Bomb Squad Spotlight: Geek Girl Strong!

During the weekend of GeekGirlCon, we had the pleasure of meeting up with Robyn of Geek Girl Strong. GGS is an inclusive health-coaching community with a heavy focus on the physical and mental wellness of folks who “identify as girls/women and do not fit into any one box,” – particularly those of us that identify as being “nerdy” or “geeky.” If she looks familiar, you may have spotted her in the Jordandené catalog, sporting (among other awesome designs) her “Geek Girl Power” tank or tee.

We were elated when she agreed to a photoshoot with our photographer, Stephen Klise, and wanted to take the time to learn more about her journey to being the Geek Girl Strong. Make sure to check out the full gallery after the interview!


You’ve been pretty active all your life. Was there anything in particular that ignited your interest in athleticism?

Doing dips and looking fashionably non-compliant in #BitchPlanet-Floral

My mom put me in dance classes at a YWCA when I was 3 years old after I wouldn’t stop dancing around the apartment. I was literally that kid who’s mom would give them pots and pans to bang on while she was in the kitchen.

Both of my parents really love music and it was almost always on. When music videos (and MTV) became more popular my mom would have that on a lot and I’d stand in front of the TV, teaching myself the choreography. She also put me in soccer at age 5, which I loved.

From there it was a string of different activities all the way through my schooling. I was allowed to quit an activity but I had to have another one lined up that I was going to try before doing so. Those included; softball, theater (mostly as a dancer), track and field, cheerleading and probably a few others slipping my mind.

I recently got back into pole dancing in a way that I haven’t been for a while. I’ve been at it for about 5 years now and have only recently begun doing it for me again (not just so that I am skilled enough to teach my clients).

I was never really a “gym person” until after I left Cross fit about three years ago, now my time at the gym is solace to me. I spend more time doing cardio than ever before (I was a sprinter, not a distance runner). I’m always looking for ways to see what my body is capable of, from brute strength with power lifting, to more muscular endurance focused movements like 100 push-ups. As I get older I’m learning how to better listen to my body, rest when I need, rehab areas when they need it, stretch… I’m in a pretty good spot currently.

On the nerdier side of things, what’s your favorite geeky activity and/or series/fandom right now?

Right now, I think reading comics, though that’s been pretty steady for the last 10 years. I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan and Image does amazing things, I also love a lot of lesser known titles and creators.

I actually just finished Nautro Shippuden after having put it off years ago when I got too frustrated by fillers during [a particular story arc, omitted for spoilers]. I’m glad I finished it up though. I doubt I’ll be watching much of Boruto but it was fun to go down a deep Wiki and YouTube hole to see what happens with all the characters.

Oh, I’ve also been going pretty hard at Mario Party ever since getting that a couple of months ago! Nintendo has really impressed me with the Switch. 

“Geeky” hobbies these days have become a lot more socially acceptable than they were even just 10 years ago, but women, POCs, and people who otherwise don’t fit the “nerd” stereotype still have to work hard to be accepted and deal with gatekeeping. You’ve said that for you, “living [as an athlete and a nerd] as a teen was at times far from easy.” What kind of struggles did you find yourself facing back then?

Robyn (right) and a friend at Preview Night, at her first San Diego Comic Con. Via Instagram.

Ooph. Well, like I use to tell my students… being a teen is just hard. You’ve got a lot going on in that body and no clue what to do with any of it. I just didn’t “fit” anywhere.

My friends from my neighborhood (of mostly low income and black folks) didn’t fully understand the part of me that went to school in Chelsea, a neighborhood in Manhattan. A lot of my school friends knew I liked Pokemon and had a boyfriend who built computers in his room while I played his video games, but I didn’t talk about that stuff with them too much. My friends on The Sims Online (yeah, I did that) didn’t know much about me at all, even though I could spend an entire day in that world.

