Someone You Should Know: Mitchell’s Costume Connoisseur

MITCHELL, S.D. – It would be nearly impossible to walk into Einstein’s in Mitchell and not find the perfect costume.

From storybook characters to the classics, Einstein’s has more than 100,000 costumes with all the details, down to the ruby red slippers.

“As far as details, yes. If I think you need that one more thing, I’m going to get that one more thing for you.”

The woman behind the wardrobe is Brenda Olesen.

“A lot of history in here, and also what fun to go back and dream and be in a different time period and people love that. And the joy of doing it and making it come to life for them is what I’m here for”

For 18 years, she’s dressed some of the greats.

She’s even Governor Dennis Daugaard’s go-to girl for festive get-ups.

“They did Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. They did Beauty and the Beast. I can’t give away what they’re doing this year,” she said.

This business, you could say, is her calling.

“I fell in love with vintage stuff when I was a child, so hand-me-downs were exciting to me. I would take them and rearrange them and make them fit me,” she said.

After a brief stint in the consignment and antique business, Olesen created Einsein’s.

“It’s probably not so much the costume as it is the people. I remember the people and when they come in sometimes I’ll call them by their little character name or whatever.”

For Olesen, the fun is in creating the character and there’s no shortage of options. Even with thousands of items, she can find it all.

“We try to be very organized. I have a 2.2 second rule, I should know where that’s at, because time is everything.”

She’s here for the people, not the costumes. But she hopes both will stay at Einstein’s after she’s gone.

“Sometimes I wonder as life changes, what will become of it, and I hope someday, somebody will be interested and be able to take it over and be able to take it to the level of technology that I really haven’t done. But I would hate to see it just dispersed because I don’t think you could ever do it again.”

Olesen says she doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, there are too many people who need her help.

“I want you to look the best you can, when you leave here.”

Olesen says people come from as far as 350 miles away for her costumes.

Adult costume rentals range from $35 to $65.

Halloween is her busiest time, but she’s open year-round for festivals, parades, parties and events.

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