February 14, 2022
ORLANDO | After more than 30 years in the Mills50 District, drag performer, entertainer and business owner Leigh Shannon is moving his popular shop Ritzy Rags Wigs & More to College Park.
“That was a home for 32 years,” Shannon says. “Being in Mills50, I loved it. But I do believe it’s time for a change.”
Ritzy Rags’ new location will be at 1833 Edgewater Dr. in Orlando’s College Park. Shannon is no stranger to the area. He and his husband have lived in the neighborhood for 15 years.
Ritzy Rags sells wigs, theatrical makeup, cosmetics, jewelry, accessories and more, but specializes in medical-grade wigs designed for cancer patients.
“Ritzy Rags started as a consignment shop owned by my friend Nancy Gillman and I started with just a space in the back call Bobbles by Leigh,” Shannon says. “I was selling wigs and jewelry, a little bit of makeup. All of a sudden we started getting cancer patients who heard we sold wigs and had nowhere else to go. So I thought I could help with that.”
Shannon and Gillman became full partners after that and, after Gillman retired, Shannon took over the whole shop, adding “Wigs & More” to the title.
“We kept the consignment part of the store until 2004 then shifted focus to all new items,” Shannon says.
Along with servicing cancer patients in need of wigs, Shannon’s clientele also includes theme park performers, cosplayers, entertainers, church mimes, drag queens, clowns and ballet dancers.
“The other day we had a pastor’s wife here, she bought two medical-grade wigs, we had a cross dresser here getting makeup, we had a gay guy come in and bought some poppers and then we had some Goth people come in,” Shannon says. “Everybody was smiling and having a good time. I try and make the whole atmosphere welcoming to everyone. It’s not hard to make people feel welcome.”
Wigs, makeup and accessories aren’t the only thing Shannon is bringing to College Park. He is in talks to bring two shows to the area.
“I’m in early talks with a couple of businesses in College Park, so I can’t say too much yet,” Shannon says. “But keep an eye out for a new drag bingo night coming and there will also be a scaled down version of my cabaret show that I have been doing, and continue to do, at Hamburger Mary’s for the last 13 years.”
While Shannon had wanted to have a big grand opening event, due to the ongoing pandemic, he says Ritzy Rags’ grand opening is going to be more spaced out.
“I think we’ll have a grand opening week,” Shannon says. ” We’ll have some great sales and stretch it out so people can come at different times, socially distance and feel safe.”
According to Ritzy Rags’ Facebook page, grand opening week starts April 6.
Ritzy Rags Wigs & More takes wig appointments as well as walk-ins. To make an appointment, call 407-897-2117. For more information, store hours and more, visit RitzyRags.com.