I was a small-statured black girl living in the ‘hood, who was trying to learn how to skate board (it didn’t work out), while practicing cheerleading moves, commuting 45 minutes to school, never failed a class, and would have other kids in the building over to play her N64 (later, Playstation 2 as well). All of this, and I came home from middle school with a black eye a couple of times, to my divorced parents’ dismay. There was a lot going on and looking back I can see how it is all related.

You’re an advocate for mental health as well as physical health. What would you say is the link between the two?

I wouldn’t even say that there is a link. Instead, it is just all intertwined. I fully believe that they are dependent on one another. If one is severely lacking, the other will not thrive.

Studies prove time and time again that addressing physical activity allows for our brains to function better and addressing our mental health allows us to physically feel better.

I’ve been so depressed at different points in my life that physically I felt that I just could not get up. I know that by taking care of my mental health it will allow for me to get to the gym, make dinner, and more. I know that by staying active it helps my brain deal with stressors that are all the more stressful for me since I live with a mental illness.

Though, that is just one simple example. There are lots more out there.

I know that Geek Girl Strong’s roots are in clubs and councils you founded at the school where you worked and that encouraged you to branch out and work hard to offer more to the masses. So how did GGS get started from there? (i.e. were you setting up local workshops or did it start with online coaching? Etc)

I decided to branch out because of people at Geek Girl Brunch asking if I trained adults! They would tell me that they might have enjoyed PE if I were their teacher (a huge compliment) and were willing to see how that would be.

I attempted online coaching at first and it did not really take, I have long distance clients now but at the beginning I did a lot of in person private training. Then when a local news network wanted to do a piece on me (which ended up never happening) they asked that I have a group they could come see. That’s when I started Fangirl Health Club; it was just a room full of people I always knew who were willing to let me try teaching a group of adults for the first time since college.

What do you think is the key to motivating kids, especially young girls, to get physically active and interested in athletics?

Early on… create situations in which they can feel successful. Who wants to do something they suck at over and over again? Especially in front of their peers?!

When they do well, celebrate that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watching young girls be reminded that they need to be smart while young boys are reminded that they should want to be physically dominant… and smart. I think we’d all be better off if we celebrated all skills and intelligences more often.

Most importantly, listen to them. Then meet them where they are, relate the activities to characters and stories that inspire them if you have to. It can be as simple as starting a game of “Steal the Bacon” off with “WELCOME! TO THE 75TH HUNGER GAMES! TRIBUTES, STEP FORWARD.”

Just let them know you see them.

What about adults? Particularly, adults that were never really into sports or being active as kids?

You know, I’ve realized in the last 3.5 years that it is almost exactly the same answer as above. Some big differences are in the fact that sometimes teaching adults movement can be difficult because they make have some un-learning todo. Kids are usually a pretty clear slate in this sense.

What’s exactly the same, is giving people the opportunity to experience success in movement. To create an environment in which they know they will not be judged for trying… and themes still work really freakin’ well.

For those of us nerds ready to get moving but not sure where to start, what are some activities we can do at home?

The first thing that comes to mind for me in terms of movement is honestly just to walk/move more. Go for a walk, park the car a little further away from your destination than you have to, take the stairs, ride a bike, go out dancing with friends… all of those things really do make a difference.

When it come to a full exercise I would suggest bringing on a professional for a least one session to ensure that you are not going to injure yourself. Apps and other digital programs becoming readily available is fantastic but the number of people I see doing things that I could really get them hurt concerns me.

Stretchin’ out and kickin’ ass in #ZapBangPow

In terms of movements I’ve say to have locked down? The Squat, the push-up, the plank and the ability to reach your toes. These are all movements can be done with no equipment at all and are more important than we give them credit for.

I know that I want to be able to reach down to the floor to pick things up, tie my own shoes, and get off of the floor if I do happen to fall… for as long as I can.

Then, gameify your workouts! Find a way to make the enjoyable and a part of the life you already have. You can do this by turning a Twitch-watching session into a workout game (think of how you can turn movies and tv shows into drinking games, but add squats).

