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October 2008
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Legally Blind Woman Turns Love of Halloween Into a Part Time Costume Business

Jeannine Conway at her Weymouth garage, with a mannequin dressed as the Joker in the movie ''The Dark Knight.''Jeannine Conway has a garage full of tables covered with props like rubber weapons, wigs, carved pumpkins and party gags, in addition to a life sized mannequin portraying the Joker from “The Dark Knight” movie.


Conway has meticulously recreated the late Heath Ledger’s character from the recent hit movie and says she “realized back in August that the Joker would be the hot costume this year. The movie was such a big hit, and everybody just loves Heath.”

She has already shipped more than 25 of them for between $60 and $250 each, depending on whether customers prefer to have a mask (as opposed to makeup) or other additional items included with each costume.

Conway sells her Joker costumes and others that she creates on eBay, along with vintage and other finds she acquires online and at flea markets. Her garage houses racks of costumes that Conway is preparing to ship to customers who have bid on them at eBay, where she has sold her costumes and props under the username joeycboston06 for almost two years.


After expenses, Conway estimates that her costume sales will bring in around $3,000 this year. “It’s not much, but I love doing it,” she says. “And it helps me pay the bills.”


Several of Conway’s costumes have won prizes and awards in previous years, and she is planning on entering her Joker costume in competition this year. Past awards include a trip for two to London along with tickets to a Led Zeppelin concert she and her boyfriend won for dressing up as a carnival booth last year.


She credits her love of Halloween to her 20 year old son Joe, who she says has kept her hobby alive over the years.

Conway has been considered legally blind since she was a child and has been saving up for an operation to correct her vision problems that is not covered by insurance. In addition to her day job as a web site designer, Conway takes on other side jobs for extra income.  Read more of her story in the Boston Globe.

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