While most of us don't think about Halloween during summer, at House to Home Organizing we are always on the look out for locally made quality items. We spoke with Kyle from Connecticut's own Decimated Designs about all the cool things they do and make.
What’s your background and what is Decimated Designs?
Decimated Designs is a full-service design and fabrication shop in New Britain, CT. We specialize in making large foam creations with our 4’x8’ CNC as well as makeup FX, costumes, masks, signage, and the occasional blueprint or fire-exit plan. I've always been a Halloween fanatic, up to the point that my sister's birthday is November 1st because my mother refused to miss seeing me in costume. I did my first (laughably bad) prosthetic makeup when I was 9, and then discovered the Theater when I moved to Connecticut at 10. I went to school for Tech Theater and when I got out landed at a professional Haunted House only to realize that between the sets, costumes, makeup, lighting, sound, actors, etc., haunted houses are just a different type of theater! From there I started the company and it has grown and taken on more and more new and interesting projects.
What is the haunt community?
The haunt community is a group of like-minded individuals who come together for the purpose of scaring the socks out of the public. Many of us are charity-oriented in one way or another, plenty of us are strictly business, and a good chunk are purely for-the-love-of-it types who don't want to muddy things up by having to charge for tickets one way or another. You've got Home Haunters, Semi-Pros, Professional Haunters, Actors, Designers, Costumers, Makeup Artists, Animatronic Fabricators, Sculptors, Web Designers, and absolutely everything in-between. We come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and yet when we meet up one haunter can almost always spot another in a crowd. There's an energy to it, and a community built around it.
Can regular people shop with you or is it only for professionals?
We cater to just about everyone! We've sold cosplay items to Dr. Who fans in Malta, noisemakers to a haunt in Dubai, and 6' beating hearts to one of the largest amusement parks in the country! We do high-end makeup for films and quick face paints at local Comic Cons. It's a bit of a give-and-take because I love being reachable at all ranges of the spectrum but we often run into budgetary issues when clients don't realize just how much the truly high-end work actually costs. It never hurts to contact us and ask about something you’re interested in, and we always try to come up with creative ways to do a project and stay within budgets.
I assume Halloween is your biggest season, what do you do the rest of the year?
Halloween is absolutely our busy season, but we don't slow down very much. Over the winter we're prepping new products for a Spring release. Most of the big haunted houses in the country are actually buying their larger products in March so that the companies have production time and they're able to get their items with enough time for setup and testing before the season begins. Since installing the CNC, we've also begun taking on more commercial work which keeps us busy through the Spring and Summer and there are plenty of conventions and shows we hit in-between.
Do you teach others to do what you do?
We do quite a bit of education actually! We are the only iWata certified airbrush educators in the Northeast and regularly teach classes on makeup FX. One of our favorite recurring classes is “How to improve your Halloween Makeup” which we teach about 6-8 times a year at various libraries throughout Connecticut. Halloween is how I got into all of this and if I can help up-and-coming future artists get better at their craft then I’m there! We teach things like how to make eye makeup scary without resorting to “racoon black-out” eyes. There is plenty that we do which we cannot teach because of the depth and complexity of it, or the large tools involved, but we’re always looking to add on new classes!
Over the years, what has been the coolest things you have done?
We’ve worked with celebrities, large companies, tv shows & movies, and gotten to create giant versions of some of our favorite characters. We’re currently working on a 10’ Thanos statue as well as some giant PEZ and a dream project to convert a certain artistic space into a Halloween themed nightmare (sorry, but can’t share too too much on this one yet!) Some of our favorite projects have been the Halloween Weddings we’ve done turning brides into zombies and grooms into werewolves! With our new CNC Machine, we’ve also been able to expand the kind of size and detail we’re able to output, so as someone who loves seeing art come to life that has been incredibly awesome. We’re always up to something new and interesting and it’s so hard to pick! It’s probably best to follow us on social media where we keep everyone as up-to-date as possible and let everyone pick their favorite for themselves!