Are there any upcoming events or projects we should be looking out for?

Things tend to slow down for the Holidays we’ll be having some awesome deals for Small Business Saturday and Cyber Money. Then in February we’re hosting our 4th annual pay-what-you-want 1up Challenge which happens completely online!

To stay up on all of this and more people can sign up for our newsletter here: bit.ly/ggsnewsletter

Any organizations, resources, or other fit nerds you’d like to give a shout-out to?

Definitely! The folks at Yoga Quest have always been really supportive of me and whenever I attend one of their yoga classes at conventions I have a great time!

I was recently on a panel with representatives from US Quidditch, Hogwarts Running Club, and Jedi Saber Guild. They are all out there doing some really awesome physically active and geeky things. I’ve also always really liked a lot of the geeky themed workouts shared over at darebee.com!

“The whole #GeekGirlStrongxNYCC 2018 team.” via Instagram

Thank you so much for taking the time to hang out with us and answer our questions, Robyn!

Check out the full Geek Girl Strong photoshoot below:

Event: Small Business Saturday + Cyber Monday!

✨Put yourself at the top of your holiday shopping list ✨

Small Business Saturday Pop-Up
November 24th
Noon – 3pm (PST)

The Bombshelter
424 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

30% off flawless Shells
50% off imperfect prints
Swag bags for the first 10 people in line!
Headbands!
Pins and sticker sheets!
Snacks and drink

Cyber Monday
November 26th
12:00am – 11:59 pm (PST)

20% off of ALL Shells in the catalog!

Bombsheller @ GeekGirlCon 2018!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember that we celebrated a milestone back in March – our very first booth at ECCC! We’re no strangers to conventions, but ECCC lit a fire in us. We had such an amazing time and met so many incredible artists and fans that before we even had the chance to cool down, we were thinking about which cons we wanted to conquer next.

Primed and ready for impromptu pop-ups. Where should we go next?

By the time San Diego Comic Con rolled around in July, our COO, Jazzlyn, joined the lineups for three amazing panels, which you can read about here. In September, we drove to Portland for Rose City Comic Con just to talk to artists, hopefully meet a few members of the Bomb Squad, and see if we could manage a super-impromptu pop-up. We didn’t make pull one off at RCCC, but Jazzlyn built a pretty impressive trunk shop out of our company van and parts of our customizable racks that you know we’ll be deploying in the future. At the beginning of October, we got the chance to scope out New York Comic Con; it was an amazing whirlwind of a weekend and there’s no question that we’ll be trying to get a booth there in the future. Then, Halloween weekend, we got to experience our second “first booth” of the year at Seattle’s own GeekGirlCon!

Another successful booth build!

Considering our booth includes two fitting rooms and a “back room,” Stephen, Jazzlyn, and I got it set up pretty damn fast! We’ve already got this whole convention booth thing down to a T. When you get a chance, you should go check out the time-lapse video on our Instagram of Jazzlyn and Lee (one of our talented sewists!) getting the booth set back up after putting all our Shells to bed on Saturday night.

On the other end of the show floor, our web queen, Tati, was setting up a table of her own! Her booth was absolutely adorable – if you didn’t get a chance to see her on the show floor, you should go check her out on instagram as @birdstareart. It’s always exciting when we get to see one of our own do cool shit. We have some seriously talented people on our team!

Tati’s table! You can find her adorable art on IG @birdstareart

When I walked into GGC for my first shift in the booth, the convention center was bustling and alive with eager attendees and artists. As I moved through the con, amidst incredible cosplays and fandom-inspired outfits, I was seeing… Shells! We were spotting them out in the wild the entire weekend – such an incredible and affirming feeling. It took a lot to not stop every person I passed on the street and on the show floor to talk about them.

