Dave Miller started the Dave Miller Costume Shop in 1923 in downtown Milwaukee. Mr. Miller was fond of saying he started with one sewing machine and 2 bolts of fabric, one red and one white, to make Santa Claus outfits. After the company experienced significant growth, the business was relocated to Jackson Street, next to the old Skylight Theatre.
During performances, the actors would use the sewing room as a dressing room. Mr. Miller was involved with all the local theatre companies, both professional and amateur. In 1965, due to urban development, Dave had to relocate and moved into the Third Ward District, to the George Ziegler & Co. Candy factory building.
In 1977 Paul Armstrong joined forces, purchased the company and changed the name to Miller-Armstrong Costume Service (MACS). In 1986, Mr. Armstrong purchased the second largest costume house in Milwaukee, Barnes-Lorber Costumes from Sid Lorber, Dave Miller’s nephew. In combining their stock, MACS now had an inventory of over 60,000 superior quality costumes.
Suzann J Campbell came on board in 1979, working part time while attending Mount Mary College for Fashion Design and Theatre Arts. In 1981, Ms. Campbell took over as sewing room supervisor, in 1985 as rental manager, and 1990 as general manager after completing a Business Management degree from Concordia University. Ms. Campbell purchased the business from Mr. Armstrong in 1995.
In a need for more space, on January 1, 2000 the company relocated to its current location in the Historic Walker’s Point area, just south of downtown Milwaukee. Ms. Campbell changed the name to Miller And Campbell Costume Service (MAC), to keep both previous owners identified.
MAC offers four lines of theatrical makeup, a large retail facility, custom design services, a wide variety of masquerade and theme costumes, period and character wigs, free costume plots, production advice, and mascot design/construction.
With a 32,000 square foot building and a 50-car parking lot, MAC is able to accommodate both customer and business needs. MAC clients include professional and semi-professional theatres, community theatre, high schools, universities and businesses across the country.
Our qualified staff at MAC can assist with full-scale productions, as well as single costuming needs and makeup advice. MAC is continually updating and adding to the existing stock and show collections. The staff at MAC is proud of their excellent customer service and fine quality costumes.
Casey Harris has been with Miller and Campbell for over ten years. Her expertise and love for all things theatre really shine through in this interview with Fox 6 News anchor Brian Kramp (2018).
Casey Harris with Fox6 News Anchor Brian Kramp.