I have very little recollection of myself in any type of animal costumes growing up. I know that I played a lion in a school play, however, because my mother saved my mane made out of yarn. *LOL* I wish I could dig up that old memory.
I already mentioned in LJ that my very first fursuiting experience was back on Halloween of 1985. I rented a raccoon suit from a costume store and hit the big University of Illinois street party. I had a complete blast! I knew I was hooked.
It was either 1987 or '88 that I went to visit my folks up in Chicago. On the news I heard that one of the largest and oldest costume companies was doing a huge clearance sale. I thought I would try my luck. Sure enough they had many animal costumes. Most were well-worn and almost all were open-faced. I managed to pick up a bunny, a bear, and a leopard all for $20. I had a chance of picking up a full bunny mascot suit in great condition for $150, but I was a poor starving grad student at the time. I couldn't really afford $150 for a bunny suit. Yes, I kick myself to this day for not buying it as well as every other critter suit on the rack. They were selling most stuff like that for $5. Oh, to know then what I know now. BTW, I still own the costumes. I even wore the bear in 2003 with a cheap dog mask for Animal Humane. It was horrendous as fursuits go, but it taught me a valuable lesson that people really don't care! They love all fuzzy creatures out there performing.
I continued my quest to find myself a decent bear costume. Where does one go to look?!? This was the early 90's. There was no Internet as we know.
In 1991 or 92 I received a catalog in the mail for a novelty shop. Inside I found the traditional gorilla and chicken suits. Hey! They were full-body fursuits! I now had a good-paying job, so I plunked down the $100 each for the suits. I was thrilled to actually be wearing a full suits, no matter how cheesy they were. I couldn't wait until Halloween every year so I could get dressed up to pass out candy to the kids.
And that's the way things were until I got the bug up my behind in 2002 to search the Internet for bear suits. I then discovered lots of online costume shops, but more importantly, I found a whole community out there JUST LIKE ME that had a desire to dress up in animal costumes just for the fun of it. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Sabot the Brown Bear
Nevada the Polar Bear
Zunipup the Golden Retreiver
Abbey the Raccoon
Basalt the Black Bear
Freesia the Pink Panda
Also the badger, the parrot, and the white tiger.