Booth life was a blast – I love getting to work with a crew of amazing teammates who manage to stay bright and cheery the entire weekend. While we didn’t have quite as much open space for dancing and impromptu check-out-this-four-way-stretch squats as we did at ECCC, we had all the space we needed to have a good time and an excellent selection of Shells.

Our booth neighbors were all a delight to meet, we got to see some amazing cosplays, handed out Dum-Dums to trick-or-treaters, and one very sweet con attendee and new member of the Bomb Squad let us borrow their sword while they shopped. A few of you Bomb Squad babes came by our booth in Shells, some of whom didn’t even realize we were there that weekend and were just excited to show them off to us. We had a few people ask for pictures with us, which is just so wonderful. You all seriously have no idea how much that means to us!

 

Jazzlyn panel-ready in her coveted sparkly pink blazer.

Jazzlyn returned to the stage to speak on a panel – “Women in Leadership: How to Turn Passion and Ambition into a Dream Job.” She spoke alongside other women in leadership roles to talk about their varying fields and how they’ve come to thrive in their careers.

A sure sign of a successful panel is the conversation it generates afterward. Multiple people came by the booth just to talk to her about the panel, and I inadvertently caught bits of conversation from people who really seemed to enjoy it – as well a LOT of candid excitement over her sparkly pink blazer. During the fashion show, when she went onstage to introduce our models, an audible “Oh I LOVE her!” came from a stranger to my right, and I caught at least one “I NEED that jacket.”

Oh.

Did I forget to mention…?

WE OPENED THE FASHION SHOW AND TOTALLY KILLED IT

Backstage and ready to walk.

Let me say, first, that everybody in this show was incredible; every model, every runway song choice, every oufit – they all had the crowd gasping and cheering, ourselves included. I could sing the praises of it all day because every brand onstage made a fan out of me that day – but nothing compares to the feeling of seeing our models come down the runway. This show was a special one; the weekend before Halloween meant an especially spooky show, and we had just come out with one of my personal favorite collections to date – a line inspired by our favorite classic horror movies.

While the audience waited for the show to start, our models were finishing getting ready backstage. Costumes on, makeup done, and hair in place, the only thing left to do was to ease nerves and channel their characters. They practiced their walks and poses, and did their own impromptu photo shoots – because alive or dead, when you look this good, you don’t pass up a great photo op.

Make sure to check out the full gallery of behind-the-scenes photos at the bottom of this post!

Jazzlyn took the stage to introduce us and talk about who we are, and why we do what we do. People gasped when we talked about our sizing and I caught the fringes of a conversation that sounded like two people already pulling up our website on their phone. Jazzlyn left the stage, and Rhianna’s “Disturbia” started pumping over the speakers. An excited tension rippled through the audience as our first model, Marlow, moved across the stage with a captivating intensity. By the time they reached the end of the catwalk in their #Freddy Shells, their claws beckoning and curling menacingly, the audience was entranced.

One by one the models made the catwalk theirs.

Jennifer sauntered up next, oozing charm befitting a swamp witch in #Lagoon. Shubzilla had a strut to die for in #Suspiria. Merri shuffled towards the crowd with childlike, murderous glee in #PlayWithMe. Christal’s blood-red boa sliced the air as she showcased two designs; #ShiningJohnny Shells and a top made from #TheMaze. Finally, because we’re far from traditional, our dark bride Fox closed the procession in #ShesAlive, tossing her bouquet to the crowd – tied delicately with a ribbon holding a token for a free pair of Shells.

As the rest of the fashion show continued, the energy from the catwalk continued backstage. The models poured over tagged photos and videos on Instagram, and by the time I met up with everyone afterward, everyone had an undeniable glow. Jazzlyn would later tell me that seeing everyone’s hard work come together so wonderfully made her tear up like a “proud mom on her kid’s fucking wedding day or something” – especially fitting since one of those moments came when affixing Fox’s veil before the show. “She was just so beautiful!” she gushed, “I couldn’t help it!”

