Startup wins MCE Pitch competition

Jenny Zarogoza (far left) of Maricopa took home the top award from the MCE Pitch competition with her home-based business Mythical Garden, which creates outfits for cosplay, comicons and other costume events. (Images 1 & 4 by Anita McLeod, all other submitted.)

After Jenny Zarogoza’s mother passed away in 2015, she inherited a couple of sewing machines and leftover fabric.

The loss unexpectedly produced a new beginning for Zarogoza. The tools handed down from her late mother revived an old passion for design and an ambition to start her own business in Maricopa.

That same year, she opened Mythical Garden, an online store that sells fantastical “cosplay” (costume play) costumes handmade by Zarogoza herself.

Her experience creating costumes was first born during her 25 years as a professional dancer.

“My mom and I used to sew ballroom dance gowns together,” Zarogoza said.

Her interest in cosplay regalia is also a generational influence. It began when Zarogoza’s daughter and granddaughter invited her to a Comic-Con event a few years ago.

“I had never been to one, and we went out and had so much fun that I thought this would be fun to have a little shop and sell stuff here so that we could all come to the Comic-Con and make money at the same time,” she said.

Zarogoza and her family began selling ready-made costumes at Comic-Cons in Utah and Arizona, eventually creating a website where customers order and customize online.

The company has since grown to include Zarogoza’s sister Linda as partner. In August, the sibling-team placed first out of five competitors in Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship’s inaugural pitch competition.

After the experience, the sisters say they plan to expand their reach to include designing and creating Halloween specialty costumes at a temporary pop-up shop in Maricopa.

“We are thinking about setting up shop, bringing in all of our costumes, putting some outfits together, and getting the machines out,” Zarogoza said.

The Zarogozas are also in talks of designing costumes for customers who attend masquerade balls held in the Valley.

“We get the joy out of seeing the light come on in people’s eyes when they try on an outfit for the first time and they feel beautiful,” Zarogoza said.

Mythical Garden offers custom designs for men and women in “steampunk,” Victorian-era, Civil War-era and gothic styles. Some designs are customizable in plus sizes up to 6XL., 

This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.


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