Looking Back at Emerald City Comic Con

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Exactly one week ago, we returned to the real world after an incredible weekend at Emerald City Comic Con. Our first year of having our own booth on the show floor went far better than we could have imagined; even though we’re back on our daily grind, we’re still glowing from the experience! After some time to reflect, we thought we’d share some of our favorite things from the convention.

We’re so proud of how our booth came together. It seemed right at home in its corner of the show floor, and it was exactly how we’d envisioned; bright, bold, exciting, and sleek. Our signage, all made in-house (yes – even the plastic tags!) let everyone know exactly what we’re about. Our new mirrors were adorned with bold words meant to embolden everyone that stepped into our fitting rooms. The entire weekend, people were excited to try out superhero level spandex, were intrigued by our ability to print on demand, and asked if they could buy our pink and holo bags, because they’re just that damn pretty.

We wanted to start our first year on the show floor at ECCC with a bang, so we started a scavenger hunt, of sorts. We came armed with a bag full of tokens, each good for one free pair of shells. We gave tokens each day to artists and bloggers at the convention, then they Instagrammed and Tweeted where to find them until a lucky winner showed up to claim their token. Throughout the weekend, we gave away 10 free pairs of shells! If you needed any evidence that it pays to follow us on social media, there it is. 

Our booth debut also included two live signing events! On Saturday, we had a live signing event with artist Jen Bartel - the talent behind #GalacticCats, #StellarDinos, and #CelestialCetaceans. If you’re not familiar with how a live signing works, it went like this: 

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The ECCC-exclusive variant of Jen’s #StellarDinos featured appropriately green dinosaurs, to keep with the Emerald City theme. Each fan went home the very next day with a memory that is actually not only unique but also wearable, with signatures that will never wash off or fade. Suck it, “permanent” markers!

On Sunday, we hosted another live signing for Kelly Sue DeConnick, the writer for Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. This live signing was scheduled just days before the convention, though you might not have realized it if you came to the signing. When we learned that Kelly would be joining us at the table, our production team was able to print a backdrop just for her – that’s right, that badass Bitch Planet background was made by our team the same weekend as the signing! That’s the beauty of on-demand printing (and having an amazing production crew to do it).

Over the course of the weekend, we met so many of you. We had a blast talking to you, laughing with you, shopping with you, and talking spandex with you. So many of you went out of your way to find us, and some of you made a point to introduce your friends to us. A few of you came by just because you wanted to us see that you were proudly sporting shells, which is just so amazing to us. Our hearts couldn’t be any more full, and we couldn’t have gotten to this point without your love and support. 

Thank you.

Thank you for getting us to Emerald Comic Con.

Thank you for making it amazing.

Thank you for supporting us. 

We’ll see you on the show floor next year!

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Artist Spotlight: Jade Gordon

Our Lady of Perpetual Kittens, Jade Gordon

You’ve most likely seen Jade’s work around Bombsheller before. Perhaps you pined for #SkullPile around Halloween, or recently agonized over which color variant of #Tentacles to choose (correct answer: all of them). Maybe you considered wearing #ThanksgivingCats or #ChristmasCats to family dinners last year, or found yourself wondering just how many cat leggings is too many cat leggings (correct answer: no such thing).

Jade wearing an early iteration of #Tentacles at Steamcon

Jade wearing an early iteration of #Tentacles at Steamcon

 

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Jade’s selection of shells continues to grow – we just added her 11th design to our catalog! Welcome #Corgiflage – perfect for those times when all you want is to blend into a pile of fluffy-bottomed puppies.

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We adore Jade and her designs, and we think that building a collection of that size is the perfect excuse to introduce her to you!

While Jade makes a lot of badass textile prints, it’s not her only focus, and certainly not her only talent. She creates using a variety of mediums – pen, pencil, watercolor, digital – but has also managed to create works in a variety of different styles while still making everything undoubtedly her own. Her creative works range from animals in suits to human bodies in motion, from fan art to fairies, from earth to the deep reaches of space. Chances are, no matter what your interests, you’ll find something in her gallery that you’ll love. We asked her a few questions, and we were delighted that she provided us with answers to share with you all!


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ee, JA Tentacled Jade Gordon Self-Portrait

You use a variety of styles and techniques in your art. When it comes to creating, do you have a favorite artistic style, or does that vary depending on your mood? 

Well, how can I ever let go of a love of the organic-ness of Nouveau? I think these days I spend a lot of time admiring independent comic artists. There’s so much variety in style and technique, yet there’s often still a heavily organic and crafty feel to it.