Stolen… I mean… borrowed… from Jennifer’s Instagram

Before we wrap this up, I want to give a special shoutout to our swamp witch, Jennifer. Not only did she step into the role when one of our models couldn’t make it to the show, but she’s one of our sewists, and she worked the booth the next day, AND she styled the models. Talk about being a total powerhouse! Thank you, Jennifer, for being such a damn badass. We’re honored to have you on our team.

Thank you again to our models; Marlow, Shubzilla, Merri, Christal, and Fox. You’re all so amazing. Shoutout to our photographer, Stephen Klise, for not only taking some bangin’ boomerangs at the fashion show but also for being an expert booth builder!

A booth, a panel, and a killer fashion show all in one weekend – that’s a hell of a way to kick off our first year at any convention. Thank you so much to GeekGirlCon for not only having us, but for putting on such an amazing and inclusive convention. We’ll definitely be back!

Think we can top it next year?


Backstage at the GeekGirlCon 2018 Fashion Show

Check out this behind-the-scenes gallery of creepy cuties and spooky shenanigans.

Models:

 

 

 

 

Photographer:        Stylist:          Event Coordinator:

Backstage Pass: The Wicked + The Divine

When Kelly Sue DeConnick connected us with Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie, the creators of The Wicked + The Divine, we had no idea what we were in store for – in the best possible way. It’s been two weeks since we launched and we’re still floating on cloud nine after a resoundingly positive reception from fans of the series. It’s been a wild ride, and we want you to get an insider look at how we got here. 


“Holy Shit”

I can’t even begin to describe the ripple of excitement that moved through our team when we found out that this was really happening. The moment this project kicked off, we were buzzing. Our biggest collab so far had been seven designs with Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, so you can only imagine how ridiculous it was for all of us trying to keep a 15 design launch for a fandom as big as WicDiv under our hats for roughly six months! 

As each god game to life through their design, we couldn’t help but sprinkle little teasers in where we could. We alluded to the line a few times on social media, liking and retweeting WicDiv content; little nods that we hoped wouldn’t go unnoticed and trying to not get too ahead of ourselves.

Then the lookbook happened.

While I didn’t get the chance to be there for the actual photoshoot, the pictures alone made me gasp. As more of us got to see the photos and videos from the shoot, you could feel the excitement mounting in the office. Watching some of the video footage, I was almost certain that at any moment, one of them would snap and the video would end abruptly, in flames. I highly recommend scrolling to the gallery at the bottom to see the full set of behind-the-scenes photos.

“The Recurrence”

The day before we pushed the button to start the show, Kieron and Jamie prepped the crowd. A few tweets before launch was all it took to get the energy going; by the time we deployed the collection, fans were waiting in the wings to honor their favorite deities.

At the stroke of midnight, October 10th, 2018, The Recurrence began.

The response was unreal. Twitter went first, with retweets and shares and replies coming down in a flurry. Instagram went wild. Everyone lost their damn minds and we were completely bowled over by the overwhelmingly positive response. We laughed over hilarious Twitter exchanges about moisture-wicking, and we teared up over the heartfelt reolier about our size options and models. There was some, ah… discourse, however, about Woden. 

Trust us when we say that we’re right there with you.

We also ran into one other struggle – international shipping. When we saw disappointment from our overseas friends over the cost of shipping to their countries, we realized this was the perfect opportunity to take a risk and try something new. For the first time ever, we rolled out a beta test for $10 international shipping through the end of October! After you’re done here, go check out our last blog post to read more about how we were able to pull that off.

As orders shipped out, we were greeted by a second wave of reactions. The tagged photos started rolling in, and everybody looks bomb as HELL. People across all platforms were chiming in to praise and share photos of people rocking their WicDiv Shells, and our ride-or-die Squad members answered questions about fit and quality. We included enamel pins on cards signed by Jamie and Kieron for the first 50 orders, and everyone (ourselves included) were pretty ecstatic about them! We’re over the moon about how this launch went.

