Remember back when we prepared for 2018 with a big 2017 retrospective post? Well, if you can believe it – 2018 turned out to be even bigger. We accomplished and learned a LOT, attended and spearheaded multiple events, organized some killer collabs, and met so many incredible people along the way.
We put our 2017 wall to shame and kicked 2018’s ass.
Even after taking out the more personal highlights and behind-the-scenes accomplishments, trying to condense our entire year into one blog post turned out to be a challenge! We’ll start off with some honorable mentions before we dive into the highlight reel – make sure to stick around for the gallery of 2018 photoshoots at the end!
On Firsts and Failure
Baby’s First Booth
We got to experience having our own booth at a convention for the first time at Emerald City Comic Con – one of the biggest conventions in the greater Seattle area! We’ve done pop-ups and been guests at conventions before, but having your own space is something special. The whole weekend exceeded our expectations and allowed us to host two live signings – one with Jen Bartel and another with Kelly Sue DeConnick! The experience really lit a fire under us to really immerse ourselves in the world of geeky conventions. Spoiler alert: we’re going back this year! 😉
We also managed to score a booth at GeekGirlCon – not only did we get a panel there, too, but we also opened the Fashion Show! The convention was the weekend before Halloween, and we knocked the fashion show out of the park in some of our favorite horror-inspired Shells:
In between the two cons, our COO, Jazzlyn, spoke on panels at C2E2, San Diego Comic Con, and New York Comic Con. SDCC sticks out, especially – we attended a badass fashion show, got to meet members of the Bomb Squad, real-world tested a prototype product, and Jazzlyn spoke on three panels. It was a pretty incredible weekend!
Check out our convention recaps here:
- Bombsheller @ GeekGirlCon 2018!
- San Diego Comic Con 2018 Recap!
- Looking Back at Emerald City Comic Con
Other Notable Firsts:
- Built a “booth” out of the back of our van – pop-up road trip anyone?
- Our first ever end-of-year blowout sale in the Online Pop-Up Shop!
- Had a photoshoot with our first non-human model (you can see it in the gallery on page 2!)
Broken Machines and Postponed Dreams
We hit a few snags in our plans this year. The one that sticks out the most is probably trying – and failing – to release a new product this year. So what happened? Well… a little bit of everything.
We ran low on fabric – at one point we were totally out and had to rush order more. We took on a lot of projects. Pretty much every one of our factory’s machines malfunctioned in the last half of the year – it seemed like as soon as one thing was fixed, something else broke. Our heat press actually broke down right before the holidays and our team busted their butts to keep us on schedule. Still, there wasn’t enough time to dedicate to perfecting the launch, and to top it off, an error in size scaling of a prototype set us back quite a bit. 2018 just wasn’t the year for a big launch!
We embrace the failures with the successes. Instead of letting them get us down, we’re focusing on the things we accomplished and what we’ve learned from the things we didn’t. We can’t wait for you to see what we have in store (literally and figuratively) for 2019!
We put a lot of time and energy into testing out everything we make before it goes out into the world. Here are the things we tried this year!
- We started a beta program! We’ve done fitting parties in the past, but this year we created an open application to help us find a diverse array of eager spandex enthusiasts to make sure all products going forward are tested right. Click [here] to sign up!
- We may not have formally announce any new products on the catalog this year… but these cute little headbands started popping up at our events so we could judge your reactions. We’re still tweaking them but they’re a great way to print in the blank spaces on our fabric between Shells to help us reduce material waste!
- There… may also be a prototype or two out in the wild of potential future products. If you ever spot us at a convention, keep an eye our wardrobe. 😉
- FLAT. RATE. INTERNATIONAL. SHIPPING. We’re still exploring shipping options but we’re excited to take over the globe – stay tuned!
Collabs and Collections
We’re always making new friends and meeting new artists, and this year was no exception. Our travels through the world of conventions opened us up to the chance to work on some seriously great collabs – and we have many more to come!
