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Beloved costume shop Chubby's closes after 45 years of business

The owner, Liz, is battling cancer and the family says now it's time to close up shop.
Credit: KWES

ODESSA, Texas — Chubby's Party Emporium is one of Odessa's most beloved costume shops. That's because each costume is stitched with love by seamstresses and even the owner herself.

Ever since Tracee Robinson could remember, her dad was a lover of magic and costumes. Her mom is someone who probably knows more pop culture than you.

"I mean, movies, music, she knows all of it," said Robinson. "You tell her 'I need this costume,' [my mom will say], 'Well you know what, his costume changed from the original to the remake!' She knows the difference between all three of them. It's amazing because I don't."

That's what led them to opening up the family costume shop. After owning a store called Grand Illusion until Robinson's dad passed away in 1988, they moved to a different location where they could always be: at home. 

They've been operating in their living room close to 20 years.

For many years, over 500 costumes are rented all-year round. Many of the same loyal faces come back each time.

"We have generations of people who have been customers for 40 years," said Robinson. "They still come in, they're bringing their kids, so my mom has 3-4 generations of families who come in."

The costumes range anywhere from the 60's, to timeless films, to the typical Halloween look.

The family decided to make the tough decision to sell all the costumes. That's because Liz is battling cancer.

"We just felt it was the best time," said Robinson.

That's why this year, all costumes will be sold for good instead of rented like they have been. That way, the shop will be the living room it once was.

"Everybody is strong, we're right here together," said Robinson. "It's going to be OK."

As this chapter closes, another opens. Liz is getting her first great grandbaby this month. The family says Liz wants to thank everyone for their support after so many years.

If you'd like to stop by Chubby's, they're open Monday through most Fridays and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The rest of the week are by appointment. Call them at (432) 362-8573.

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