#Norns ended up being the most purchased design, though some of us think it would have been #Woden, if he weren’t such an asshole (and that’s putting it kindly). However, #Minerva got an extra special kind of love…

“Mini’s Got Merch”

In a recent issue, we found Minerva wearing what appeared to be her own merch. Looks like she requested a hemming for her pair, but there’s no question that these are the exact design from our line! While we were in the middle of debating whether or not they had actually drawn us into the comic, this popped up on Twitter:

We can honestly say this is the first time we’ve ever been featured in a comic! How amazing is that?

We pick a member of the Bomb Squad every week to feature as our “Bombsheller Babe of the Week,” and making Mini our first ever comic book #BombshellerBabe seemed only appropriate. Besides, how often do you get to feature a god on your social media?


“Thank You, and Goodnight!”

For the final act of this blog post, we’d like to sing the praises of every single human who has been along with us for this ride.

THANK YOU

 

To our badass friend Kelly Sue DeConnick, for being the catalyst for all of this and for always being a pillar of support.

To ass-kickin’ new friends Kieron Gillan, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson for creating such an incredible series, for being so wonderful to work with on this project, and for not only boosting the signal about this line but also for being so damn enthusiastic about it – and US!

 

To the talented Tati and Ivy, who took the creators’ dreams for this line and helped make them a beautiful reality. 

To our fierce-as-fuck models, Essie Charm, Sheila the Slayer, Katie  Corr, and Luna Lyrik, for channeling their deities so perfectly that the internet fell in love with them – even Woden, despite… you know…

…Woden. 

To everyone in the Bombsheller office who made this launch come together with special thanks to our photographer, Stephen Klise, our videographer Ivy Chen, and our COO and creative director Jazzlyn Stone, for making the lookbook dope as hell. 

To our production team for cranking out so many orders (even in spite of a brief technical malfunction!) like champions. Emily, Emily Z, Jennifer, Rachel, Lee and Corey: Thank you for being the wind beneath the company’s wings!

A special shout-out to Harris Miller, Chrissy Williams, and Katie West, for getting us here – you’re the real MVPs!

And finally, to YOU, our Bomb Squad. So many of you suggested The Wicked + The Divine as our next collaborative work – the feedback and love we’ve gotten in response to this collection pushes us to do more and be more. We have so many exciting new things coming down the line, and we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we have were it not for you. We’re so honored to have such a badass squad behind us. Keep hitting us up on social media to let us know what you want to see next – you know we’re listening! 😉

“Encore”

Before you go, check out this collection of outtakes from our lookbook photoshoot!

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Bomb Squad Spotlight: Mandie Roman AKA Geeky Glamorous!

Get to know this badass geek.

Meet fandom fashionista Mandie Roman; Twitch streamer, host of Game Talk Live, and all-around badass babe. Her Instagram is a treasure trove of geeky fashion inspiration and creative “casual” spins on cosplay – and those seriously cute controller necklaces she’s often wearing? She makes them!

She’s been our Bombsheller Babe of the Week before, but after our COO, Jazzlyn Stone, had the opportunity to speak on a panel alongside Mandie at San Diego Comic-Con, we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know her, too.

Geeky Glamorous lookin' good in #Graph

Geeky Glamorous lookin’ good in #Graph

Tell us a little about your gaming life. What was the first title you ever streamed on Twitch? Do you still stream it?

First game I ever streamed was Overwatch, which I still consistently stream. It’s my go-to when I just want to zone out and hang out with my viewers.

Hard mode question: what’s the first game you remember ever playing?

Oh gosh, this is tough! I had a few of those Tiger Electronics handheld systems, likely one of the Disney versions of those, haha. The first console game I remember playing is Super Mario Brothers for the original Nintendo.

Aside from playing games on stream, you’re also the host of Game Talk Live. How did you get your start on the show?