My own work definitely varies with mood, or whatever I’ve been looking at lately. I try to seek out new inspirations when I feel like I’m habitually making things of a formulaic technique rather than being creative. I feel like I go in waves for a long time, then I move on to a new style/technique/theme. 

A steampunk robot Jade Gordon, otherwise known as J-99-B1

Do you have a favorite medium or mix of mediums? 

Blue pencil and inks are probably the most beloved, but I’m leaning more toward digital and tablets because the increased speed and simplification are a lot less wear and tear on the joint and neuromuscular issues I have. 

Last year, you created hundreds of new textile designs. Just how different is the process of creating them versus your fan art and your paintings?

Textile designs can be so prolific because I can play with my original art and include that as well as things intended to be patterns from the start. I think developing for textiles gets me in the habit of thinking about how the art can be used – even simple prints need space for bleeds, and sometimes the ability to print as a square or a rectangle… or on a button, sticker, etc. I feel I’m getting better about having that in mind earlier in the process.

Textile prints from Jade Gordon’s website

What do you like to listen to or have on in the background when you’re creating? Do you have a playlist you’d like to share?

I do have to be listening to something while I work! Sometimes I’ll use Pandora for a little randomness, but I often find concentration is best aided by Classical, Instrumental/Movie Scores, or something driving and loud like NIN, Daft Punk, or Ministry – it’s all enjoyable but more of a noise that locks distractions out and I get a little more focused on the work at hand. I also sometimes find re-watching favorite movies or TV shows to have a similar effect as a familiar long-form music piece.

Most of my music lives on my computer, but sometimes I’ll throw together a list like this (click the top left icon on the video or click here to see the full list):

Are you working on any projects right now that you’re particularly excited about?

Not especially! I am generally working around my health needs and limitations, so I feel like I’ll never be done with all the little ideas, much less planning for the bigger ideas (though I am trying to gather my lists and notes to design some kind of new workflow)! I’m hoping to do more painting soon, now that I’ve worked out a little more space for an easel, my last painting mishap sprayed electric blue paint all over a kitchen wall. Thank goodness acrylic paint peels off many things when dry!

44th president Barack Obama follows you on Twitter. How does that make you feel?

Grateful that I don’t feel the need to entirely block him out like I do with 45? I’m also curious to see what Obama does from here on. Presidents don’t historically have the best track records/lifespans, but watching them as we can in the modern era, the choices they make, their priorities, their continued sacrifice and care of others, and how the process and atone for their errors is… interesting!


Thanks for chatting with us, Jade! We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

View the full collection of Jade Gordon shells here!

For more of Jade’s work, make sure to check out her website and follow her on social media!

@jadegordon

www.jadegordon.com

www.facebook.com/jadegordonartist

#Bestie AF Challenge

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GUYS! Thank you so much for all of your submissions for week one of the Feelin Yourself February. If you haven’t seen the winner of this week’s challenge, we would like to take more time to congratulate Stacey Dono on winning this week’s challenge!

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This week we are taking things up a notch by challenging you to pass on the Feeling Yourself vibe to the person in your life that keeps you grounded. This person is the first on your call list after you killed your interview and when you lose your wallet while running errands. When you are low, they lift you higher than you started with support, love, and understanding. They are someone to be celebrated!

Tag your (@) Bestie and tell us (and them) the positive impact they have on you and your life. By doing so you and them are entered to win free shells! #Twinsies

Today (Monday) kicks off the challenge week and Friday is the very last day to participate in this week’s.

XOXO

Bombsquad Whisperer

Feelin’ Yourself February

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Confidence isn’t a state of being, it’s an on-going journey with yourself. No one just wakes up and decides that the pressures of society no longer apply to them. it’s hard to drown out the voices (ourselves and others), but it’s never too late to try.

This is where Feelin’ Yourself February was born. We are taking some time to make ourselves feel good. Make time to treat yo self. Make time to have fun. Make time to appreciate what you have, rather than what you don’t. Managing life sometimes requires so much that we forget to focus on what makes you feel like a happier, more comfortable you.

Every Monday of this month we will challenge you to Feel Yourself (hard) and complete by tagging us in your post that Friday, where we will then feature you on our social media channels including Instagram and our story. On Saturday we will pick a winner at random and gift them a free pair of shells. This. Is. Not. A. Drill. You can win a free pair of Bombsheller shells, and you have a chance to do so every single week!

