Made In Worcester: Terrifying Halloween Decorations
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
After being raised in a family business known as the world’s first year round “Halloween Superstore”, it’s no surprise Mark Arvanigian took his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for horror to the next level by becoming an expert in Halloween decor design.
Arvanigian helped co-found Morbid Enterprises, LLC., a leading wholesale supplier of Halloween products to retailers around the world. Morbid Enterprises offers a "spooktacular" selection of Halloween products including animated props, decorations, masks and costumes. While both his clients and warehouses are located across the globe, Arvanigian brings his knowledge back to Halloween Outlet in Worcester where he grew up and continues to be a success.
“I do this because there’s a demand for it and I get to put a smile on people’s faces,” he says.
Throughout the year, Arvanigian travels to trade shows and his warehouses in China and Phoenix researching and creating original products for consumers ranging from $20 decorations for homes to $500 pieces for stores. Some of Arvanigian’s best sellers are animatronics of characters from The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Ghost Busters. Morbid Enterprises has rights to over 250 licenses which enables Arvanigian and his company to create new products for these popular titles.
Arvanigian also experiments with some of his own original costume designs; debuting this year are his Hooded Sweatshirts with Attached Weapons, Upside Down Crazy Lady Costume, and new designs for his Big Head Masks which do particularly well during election years when he features political candidates.
Before these products reach the shelves of stores like Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Kmart to name a few of Morbid Enterprise’s clients, a lengthy creation process takes place. It begins with illustrations and includes creating samples by sculpting or fabricating. Finally molds are made, then the design goes into mass production. Arvanigian uses his research and focus groups to predict those décor items and costumes that will be big sellers. The day after Halloween, the process begins again for Halloween two years away; Arvanigian is currently planning items for 2015.
A Q&A With Mark Arvanigian
Q: What are this year's biggest Halloween decor trends?
A: Once every hundred years Halloween falls on the year ending in 13. That makes Halloween 2013 extra spooky especially for those with Triskaidekaphobia. This Halloween people are going all out with animated props. Over the last few years the prices have been coming down and the scares have been getting better and better.
Q: What's the craziest decor item you've ever seen/sold?
A: One of the most outrageous, and mildly offensive, animated Halloween props is Farting Fatty. Basically he is this bed ridden oversized ghoul that festers in his own pus. Strage sounds eminated from within his gastric chambers as his head moves back and forth. This gruesome act culminates in grotesque flatulence coming from his now raised leg. Not suggested for those with weak stomachs.
Q: Are people more or less into Halloween over the years?
A: We have seen a steady uptick in people who are celebrating Halloween over the years. One of the biggest surprises is our growth internationally. As international economies improve, more of those people have extra money to enjoy parties and new holidays. Halloween has really taken off in countries like Brazil and Russia and we are excited to take advantage of these new opportunities.
Q: Do you ever get scared in the dark?
A: I'm kind of a night owl by nature. For some reason I feel more at home in the dark. Maybe it's all those late night Skype sessions with our factories in China. Maybe it's just my affinity for a full moon.
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