In spite of the rain, a small crowd turned out Thursday afternoon to honor a longtime Denton businesswoman and costume designer.
Denton Community Theatre surprised Judy Smith, the retired owner of Rose Costumes and a designer who conceived and built costumes for the local theater community for decades. They sang a chorus of “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to Smith, who arrived in a bright yellow hat bearing a large sunflower and earrings made from buttons. Smith often wears her own creations.
“Congratulations, Judy,” said Mike Barrow, the managing director of Denton Community Theatre. “You’ve been a Campus Theatre star for a long time.” Barrow unveiled a “super nova” sidewalk star with Smith’s name and Rose Costumes engraved on it. To buy the sidewalk star, friends and family of Smith quietly raised $10,000 for the company.
“Judy and I go way back, before I had anything to do with community theater,” Barrow said. “Back when I was in the retail business renting tuxedos, I was in charge of a 30,000-square-foot warehouse. We’d be clearing out the space, and at some point, someone would run in and yell, ‘Judy Smith is here!’ She’d gather up whatever she could into trash bags.”
Smith’s son, Tim, congratulated his mother for her vision in building a costume shop, and her energy. He commended his mother’s work, marveling at the costumes that came from “your talented minds and hands.” And over the years, Judy Smith said she solved costume problems and shortcomings with a dose of spectacle. (“If something doesn’t look right,” she’s said, “I just add more feathers or sequins.”)
“You would stay up, sewing into the wee hours, watching HGTV or old movies,” Tim Smith said.
During the day, Judy Smith managed a growing inventory and staff that created costumes for high school, college and community theater programs.
Judy Smith said she was surprised.
“I thought I was going to witness wills,” she said, referring to her children’s tactic of having her meet them at a local attorney’s office. “I look at the stars out there, and I see Peterbilt and Justin’s. And then I see my little store on there — I am overwhelmed. There are other people here who are more deserving than I am. So many people have donated their time to this community.”