perfect outlet for that side of me.”
Imachinations had its grand opening Saturday. Schulte said it went better than could have ever expected.
“A lot of people showed up, and a lot of them were very excited about what we had to offer,” said Schulte.
It’s hard not to get excited when you hear him talk about his passions. He’s been playing Dungeons & Dragons since the original game came out back in the ’70s, worked in haunted houses and is a proud member of Capital Steam, a local steampunk society.
For the last two decades, he and his wife owned a wedding event planning business. Lucas was the event planner, and Schulte offered DJ services. While they enjoyed their time in that business, Schulte is excited to move onto an industry that involves all the things he loves most.
“I did all the work on the business myself, all the painting,” said Schulte.
If you’ve ever longed to walk the streets of Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series, Imachinations is the place to go. That’s the exact vibe Schulte was going for. He has big plans in the store for the future of his shop.
One of his goals is to partner with local theater departments and Renaissance fairs. He’s working on setting up themed dinners and even a singing telegram service. Eventually, he wants to be able to offer excellently costumed parties for kids with themes like superheroes and princesses.
Schulte’s plans for the inside of his shop are no less ambitious. He and his wife have many tricks up their sleeves to drive customers of all ages into Imachinations — and have them leaving with a smile on their faces.
“We’re going to have a story hour for kids, have a little consignment section in the back for local artists, and a maker space set up where we can teach little classes,” said Schulte. There will be leather working classes, airbrush classes, makeup classes and more.
“Most cosplayers want to build their own stuff, but they don’t know how to do it,” explained Schulte. “We’re going to bring people in to teach them how and have all the supplies they would need available at Imachinations.”