LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Louisiana will likely never see another Mardi Gras like 2021. Parades and balls were canceled, but the vendors that supply them still kept their doors open. One of those stores is Bead Busters & Float Rentals in Youngsville.
The owner and Bead King Craig Spadoni says this time of year, his store would usually be 90% empty, but his shelves are already fully stocked for Mardi Gras 2022.
“It’s a shocker. I mean when it first hits you it’s like, ‘Okay. This is not happening, and I made this investment.” Those were the thoughts running through Spadoni’s head when he realized no parades would happen in 2021, but boxes topped his shelves, and another Bead Busters warehouse was also full.
The reason there is so much stock is that orders are made almost a year in advance, almost immediately after Fat Tuesday, and Bead King Craig Spadoni had to make a choice.
“At that time, it was iffy. It was a 50-50. Do I pull the trigger on ordering this inventory?” Spadoni asked himself.
He didn’t want to have nothing if parades returned, but instead, he has everything except one type of item in high demand: home decor. The small section of the store has been restocked nine times this season.
“If I had known ahead of time, I’d had been more prepared, but we did really well. That’s what kept us afloat,” Spadoni admitted. “It’s not what we wanted, but something’s better than nothing.”
Speaking of nothing, that’s what the float rental side of his business generated with parades and annual festivals canceled. The focus is now fully on 2022. Many of the krewes and customers of Bead Busters are committing to doubling their orders to make up for the lost time.
According to Spadoni, “We’re going to have to buy more! We’re going to have to order more because we’re going to have to be prepared for 2022. It is going to be big. It’s going to be huge.”