Not to mention, we also…
- Jen Bartel made some friends for her #GalacticCats, and like a new star exploding from the darkness, the Sirens in Space lookbook was born.
- The Wicked + The Divine. Not only was it wonderful to work with this amazing team, but then they drew one of our designs into the comic.
- A new pair of Bitch Planet Shells joined the MCM family, and we celebrated with a fresh, new lookbook!
- Upped our geek cred, expanded our Talk Nerdy To Me collection, and released the Talk Nerdy 2.0 lookbook
- Released a sharp new Spring collection – Succulence.
- Updated our Pride collection (let’s fill the world with flags!)
Three times each year, we do a factory pop-up sale where we sell ready-to-wear Shells!
Don’t worry, we still print on demand – events demand stock and sometimes artists need samples, and anything that doesn’t immediately find a new home ends up at one of these sales. If you’re ever in Seattle, come party with us!
- We refreshed wardrobes for warmer weather with the Spring Sample Sale
- National Butt Day in August is a faux holiday that we adopted as our own and turned into our biggest sale of the year
- Small Business Saturday in November, to get the holiday shopping started
Social Media Shenanigans
This was a busy year for us on social media! We started two new campaigns that we’re excited to make a tradition, upped our posting schedule, and tried to get verified on Instagram. We’re… still working on that one. New goal for 2019?
We’re… still working on that one. New goal for 2019?
- Started the weekly #BombshellerBabe. Post your Shells on Instagram with the tag #Bombsheller for a chance to be featured!
- Started #FeelinYourselfFebruary to celebrate positive self-image
- Hit over 7k Instagram subscribers and counting.
- April Fooled everyone with “print-at-home Shells” (don’t worry, there was a coupon code – we wouldn’t prank you then leave you hanging!)
- Got personal with #BombSquadBTS on Instagram Stories to show what our lives are like behind the scenes.
Our web queen, our graphic artist, and our community manager/copywriter (psst – that’s me!) worked together to give our website a fresh, updated look:
- Streamlined our landing page and refreshed a lot of copy
- Introduced the Featured Blog header (which may be why you’re reading this right now!)
- Realized that our catalog outgrew endless scroll and switched to numbered pages
- Feeling lucky? We added a design randomizer!
- 404: Boring Error Page Not Found
We love having little treats at our pop-ups that you can’t get anywhere else. Even if you don’t plan to shop, always plan to come by our booth at conventions – you’ll likely still walk away with something fun!
- Sticker sheets
- Sticker sheet 2.0 – geekified
- Temporary tattoos
- “Stay badass” and “butts butts butts” pins
- Laser-cut acrylic “free pair” tokens. We used this same method to make price tags, too!
Bomb Squad Spotlights!
Last, but certainly not least, we got to interview five different badasses from the Bomb Squad on our blog. Shout us out on social media using the tag #Bombsheller and tell us who you’d like to see an interview on next!
- Bowed down to textile royalty Jade Gordon
- Danced it out with waacking queen Tracey Wong (aka MacTrayy)
- Talked nerdy with Mandie Roman (aka Geeky Glamorous)
- Flexed with Robyn Warren of Geek Girl Strong
- Raised awareness for men’s health with the colorful Kurt Reinhardt
That’s a wrap on 2018!
Thank you so much for your love and support – we say this often because we truly mean it from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn’t do what we do without you, our badass Bomb Squad! We want you to start your new off with a bang – enter this code at checkout through 1/12/19 for 10% off of your next purchase:
One final note. This year, we also welcomed our photographer, Stephen, to the team! He’s shot for us before, but he officially joined the Bombsheller team and has been hard at work to bring more life to our Shells through photography ever since. He doesn’t just shoot our lookbooks; he’s also been dedicating time to product photoshoots of some of favorite designs! We love our 360 viewer, but when trying to decide on a design, nothing compares to seeing Shells on real, human bodies. We look forward to more photos in 2019!
You may have seen a few of these images floating around social media but we wanted to give them their own spotlight moment. Make sure to check them out before you go!