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PYSK: Aaro H. Froese

Owner, Gotcha! Costume

AGE: 38

JOB DESCRIPTION: I am responsible for purchasing and selling a wide variety of costumes and esoteric accessories. I also develop entertainment concepts for special events.


EDUCATION: BA, communication, University of Missouri, 1992

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; member of the Columbia Bicycle Club; Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: During college I did singing telegrams for the Nostalgia Shop, which used to be a costume novelty business. Eventually I began managing their Halloween seasons. After graduation, I did freelance marketing. Eventually I had the opportunity to buy out Nostalgia Shop’s costume inventory.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: George Liggett and Tim Flynn, owners of the Nostalgia Shop. I’ve learned a great deal from them and admire their ability to adapt to changing markets (all with a sense of humor!).

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I love helping a customer discover the “creative” within themselves. It’s great to outfit someone in the perfect costume for the perfect occasion.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: Be working for a professional bicycling team.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: I recently moved my store to a new location after 10 years in business. This was very stressful. However, I stayed true to myself and my vision for Gotcha and I have to say, it couldn’t have worked out better!

A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: Working with the Tour of Missouri was an incredible experience, combining my two great loves – Missouri and cycling.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: The demand for costumes is a year-round business. October is our busiest time, though.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Cycling; doing things with my children; restoring Cadillacs.

FAMILY: Wife, Michelle; two daughters, Sky, 8, and Sophie, 5; my mom and dad, as well as my sister, Sarah, brother, Ethan, and nephew, Nolan, all live in town.

FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: My boyhood home, which I’m renovating.

ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: The birth of my daughters!

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: Lived abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico, during college. I loved it and still speak Spanish when I have the opportunity.

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