If you aren’t following us social media, please add us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for your very first challenge!

 

XOXO

Bombsquad Whisperer

2017: A Year in Review

Babes – we made it. We’ve left 2017 in our dust, and we’re moving forward into 2018 at full speed! While we’re happy to leave it behind, it’s always important to look back and celebrate successes, learn from experiences, and recognize the people that help us improve upon who we are and what we do. You, our bombshell babes, are the driving factor behind what we do; every goal we meet, every awesome opportunity we get, and every awesome collaboration we do is because of you.

You support us. You don’t just shop our site – you come to our sample sales and pop-up shops, we see you tagging your shells on social media, and you provide us with valuable, honest feedback. We’ve had a lot of great opportunities this year, and we owe that to you. Thank you for helping pave our way! Now let’s dive into it.


 

A Year at Bombsheller

In March, we saw the return of Bitch Planet as part of a full Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC collection. Not only does this collection have designs for Pretty Deadly, ODY-C, and Sex Criminals, but the new Bitch Planet design a live drawing at ECCC ’17! Val literally designed and drew a pair of leggings right there at his booth on the show floor, which was fascinating to watch. When they were done, we sold pre-orders, took the design to the factory, printed them, and went back to the convention the next day for pick-up!

Val drawing live @ ECCC

April showers brought the Spring Sample Sale, and ENAMEL PINS. These pins are so cute! They’re not for sale online, but catch us at a sample sale and you might just walk away with one of your own. Our sample sales are a party every time – treats, mimosas, good music, and, of course, amazing people. We love getting the chance to talk to every single one of you!

In May, we started on our quest to bring you a better shopping experience. First, we released our Sizing video and added it to our size chart page. We want everyone to make sure they get the best fit possible – all you need is a measuring tape! Well… and maybe the latest HTML5 plugin update to view the video. We then debuted the 360˚ Viewer. A series of 2D images can only show so many sides, but 360˚ degrees lets you see every detail!

June brought us the talented Ashley Joncas and the badass selection of robot legs that she designed for us. Ashley carefully crafted each design with different kinds of bodies in mind and we think she really hit the mark – literally, everybody looks badass any of the three designs. To top that all off, she orchestrated an incredible photo shoot at the plane wreckage in Sólheimasandur, Iceland.

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Click here to see the full Human + Machine lookbook by Ashley Joncas!

August brought the return of our favorite holiday, National Butt Day. We know what you’re wondering and yes – of course we had peach cupcakes. We even had three brand-spankin’-new booty-themed designs for the occasion!

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We got up to a lot in September, we popped-up shop on Big Gal Yoga’s book signing and yoga tour. Valerie’s designs were not only available during her Seattle stop, but can be seen in her book (which we highly recommend). She embodies badassery through self-love and kindness. We couldn’t be happier to have been a part of her book launch.

Valerie Sagun was an absolute delight and we’re so proud of her!

Later in the month, we returned to the show floor at Knock Out PDX! We were so honored to be invited back to this incredible plus size fashion show and shopping event in Portland. We met a lot of incredible people, cried during Glitter + Lazers’ keynote, watched our designs walk in the fashion show, and got to see a lot of seriously bangin’ outfits. We’re excited to watch this small show continue to grow and we can’t wait to see where it goes!

 

We also launched the Bombsheller Beta Program and the response was overwhelming! We had over 200 responses in our first run of sign-ups and look forward to more. We take product development seriously. When we extended our range of sizes, we wanted to do more than just “scale up,” because that rarely works. Instead, we relied on people of all shapes and sizes to help us prototype each size until we got it right. As we continue to experiment with potential new products and improvements, we want to make sure that we aren’t taking shots in the dark. We’re excited to utilize this program to help bring you more high-quality clothing and we can’t wait to see where it takes us. Make sure you’re signed up for our email list and following us on social media for more opportunities to apply as a beta tester!

November was also a busy month. Taking one more step towards a smoother and more convenient shopping experience, we released our Wishlist feature. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s simple – just sign in, then click on the heart on any product page to save it. To find your wishlist, just click on the little person icon at the top right of any page on the Bombsheller shop. We even provided buttons on the Wishlist page to make it easy for you to share your list with others!

Easy peasy

Easy peasy

We also had our last collab of the year when we released #GalacticCats by artist and pastel-punk land-mermaid, Jen Bartel. We’re pretty hyped that after her hiatus from designing leggings, she was excited as we were about getting her Galactic Cats design on our shells. If you haven’t already, go check out our blog post about her!

