According to Crain’s New York Business, until Planet Pepper, options were very limited for drag queens who needed outfits and dresses. Well, just think: dresses that are proportioned correctly for a size 14 man.
They were taking a square peg and trying to put a round dress on it,â€ said Vincent Cuccia, who had a career in fund raising and grant writing for different theaters and universities in the New York City area before it occurred to him there might be a market in drag queen clothes. So far, Cuccia has the market all to himself, which is how he planned it.
Cuccia, who is already breaking even with $25,000 in revenue so far this year, found a business organization that helped him avoid startup costs.
â€œWe try to be the full packageâ€”you’re getting your wigs and dresses from us, and we use independent contractors who supply jewelry and other materials, and help with wig designs,â€ said Cuccia. â€œThe only thing we don’t do is shoes.â€
Cuccia works with Alex Bartlett, a veteran Broadway designer in both wardrobe and wigs who invested several thousand dollars in the enterprise. â€œWhen I met Bartlett,â€ said Cuccia, â€œeverything came togetherâ€”and he even came with a client list. I thought, I can sell this.â€
The two complement each other well, said Cuccia, who handles the business side: marketing, sales, bookkeeping, branding and publicity. Bartlett designs all the clothing, does alterations and styles the wigs.
He sees the market for planetpeppernyc.comas nationwide. â€œOur marketing strategy is aimed at selling costumes all year round,â€ he said. â€œWe don’t have seasonality. There are many events featuring drag queens throughout the year around the country.â€
Photo by Crain.