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'It was art': Indiana couple remembers how they started their business that honors King of Rock & Roll

B&K Enterprises Costume Co. has been selling Elvis-inspired costumes for decades. Now, some of those larger-than-life costumes are on the big screen.

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — We know the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, has ties to Louisville; his grandparents are buried at Memorial Gardens Highway in Shively off Dixie Highway.

But, did you know there's a southern Indiana business that has original designs similar to what the king wore?

WHAS11 took a trip to B&K Enterprises Costume Company in Charlestown, Indiana, the place that's been selling Elvis-inspired costumes for decades.

Now, some of those larger-than-life costumes are on the big screen in the new movie, ‘Elvis.’

"It was art,” Owner Butch Polston said. “I always found something really unique about those costumes."

The process to create one could take hours or days.

Polston didn't realize the 40-year-old-company would become his legacy; he only knew he loved the King of Rock and Roll.

Credit: Butch and Kim Polston
A photo taken from the set of the new movie, 'Elvis.' The jumpsuit Austin is wearing is known as the “Spanish Flower" suit.

"I was basically an Elvis fan from the womb,” Polston said.

Admiration blossomed into a business when Polston's wife, Kim, asked him a simple question.

"If you could have anything of Elvis' what would it be? And he said one of his costumes,” Kim recalled.

The pair began searching for the beautifully embroidered jumpsuits, but the prices were less than dazzling.

"We were pretty much broke,” Kim said.

Polston took matters into his own hands; he asked a seamstress to create four suits that he then designed.

Then, he and Kim hit the road and headed to Graceland  -- the place Elvis called home and where people gather to pay tribute and buy merchandise. It was there Polston made his first sell; all four suits sold for $2,000.

Though he was hesitant, Kim gave him a nudge.

“She took her elbow and started jabbing me in the side,” Polston recalled. “Take it. Take it. We’ll make you some more,” Kim also explained.

The rest was history.

Credit: Ian Hardwitt/WHAS-TV

Polston and Kim eventually quit their jobs to pursue the craft full time. But, before taking the leap to start advertising, Polston wanted to make sure he was paying his respect in the right way.

So, in the age before computers, he spent hours tracking down Elvis' wardrobe team to ask for permission.

Now the finely tailored, heavily studded, colorful pieces had the ultimate blessing -- Polston was given copyrights to the designs and business has been booming since.

While Polston said the King can never be replicated, he said it's not hard to feel like him in one of these suits.

The Polstons can only hope that's true, having clothed celebrities, tribute artists across the globe and those on the big screen.

It's a feeling they hope to continue to span generations.

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