Night shot of illuminated pumpkins.
The five unique businesses profiled in this article get their inspiration from Halloween and offer supernatural-inspired treats, threads, home goods, and decorations. — Getty Images/Martin Deja

Fall has come again, and it’s time to switch gears. Whether they celebrate year-round or only for a few months, these five small businesses quell the wishes of spooky season lovers through creepy-crawly novelties and experiences.

Purgatory Candle Co.

Jasmine Bautista and Lesly Limon are the wax pourers behind Purgatory Candle Co. “Horror inspired 24/7” Bautista is Purgatory Candle Co.’s CEO, chandler, and ideator while Limon handles graphic design, branding, and promotional content. They’ve combined their skills and love of scary movies to reimagine candles in an extraordinary way.

Spurred by pandemic boredom and binge watching old horror films, Purgatory Candle Co. was a dream Bautista could finally realize. But she knew she needed to set it apart somehow and came up with a twofold vision.

Purgatory Candle Co. is health-conscious, as each product is made of 100% soy wax and is free of phthalates. The candles are also highly stylized — each design incorporates iconic characters and recognizable symbols. For instance, the Dracula candle has a wax fang that rests above the wick, while the Hello, Sidney candle is adorned with a hand-painted ghost face.

Purgatory Candle Co. wax melts, candles, and body-safe room sprays are made by hand in downtown Los Angeles.

Bones Coffee

Family owned and operated since 2015, Bones Coffee is a coffee bean vendor that’s shaking up the status quo with new and unexpected flavors. Strawberry cheesecake and maple bacon were some of the first profiles on the menu. Today, those original flavors are accompanied by new ones, including pistachio, fresh baked cannoli, s’mores, and many more unique roasts.

If the company’s name didn’t give it away, its logo and packaging both have an edgy aesthetic. Each bag displays an artistically ornate scene that personifies the flavor inside, mostly using a skeleton as the main character. The branding alone complements this time of year.

This year, Bones Coffee brought back pumpkin spice, or Jacked O’ Lantern, and chocolate hazelnut, aka Frankenbones. New this year are Sweet Tater Swirl, Apple Cider Donut, and Pear-Anormal Brew (spiced caramel pear).

I believe when you create, you let little pieces of your heart go and place them into every project you make.

Alanna Buenaflor Agcarao, Mumsterville

Mama Mads Boutique

After having two daughters, Maddie Rodriguez started making hair bows and children’s clothes. In January of 2022, she learned how to embroider and established Mama Mads Boutique.

Rodriguez never imagined she would be a business owner. Now, she operates this apparel embroidery company full time out of her home in San Antonio, Texas. As a sole proprietor, she has several machines running at once to keep up with demand.

In addition to on-trend, cheeky, or custom designs, Rodriguez makes holiday collections. She’s designed about half of her Halloween collection, “but some designs were purchased off of Etsy.”

The Halloween hits from last fall are available again this year, with new designs rolling out as the holiday approaches. These stitched scenes depict familiar characters and tropes in inventive ways like Pac-Man as a ghost-eating jack-o'-lantern, skeletons dancing, and cats or dogs in cute costumes.

Mumsterville

For Alanna Buenaflor Agcarao, the world she lives in is “Halloween all year-round!” A lover of all things spooky and deeply inspired by her daughter, Mumsterville is her passion project turned business.

This Southern Californian spent seven years in the beauty industry but wanted to build things by hand, especially for “little ghouls,” as she calls them. Agcarao crafts everything from baby bibs to greeting cards, pacifier clips, and even a baby bat mobile. “I believe when you create, you let little pieces of your heart go and place them into every project you make,” she said.

Mumsterville started out on Etsy but now has a stand-alone website, and Agcarao has invested more time in attending conventions and handmade markets. “I’m looking forward to this next step in taking my craft out into the world and [selling] in person,” she told SD Voyager.

Roger's Gardens

The origin of Roger’s Gardens dates back to 1965, when Roger McKinnon opened this garden center in Costa Mesa, California. Five years later, Gavin Herbert Sr. bought the business and moved it down the road to Corona del Mar, where it is today. It’s since been passed down to Gavin Herbert Jr. and has grown to employ over 100 community members.

Roger’s Gardens has always been an industry leader and has never done things half heartedly. In the ‘70s, for example, the company acquired the original Disneyland bandstand gazebo and used it as Santa’s station during Christmas time. Likewise, in recent years, Roger’s Gardens has gone all out for Halloween with a boutique that is transformed to fit a specific theme.

This year’s theme is “The Witching Hour,” so naturally, there are potions and mysterious books lining the walls of the store. The experience begins upon entry, where each guest is essentially swallowed by a monstrous doorway. Age-old herbaceous aromas fill the air, and visitors witness the most organized cacophony of ghoulish gadgets and gizmos imaginable. This boutique, which is powered by the ingenuity and creativity of 11 experts, is incredibly detailed and thoughtfully curated.

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