Our Story

Clara's Closet began in 1997 by two sisters, Fran Mallory and Mary Stalp.  Fran was a professor at Dana College and Mary was a dietitian at a hospital in West Point.

The sisters met one afternoon in Omaha to talk over the business and tried to find a name that would be unique to the two of them.  They threw out many ideas and decided they would name it after their mother, Clara.  They named the company, Clara's, Inc., and later changed the actual dress up business name to "Clara's Closet Dress Up Parties."

The first location was in an old vacant post office building in Elkhorn, Nebraska.  Fran and her family painted and repaired the building, while both sisters helped with decorating the inside and sewing dresses.

The business was a godsend to Mary.  In March of 1996, Mary lost her youngest daughter in a car accident.  Making dresses for the business gave her a reason to get up on the mornings when she didn't have to go to work at the hospital.

Soon, a third person, Suzanne VanDusen, became a partner in the business.  Suzanne was a retired schoolteacher of 38 years and brought her expertise in organizing children.  She ran many of the birthday parties and taught etiquette lessons.

After being in business for two years, the women were faced with selling the business or shutting the doors for good.  Fran was retiring from her position at the college and relocating to the Southeast.  The other two women did not want to continue on their own, so actively began searching for a prospective buyer.  After advertising for several months, the company was sold and transferred to Corina Orsborn.

Corina was looking for a way to supplement her income due to a divorce.  

This was a godsend to her as well, as she had to adjust to every other weekend without her children. 

With the help of her children, Brandon, Britanny and Breanna, family and friends, she moved the business up the street from the old post office.  Corina expanded the business and added her own touch to it.

Corina has brought her talent, creativity, education, personal and professional experiences all together and has continued to run a very successful and unique business.  Clara's Closet has become one of the most popular places in Eastern Nebraska to host children's birthday parties.