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Last but not least for November, we participated in Small Business Saturday with not only a sample sale. As always, the live sale was a blast and we were excited to meet and hang out with so many of you. We also may have had a high school prom level balloon arch in the doorway. There might be some awkward prom photos under said balloon arch – sorry, we’re keeping those ones for our own amusement. We also opened the online sample shop Cyber Monday, and we don’t unlock those digital doors for anything short of special occasions! We also debuted our new (and seriously cute) pink and holo shopping bags for events, so you can walk out of a sale in style… and maybe with one or two more shells than you planned on, now that you can carry more.

So... *sob* ...beautiful

So… *sob* …beautiful

At the beginning of December, we popped up shop at local yoga studio The Sweat Box on Capitol Hill to celebrate the studio’s 16th birthday! Our designs were featured in a yoga-centric fashion show, which was something we had never seen before. It was such a cool way to see our leggings in action, but also to see the positive impact that yoga and The Sweat Box have had on their students. There’s so much love here!

Photography by Donny Bryant

Photography by Donny Bryant

 


Behind the Scenes

Of course, there are a lot of things behind that scenes that speak to personal growth. Our team continues to grow bigger and stronger as we bring people on board. We continue to brainstorm and try new things. We spend a lot of time fawning over pictures you tag us in on social media and the kind things you say to and about us. We have plans that we have to keep mum about, but can’t wait to share.

We also spent some time updating and caring for the Bombshelter. We upgraded a few things, have fresh paint on the walls (our bathrooms are PINK now!), and have a sweet little sitting area with a family of plants that some of our staff have been lovingly caring for. It’s the little things.

We’ve got a lot more in store, just you wait – we’re comin’ for you, 2018. This has been quite possibly our longest blog post to date, and we’re hoping to have even more to report back on when we reach 2019!


Quick Stats for 2017! 

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And The Best of Bombsheller Winners for 2017 Are…

This year brought 105 brand-spankin’-new designs to our catalog, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch our little spandex family grow! This is our third year doing of putting together a Best of Bombsheller list, but with this many designs to choose from, we thought we could use a little help from you – our bombshell babes. We sent out a survey of the nominees and now that we have the results, we’re excited to announce the addition of the Fan Favorite category to the Best of Bombsheller lineup!

Settle in, get cozy, and click on the video below to see all of the winners and runners-up in each category. Make sure to check the list below the video for links to every design, a link to the Best of Bombsheller 2017 collection, and a discount code to celebrate!

WINNERS:

BEST USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
FIRST: #WhiskyWonders by The ElectroMagnetic Lady
RUNNER UP: #SmokeyWater by Ivy Chen

BEST ORIGINAL ARTWORK:
FIRST: #PrettyDeadly by Emma Rios of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC.
RUNNER UP: #BitchPlanetLive by Valentine De Landro of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC.

BEST DESIGNED FOR BODIES:
FIRST: #Astanine by Ashley Joncas
RUNNER UP: #Osmia by Ashley Joncas

MOST CREATIVE:
FIRST: #LegLamp by Axe Man
RUNNER UP: #KamaDeva by Synaptic Art by Natalie Doud

FAVORITE OVERALL DESIGN:
FIRST:#PrettyDeadly by Emma Rios of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC.
RUNNER UP:#GalacticCats by Jen Bartel

MOST SOLD:
FIRST: #BitchPlanetStellar by Valentine De Landro of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC.
RUNNER UP: #PlatypusDreaming by Ana Forrest, Jose Calarco of Descendance Aboriginal & P.H. Diniz

FAN FAVORITE: 
FIRST: #ODYC by Christian Ward of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC.
RUNNER UP: #GalacticCats by Jen Bartel

Head on over to our Best of Bombsheller 2017 collection to shop our winners. Make sure to enter this discount code at checkout for 10% off (valid until 1/5/18) as our way of saying thanks for making our 2017 great:

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Think you’ve got what it takes to get on next year’s list? Then head on over to our “Design With Us” page to learn more about how to craft a pair of leggings to add to our catalog. If you’ve got an artistic eye and access to Adobe Illustrator, then we wanna see what you’ve got!

Also, if you missed your chance to vote this year, make sure you’re signed up for our email list so you’re never left out. Just scroll down to the bottom of any Bombsheller shop page to find the subscription box. Make sure you’re also following us on social media for updates on what we’re up to!