There are Mardi Gras masks, and then there are Mardi Gras masks. Dennis Beckman, fantasy mask designer at Enchanted Garden (2429 Line Ave., Shreveport), makes the italicized kind of Carnival mask – the one-of-a-kind, custom-made, show-stopping kind. Step into Enchanted Garden during Carnival season, and you’ll be surrounded by masks that Dennis has hand-crafted right here in Shreveport.
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“I had a store in San Francisco for 42 years, and as a part of my business, I created bridal headpieces,” Beckman said. “One of my celebrity brides said that she wanted to come down the aisle in a fantasy mask…and it just took off from there.”
If, when you hear the words “Mardi Gras mask,” you think of a purple plastic mask like those you’d find at a chain store, the masks that Dennis makes and sells year-round at Enchanted Garden may look completely alien to you. Some are huge, some are small, some are whimsical and some are – honestly – kind of intimidating. All are unique, artistic expressions of a lifelong mask-maker.
Masks at Enchanted Garden “start at $24 and go up,” with most falling into the price range of $48-$68. Dennis says that he’s got “hundreds of masks” on-hand in the store at any time.
Enchanted Garden isn’t a one-stop Mardi Gras supply store like Tubbs Hardware in Bossier City, for example, where shoppers can by beads by the 40-pound box or stock up on Moon Pies and rubber chickens. Instead, it’s a great place to get Carnival season home décor, Mardi Gras-themed edible goodies for entertaining, and all sorts of wearable Mardi Gras flair. Soon after the clock strikes midnight on Fat Tuesday, the shop will be transformed for the next seasonal holiday.
Enchanted Garden has been in business for 40 years, which is no small achievement. They’ve weathered many changes in how Americans shop, from shopping malls to Amazon, and they’re still going strong because of the personal attention that clients receive in their shop.
“If you have a special outfit, bring me a picture or bring that outfit in, and we’ll create something,” Dennis said. “I work on masks every single day.”
Looking for more info on Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier? Visit www.ShreveportMardiGras.com or download the 2020 edition of the Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier.
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