Masquerade Creations Is A Dream Come True For Little Girls
By Teya Vitu
Pinks and fuchsia dominate at Masquerade Creations Party & Rentals, its owner Francisco Valencia himself dressed in an eggplant dress shirt.
Valencia has created a party world specifically for girls in the two-to-14 age range and decidedly for girls a couple years either side of eight years old.
Masquerade Creations, 45 South 6thAvenue, is the place to outfit the young girl for a special event, and you can even rent the store for birthday parties.
For the younger girls, Valencia has selections of petite skirts and tutus, largely in the pink family.
For the older girls, the store has tank tops and cap sleeve shirts in a variety of summer colors. Each of these shirts can be decorated with one of 12 designs that are applied with a heat press.
Accessories abound: from hair extensions, bracelets and necklaces to tiaras, tote bags, dance bags, butterfly wings and baby shower kits.
Valencia also wants to outfit the local dance community.
“We’re going to partner up with dance schools,” he said.
Valencia opened Masquerade Creations on May 12 after giving his concept a test run in Yuma.
“My dream is to create a national brand and design all the merchandise,” Valencia said.
Valencia is a Tucson native, grew up here, but lived in California for eight years to study and teach at the Fashion Institute of Design and Manufacturing in San Diego and San Francisco. He also was a design assistant for Costume Disguise, the world’s leading costume manufacturer, and worked for Party Pony Express in San Diego.
“When I was growing up, me and my sisters would do fashion shows,” Valencia said. “We’d take the curtains down and I’d wrap the curtain around my sister. I was going for the typical doctor/lawyer route. When I was 16, my older sister got murdered. I thought what should I do with my life? My sister always said ‘shoot for a star, think big.’ I thought back at what made me happiest. That was playing with my sisters.”
Valencia got his first academic taste of fashion while taking courses at Tucson Unified School District’s Children at Risk program to become a teacher. He got directed to a sewing class. That led him to the Tucson Design College, today called the Arts Institute of Tucson.
“The next step for me was moving to San Diego and starting fashion design school,” he said. “The second year I went to San Francisco.”
He started with the Masquerade Creations idea two years ago and also worked as a kitchen designer for The Home Depot and Handyman’s Haven.
“I opened a store in Yuma,” Valencia said. “I wanted to do a pilot store there. When we got something solid, we could do something in Tucson. We closed Yuma in January.”
This being a small world, Masquerade Creations is in the former space of Rockin’ Queen, closed in February by Lizette Trujillo.
“I think it was destiny,” Valencia said. “Lizette was one of my students at the Tucson Design College. She closed the store and I stepped in. I think Downtown has a lot of changes going on right now. I want to be a part of that.”