Skellington Curiosities: Livin’ the Spooky Vibe 365
Once upon a time, if you were sitting in your house or apartment in Waco and thought, “You know, some coffin-shaped, lagoon-green shelves would really tie this room together,” you’d have been out of luck.
Then Skellington Curiosities came to town.
Oddities & Curiosities
Husband and wife co-owners Sean and Kylie Skellington opened their store in early 2020 at the Bosque Square Shopping Center. Located next to a Jazzercise studio at one end of the strip mall, it has an eclectic mix of clothing, posters, paintings, stickers, metaphysical items, vintage record albums, and … oddities.
So what exactly constitutes an oddity?
“It’s things like taxidermy, entomology, or skulls of different animals. We even have a human skull on display,” explains Kylie Skellington. “We have vintage medical tools, old Ouija boards, just anything in that oddities area we’re known for.”
They find some of the store’s inventory on their own, some of it comes from suppliers such as Grotesque Anomaly, and some she makes.
“I’ll take a moth, for example, and frame it up real nice with some crystals and flowers and make a nice art piece out of it,” Skellington says. “It’s the same with taxidermy. I’ve made cute little taxidermy ducks that look like Frankenstein or his bride.”
Other items come from roughly a dozen local artists and artisans. These include handmade bath and skincare products from Kat Dixon’s Earthstrung. Or, you can get “witchy” clothing and accessories from Sparkling Punk’s Rocio Jimenez, who says her Halloween-themed products are for year-round enjoyment because “it’s not just a holiday, it’s a lifestyle.”
Skellington adds that there’s no “typical” customer at their store: “We get all ages, all walks of life. There is really something for everyone here.” She admits, however, that sometimes a new visitor only makes it a few steps through the door before turning around to leave, but says, “That’s okay too.”
The Road to Waco
The Skellingtons moved to Waco from the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to what might seem like an unlikely reason: Magnolia Market at the Silos.
“I came to Waco to visit Magnolia with my mother,” Skellington says, “and Waco had such a great family-friendly vibe. Sean and I had just had our son, and we felt like it would be a great place to raise a child. So we packed up our stuff and moved halfway across the country.”
Of course, starting a new business in March 2020 came with its own unexpected challenges. As they were building out the store, COVID was increasingly in the news as it spread across the country. Nonetheless, it came as a shock when they had to shut down for four months just 10 days after their grand opening. She credits the local community for continuing to buy from them – either via drive-up or online – and Facebook, which allowed them to keep a visible social media presence.
The Ever-Expanding Spooky Community
Skellington says they didn’t know anyone when they moved to Waco but quickly did their best to find like-minded people. And she’s proud that Skellington Curiosities has become a hub for the local “spooky” community.
“The people were here, but they just didn’t have a place to come together,” she says. “The store’s been a gathering place. It’s really nice to see people meeting each other and realizing that they are not so alone and that there are people into the same things they are.”
Sean and Kylie continue to expand their burgeoning empire. Every fourth Sunday brings the Curiosities Market, where 30-40 regional vendors share their wares and includes live music, food trucks, and a sideshow for the hundreds of attendees.
Sean is also a co-founder of The Goon Squad, Waco’s underground art collective that has pop-up shows around the city. And Necro Electric, the podcast the couple started after moving to Waco, now boasts over 130 episodes.
As for their future plans, Skellington says, “I don’t want to say too much but we are looking into expanding and bringing you some new spooky eats.”
On October 30, Skellington Curiosities hosts the 2nd Annual Halloween Monster Ball at Brotherwell Brewing and the Holistic and Metaphysical Fall Gathering on November 14.
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