Check Out How This 20-Year-Old Turned His Love For Costumes Into A Business
Start writing a post

Check Out How This 20-Year-Old Turned His Love For Costumes Into A Business

Changing his life one costume at a time.

Check Out How This 20-Year-Old Turned His Love For Costumes Into A Business
MDCostume Designs

At 20 years old not many people can say they make enough doing what they love to quit their day jobs. Luckily, Matthew Deutsch of MDCostumeDesigns is not like most 20-year-olds. Eight years ago, armed with an idea and a sewing machine that only ran front and backward, Matthew began making costumes. He loved playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess game so much that he knew he had to have a part of it for himself. Thus began his foray into costume-making: teaching himself how to sew to make himself a Link costume.

Though the costume was certainly solid, it pales in comparison to projects that Matthew has completed in more recent years. His portfolio of work is incredible, owed entirely to his hard work and determination, a key factor in his success that he tries to modestly skip over as we chat in a local coffee shop. From Assassin's Creed costumes with almost a hundred individual, intricate parts, to a Rapunzel dress with gorgeous embroidery, Matthew has certainly picked up a few tricks of the trade since his first Con. Being self-taught, he relied on trial-and-error until YouTube tutorials became more popular, musing that he wishes he had taken a sewing class or two because it would have made this multi-year learning process much shorter.

Still, he seems happy with his recent decision to quit his full-time job to work on his costuming business. Again, crediting marketing and luck rather than his own talent, Matthew explains that he is booked with commissioned costumes through October, the down payments for which have allowed him to quit the day job he hated and focus on his true passion. Citing Adam Savage and Bob Ross as his main inspirations, Matthew relates the sense of fulfillment he feels upon completing a project. Taking anywhere from three days to a month or two, Matthew's commissions are fully customized to the buyer and as screen accurate as possible.

The Planning

Matthew begins by pouring over pictures of the character, looking at the costume from every angle to get a sense of how long the project will take and what materials he will need. This data is put into a spreadsheet, detailing the hard and soft materials, their yardage and their cost. Armed with his, he scours for coupons, favoring JoAnns for fabrics. He suggests looking at fabrics you wouldn't normally consider for a costume such as upholstery fabrics or Lycra and making multiple shopping trips to get the most out of the coupons and sales.

Once materials are acquired, Matthew begins to make a pattern for the costume. This is where Matthew says the cost really racks up, not in the materials themselves, but in the time he puts into designing and sewing each costume. Since each of his costumes are tailored specifically to the measurements of the commissioner, many of which are international and can't come to Matthew for sizing, hours are spent designing a pattern to best fit the costume to the person's body type. Patterning can take hours or even days as it is essentially a less-intricate cloth version of the finished work.

The Process

Though patterning is arguably the most difficult, the most time consuming part of the process is yet to come: actually sewing the costume. Many individual pieces need to be cut correctly from the chosen fabric to allow it to stretch on the bias. They then need to be sewn together with the right amount of tension to ensure there's no puckering. He is also a huge proponent of functionality in cosplay costumes. As he explains it, his customers are usually in costume for hours at a time on the Con floor. To accommodate this, Matthew likes to ensure that all of his costumes have places for a cell phone and a wallet, as well as venting to prevent overheating. These modifications also factor in to the patterning and sewing process as this extra storage can't hinder the outcome of the design.

While Matthew sews, his partner Aeron sculpts the props and other hard pieces for the costume; though he says they both try to do as much of every part of the process as they can. With a background in Special Effects Makeup, Aeron is the perfect compliment to Matthew. Aeron painstakingly sculpts each piece by hand, ensuring that it will work with Matthew's design as well as fit the measurements of the customer. From masks to armor to prop weaponry, Aeron can sculpt it all. Once painted, the finished costume can be assembled and shipped to the buyer.

The Moral

Matthew and Aeron of MDCostumeDesigns are prime examples of "do what you love and the money will follow." It may take months or even years, but if you are truly passionate about something, don't give it up. It only took eight years but Matthew Deutsch has build a successful business for himself doing what he loves. His road to entrepreneurship may not have been the easiest but MDCostumeDesigns has become a growing name in the Con and costuming world. His biggest piece of advice? It will take as long as it takes. Learn to value yourself and your work and the success will come--as long as you believe in yourself and are putting in the work.

Check out their website and Facebook if you're interested in a commission and see their instagram page for more awesome shots!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Why Driving Drives Me Crazy

the highways are home


With Halloween quickly approaching, I have been talking to coworkers about what scares us. There are always the obvious things like clowns, spiders, heights, etc. But me? There are a number things I don't like: trusting strangers, being yelled at, being in life or death situations, parallel parking. All of these are included when you get behind the wheel of a car.

Keep Reading... Show less
Baseball Spring Training Is A Blast In Arizona
Patricia Vicente

Nothing gets me more pumped up than the nice weather and the sights and sounds of the baseball season quickly approaching.

Keep Reading... Show less

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

Find out how this TikTok star gets women excited about science!

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

How it all began

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Songs To Use For Your Next GoPro Video

Play one of these songs in the background for the perfect vacation vibes.


We've all seen a Jay Alvarez travel video and wondered two things: How can I live that lifestyle and how does he choose which song to use for his videos?

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

Stuck on ideas for a roleplay? Here you go!

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

One thing that many creators know is that fun to have characters and different universes to work with but what's the point if you have nothing to do with them? Many people turn to roleplay as a fun way to use characters, whether they're original or from a fandom. It'd a fun escape for many people but what happens when you run out of ideas to do? It's a terrible spot to be in. So here are a few different role play plot ideas.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments