The Renfield Trading Company – Serving the Undead since 2010
The Renfield Trading Co. started out as a teeny little hobby business being run out of a basement apartment right after the owner graduated from University. It wasn’t much to start with, just your general gothic fashion supplies, a fun name, and a willingness to drive 8+ hours to set up a little booth at gaming cons and Renaissance faire type events. It was a project of love and learning and even though it started out small and shaky we quickly developed a love for making our clients feel special or helping them find exactly what they were looking for. Even through the sweltering heat of summer events outdoors and the stress of hauling our gear across provincial borders in the dead of winter to get to events, we found a community of creativity and vibrancy in our growing client base that really spoke to us.
After the first few years of being in business, we decided to take a step back and explore our company identity, really taking some time to develop on what we were learning as we grew along with this little business of ours. With the growth of eCommerce putting everything at your fingertips, we decided that being a general supply goth shop just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. We didn’t want to be a cookie cutter webstore or a goth shop knock-off.
We wanted to be an experience.
So we took a break to regroup, recollect, and develop not only the company itself – but the owners and support behind it all. We spent some time looking at what really made us passionate. (And we also moved out of the basement.)
That is where we really found our calling: Providing the best in 19th Century Neo-Historical inspired fashions, accessories, gifts, and supplies.
Basically, we’re a fashion and lifestyle boutique for Vampires.
(And yes, that is written into our business plan like that.)
The owner of the company, Brittney, is also the lead costumer and director of “A Clamour of Harpies” – an art costuming team that focuses on Neo-Historical fashion creation and gothic art costume production. Over the last couple years of working with that and hosting/attending events with various creative communities it became clear that there was a gap in the creative fashion markets for their little brand of spooky. People kept asking us where we got our gowns and fashions from and wanting something just like it for themselves. They didn’t want something that fit/looked like a Halloween Costume. They wanted real elegance, they wanted honest to goodness inspiring fashions.
And so here we are: new, improved, and ready to dress you.
We’re here to make people feel beautiful and spooky. Or maybe just beautiful depending on what you’re going for. What really drives our passion for this company is the reactions we get when someone puts on a piece from us and they seem to light up with delight. There is something magical about transporting yourself to a historical moment in time that goes well beyond just putting on a “costume”. We want people to feel special, we want you to feel transformed, and we want you to look as good as you feel while doing it.
Admittedly, we’re a tiny team with BIG passion. This business is a Sole Proprietorship owned by Art Costumer Brittney A. in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is supported by her wonderful spouse Andrew, along with her art costume models and production help via A Clamour of Harpies (The beautiful girls you see in our photoshoots). We are NOT a Brick and Mortar shop – we are web based and we attend/host events where you can come shop with us in person. But we do not have a fixed retail location (so please don’t show up to our house).
We are also extremely lucky to work with Patricia Holdsworth Photography for most of our in-house professional photo work. She is an AMAZING photographer to work with and we highly recommend her for your commercial photography needs.
Special Projects/Custom Orders
General Custom Orders
The Renfield Trading Company is a boutique business that provides products from a variety of specialty companies that we handpick our stock from. We are NOT primarily a handmade business or a custom fashion business. While we do occasionally offer our own products under our own brand name, these are very often One-Offs, Studio Clear Outs, or Special Productions. Nearly all of the gowns and ensembles worn by OUR models in OUR photoshoots and art products are made in house by Brittney or the team but we aren’t in the business of making ball gowns or suits for sale.
The reason is simply time and expense. What we would have to charge for a complete ensemble to sell is well beyond most people’s budgets. We charge a premium for our time because honestly, we don’t have a lot left after committing to our jobs, running a business, and completing our own project work. On top of that, we don’t make off the rack garments and all of our work requires a great deal of in person fittings, so that doesn’t really work out for most people.
We get a LOT of requests for custom gowns, outfits, and products and unfortunately we have to turn those down every week. What we offer instead now, is the means to Do It Yourself. Do you really like the gown you saw in one of our photoseries? Well, we sell the patterns for most of those and will even show you exactly which ones we used to create that look in our BLOG. That’s one way we stand behind our products – we USE THEM OURSELVES. So if you want to make your own knock off version of one of our outfits – you can! If you have specific questions about a product or design we used that you want to use yourself, just send us a message via our contact form and we’ll be glad to help. If we used a product that you want but we don’t have in store, we can also try to point you to where you can obtain it, or order it in special order for you in some cases.
Another type of request that we’re hearing more from is for Special Project Orders. These aren’t the same as someone requesting a custom dress, but these are for work on a special project specifically. These can include:
- Movie Productions
- Art Projects
- Marketing/Advertising Requests
If you think your project or company qualifies as a Special Project Order, we consider those on a case by case basis and are happy to talk with you if you have any ideas/requests/needs that we can help realize. We are bound by our schedules and abilities at the time of your request but we are enthusiastic about helping out special projects when we can. These requests can involve anything from custom work projects, consulting and research, wholesale product orders, or even the loan of our private wardrobe/prop stocks. Just send us a request via our contact page or an email at Webmaster – AT- TheRenfieldTradingCompany.com
Special Events/Guest Appearances
We love to talk about historical clothing, art costuming, and the art of being spooky. If you’re interested in having Brittney or the team come out to your event to teach classes or host panels at your event or convention as a guest, get in touch via our Contact Page to discuss. Compensation is dependent on event size, location, and purpose of request.