The LA costume designer feels at home in Severna Park

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By Jane Seiss

Stacey Ferrence describes herself as a true “valley girl”. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County in the 80s. Now, after moving to Maryland in 2012, Ferrence calls Severna Park home. Ferrence has 30 years of experience in clothing and costumes. She enjoys the friendships and life here, and she channels her creative and costume experience into two unique entrepreneurial pursuits.

From an early age, Ferrence knew she would follow a creative path. “I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was a kid,” she said. “Before, I used to sew with my grandmother and make clothes.”

Ferrence earned a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and completed a senior internship in the apparel industry in Los Angeles. “At school, I was exposed to the entertainment industry a lot. It was part of the culture growing up in Los Angeles,” she said.

A costume designer hired Ferrence to work on a movie. “I was hooked after that,” she admitted.

Ferrence spent many years working in film and television. While working on the television series “X-Files”, she met her husband, Chris, and they started a family.

The family moved across the country while working on television productions. In 2012, they came to Maryland. Chris was working on the hit Netflix series “House of Cards”. During the show’s third season, Ferrence was hired to work with the show’s costume designer. The family settled here, moving to Chartwell in 2014.

“It was a great show and experience,” Ferrence said of his time at “House of Cards.” She was a key costume designer for the production, mostly background clothes – sometimes hundreds of them in a scene. She researched the clothing and uniforms, sourced the items in-house, and did fittings for some of the characters. Scenes could be elaborate and include a state dinner and an inauguration.

Show costumes were housed and organized on shelves in a warehouse. Each actor had a huge closet, and the stock of clothes grew over time. When the show ended in 2018, Ferrence estimated there were 500 clothes racks.

According to Ferrence, much of the collection went to an auction house, and some pieces worn by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright — as lead characters Frank and Claire Underwood — were donated to the Smithsonian. The actors of the series kept some of the costumes they liked, and the team of “House of Cards” bought some.

In 2018, Ferrence and a business partner acquired the rest of the collection and opened a costume rental house in Glen Burnie. Mid Atlantic Costume rents clothing to the film, television and entertainment industry throughout the East Coast. Items on offer include military, police and pilot uniforms; contemporary clothing; and designer ball gowns.

Life changed overnight for Ferrence and her two daughters in November 2019 when her husband, Chris, died suddenly. Neighbors and the community embraced the family.

“I love Severna Park,” Ferrence said. “I have a lot of friends here. When my husband died, we had so much support. It was powerful how so many people took care of us. I realized this was my home. It’s a wonderful community. We had a meal train every day for three months.

During the COVID pandemic, Mid Atlantic Costume’s business has slowed significantly. In 2020, Ferrence began acquiring contemporary clothing and began offering pop-up shops to friends and locals. Word spread and Ferrence’s fashion sales became popular. In 2021, she opened a retail store, Stardust Deluxe, in downtown Annapolis. The boutique is a traditional boutique that offers contemporary women’s clothing, vintage shoes and bags, as well as a unique designer collection from “House of Cards” and other salons.

“I’m passionate about growing my business so maybe one day my kids will want it, or I can sell it because it has value,” Ferrence said. “I really enjoy the entrepreneurial process. I like the flexibility I can build into my business.

The Stardust Deluxe website is www.stardustdeluxe.comand the shop is on Instagram at @stardustdeluxeboutique.


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