Making a business out of making fangs

Four-year-old Rodney Lynch tries a 'dracula' outfit at a store in Silver Spring, Maryland, on October 28, 2010 ahead of Halloween.

Over the years, Halloween has spawned a cottage industry of its own, with pop-up costume shops, bulked-up candy aisles, parades and other festivities.

Yet, for Sebastiaan van Houten, who works at the Halloween Adventure store in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood, the work is year-round. Van Houten is a self-described "fang-smith" -- meaning he crafts custom-made prosthetic fangs.

For Van Houten's customers, wearing fangs "has the same psychology behind it as a tattoo or a body piercing."

And, just who are the customers? According to Van Houten, anyone from a plumber to a multi-million dollar banker will walk into his studio on any given day. The eclectic mix of business keeps his work interesting though, "after 18 years, it just gets more and more bizarre," he says.



About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.


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