Halloween at Sköna is serious business.
Well, not entirely – while our festivities, annual costume contest, and coveted skeleton trophy are the stuff of legend (and treated with the appropriate amount of reverence), the day is ultimately a chance to be playful and creative. Your humble author spoke to four legendary costume contest winners – Annali, Boramy, Janessa, and Louise – about what the big day is all about in Skönaville.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. It’s amazing to be surrounded by such a collection of Halloween talent. When was your first Skona Halloween?
Janessa: 2012 was the first year everyone dressed up at the office. My husband had purchased an actual CHP uniform to be CHIPS with his friend, so I borrowed that. I got donuts from 7-Eleven for realism and was fearful all day that I would be arrested for impersonating an officer. I did read up on that and you have to actually be trying to enforce the law, like giving someone a ticket, to get in trouble. Thank goodness.
Boramy: Mine was 2014.
Louise: I think mine was 2019?
Annali: 2020 for me. I was younger and more naive then… and not nearly as well-versed in Sköna Halloween. I was a cat burglar and made a DIY costume. To complete the look, I stole Pope Francis, my parent’s cat. I was hoping he’d carry the weight of the competition for me and distract people because he’s a cute animal. Basically, I thought people would vote for him. It did not work.
What was your first impression of the tradition?
B: I quickly learned how seriously everyone took it. I knew I had to bring my A-game the first year. I didn’t think I’d be as into it as I was.
L: My first thought was “Oh shoot, now I have to find an outfit!” The expectations are so high!
A: In my personal life, I’m not a huge Halloween person. I like scary movies and other people’s crazy ideas, but I tend to feel overwhelmed by it all. So I was obviously nervous, definitely feeling mixed emotions. After seeing the great ideas that people brought to the competition and the family people lured in to vote for them, it was like Rock the Vote and knew it was ON.
J: In the early years, people were very impressed with the amount of effort I put in. I think a lot of people are scared of feeling silly on Halloween. Dressing up can feel uncomfortable, vulnerable even! And so when I’m okay making a fool of myself or not taking things too seriously (or taking my costume very seriously), I think that’s contagious. People feel like it’s a safe place to have fun and be a little silly.
Tell me about winning the costume contest. When did you emerge victorious? What were you?
J: I won in 2014. I was Frida Kahlo and Meera, my dog, was a taco. We definitely sent out a poll for people to vote, but that was before we had a trophy to prove the win. So I’ve been on a mission to win again and get my name rightfully engraved on the hardware.
B: I’ve won twice: in 2017, I was Cousin Itt; in 2019, I was Teen Wolf.
L: I believe I won in 2020. I was the universe and my son was an astronaut.
A: 2021 for me. I was “Where in the Northwest is Waldo?” An homage to the most frustrating, daunting children’s book of all time. JUST SHOW YOURSELF, WALDO!
Yeah, he’s a pretty frustrating guy. But enough about Waldo. What does the tradition mean to you?
J: I think it encompasses the fun we like to have together as a company. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and it’s a safe space to be silly and vulnerable.
B: It’s a good representation of our culture – fun, creative, and evidence that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We will literally show up in meetings or on calls in costume.
A: It shows our personality. We care about good times, and it’s a safe space to show up to work as a lonely Left Boob, but meet your friend Right Boob in the office. Teen Wolf is welcome. Aladdie Mercury can bask in his fame and glory here. Even a lame cat burglar can feel right at home.
L: When we were all in the office, it was one of those extra fun days when we were not just heads down working. We would actually hang out and spend quality time with each other. To me, all the traditions that we have at Sköna just make us feel more like a family – one that likes having fun together.
Who best embodies the Sköna Halloween spirit?
L: I think Jenny and Marc always have super random, but all-in outfits.
B: Marc always goes all out with his costume details and I think he doesn’t get enough credit for them.
A: Anna delivers. Jenny does too. Marc crushes the details and I appreciate that about all of them. Trisha LITERALLY became Ali Wong in 2021. I would hang all of Genee’s costumes as art – looking at you, House Mouse.
J: Jenny tends to take the cake for me. Her costumes have been such a range of randomness and effort over the years. One year she dressed up as the Swedish Chef – excellent execution – and then another year she dressed up as our co-founder, Scott. We were all very unsure what she was that year.
Last question… the people are dying to know. What’s in store for you in 2022?
A: I’m hoping a few people will be green with envy. A dash of spooky, heavily influenced by Bravo TV unfortunately…
J: I have it all together. I’m hoping people can tell what I am. That’s typically the success level meter. If people have to ask, womp womp.
B: It’ll be a couples costume… with my dog. If I can get my shit together in time.
L: What can I say? Things are better together. And yummier!
Stay tuned for dispatches from all the 2022 Halloween festivities, including your chance to vote in the costume contest. Who knows what else the day has in store… muahahahaha!!!