Dale Morton is the founder of DMS Mascot Costumes located in Hurricane, West Virginia. He crafts professional, custom-made mascot character costumes for schools and corporations nationwide. Some of Morton’s past customers have included Intelos, Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, THX Inc., Careerbuilder.com, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA).
Morton creates custom masks, full creature suits, fiberglass armor and commissioned sculptures for commercial and artistic use. Some of Morton’s prominent West Virginia mascots and costumes have been “Marco” for Marshall University and The Pepperoni Rolls for the West Virginia Black Bears.
Morton talked with Jim Matuga, host of The Positively West Virginia Podcast, about his business, what he’s excited for in the future, who his target audience is and what he loves about starting and growing his business in West Virginia.
What would you say is the thing you’re most excited about for your organization?
“I have partnered with the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington, West Virginia and they have a facility in South Charleston where they do a lot of cutting edge manufacturing. They have a lot of equipment based there that does cutting edge computer based manufacturing. I have done two head sculptures for two mascots and I have sculpted them at half scale. So it doesn’t take as long to sculpt, doesn’t take as much clay and they are not as heavy,” said Morton.
“I am able to take those sculptures to the institute and they use laser scanning equipment to scan that sculpture and create a 3D computer model of that sculpture. Once they have the sculpture, they can divide the sculpture in half and we can get a block of dense foam material and the router will cut the shape of that character in a negative image into the foam. So, you have a negative mold of each head, and they scale it up to the size I need. It’s amazing!”
“It’s going to enable me to sculpt a lot faster with less effort,” said Morton.
What geographic market do you serve?
“The geographics are endless, it’s not just West Virginia. I mean the majority of my customers are out of state. I have gotten a lot more in-state customers over the past five to six years; more and more people have come to be aware that I’m here,” Morton said. “The majority of my customers all come from out-of-state and it varies, including Texas, California, Canada, New York, Germany, England and South Africa.”
What would you say is the best thing about being in business in West Virginia?
“To me, personally, it’s really the sense of friendship and community that I have with all the different people I know, in the arts community, in the audiovisual community, in the theater community and other costumers in the state. They all help me and I help them, they all send stuff to me or some potential clients and I help them in ways I can. It’s a wonderful sense of friendship and community.”
Morton was a guest on The Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here: https://positivelywv.com/podcast/
PWV QUICK BITS
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley and Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
- PIECE OF ADVICE: “If you are not willing to put your heart and soul into your business if you are not passionate about what you are setting out to do then don’t do it,” advised Morton.