I wish this was a more exciting story, haha but I discovered the show through a friend, went through a few rounds of auditions, and got it! It’s been one of the best experiences, a dream job really to discuss and debate video games with some incredible guests and our live chat.

On the “glam” side of things – who are some of your biggest or current favorite fashion inspirations?

I am riding that vaporwave trend strong; I am all for ’80s and ’90s inspired design and colors. It’s also the era I grew up in so there’s a strong sense of nostalgia there for me. Additionally, I’ve been listening to a lot of synth-pop music lately and all the cyberpunk album covers have been super inspiring. I can’t wait for Cyberpunk 2077 to come out!

What inspired you to make controller necklaces? 

I originally launched the Geeky Glamorous controller necklaces back in 2012 when there was a huge lack of women’s gaming accessories available. We’re seeing a lot more nowadays (huzzah!) which I’m super hyped about. I brought them back because I missed designing and bringing more cute gaming stuff into the world.

Mandie's Widowmaker casual cosplay, via Instagram

Mandie’s Widowmaker casual cosplay, via Instagram

Of the inspired outfits and casual cosplays that you’ve done so far, does one stand out as your favorite?

My favorite outfits recently have been my Overwatch casual looks. I’m working my way through the entire line-up of characters, but so far it’s been Widowmaker. I wasn’t sure if people would get it and know who I was but she was super well received! It’s fun to put my own spin on the characters and what they would wear on a day off.

Before you go – any badass babes (streamers, cosplayers, creators) that you’d like to give a shout out?

My two baes, iamchubbybunny and yumewarlock! So glad to have these two hyper-supportive, creative, geeky babes in my life.

Thank you so much, Mandie! We’re honored to have you in the Bomb Squad and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Last but certainly not least – got any cool projects or events coming down the line that we should be watching out for?

I’ve definitely got some cool outfits planned for BlizzCon, and stay tuned to my website for more products coming soon!

Keep up with Geeky Glamorous

www.geekyglamorous.com

Twitch

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San Diego Comic Con 2018 Recap!

If you’ve been following us on social media, you know that for the last few weeks, we haven’t been able to stop talking about San Diego Comic Con. While we didn’t have a booth at the convention this year, our COO, Jazzlyn Stone, spent the weekend talking on panels, getting to attend a seriously amazing geeky fashion show, handing out prizes, and getting to meet you – the members of our ever-faithful Bomb Squad!

After giving Jazzlyn some time to recoup after her busy and exciting weekend in San Diego, we just had to sit down and pick her brain a bit about the experience. She spoke on three different panels alongside our friends from Espionage Cosmetics, with a rotation of other awesome professional geeks to talk about their experiences and to share their wisdom about building their careers.

Each panel focused on taking your passion for the nerdier things in life and establishing a career around them, with focuses on slightly different areas of the process. “Building your own Themyscira” talked finding your niche and building the professional relationships needed to turn it into your life’s work. “Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss” tackled the technical side of getting your brand off the ground, like marketing, licensing, sales. Last but certainly not least, the “How to be a Nerd for a Living panel shared how they got their start and tackled questions about what it took to carve their paths in the industry.

"Building Your Own Themyscira" Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Sam Maggs (Writer), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Jaimie Cordero (CEO & Glitter Jedi of Espionage Cosmetics), Jordan Dené Ellis (Jordandené & Sartorial Geek), Rose Del Vecchio (FanMail). Moderated by Lisa Granshaw (GeekFold).

“Building Your Own Themyscira”
Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Sam Maggs (Writer), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Jaimie Cordero (CEO /Glitter Jedi, Espionage Cosmetics), Jordan Dené Ellis ( Sartorial Geek), Rose Del Vecchio (FanMail), Lisa Granshaw (GeekFold).

Was this your first time being on a panel?

No; I did a panel with Nerd For a Living previously at C2E2! That’s how I met their producer, Wendy Buske. She’s amazing, so I was really excited to work with her again. When she was like, “Hey, do you want to come to San Diego to be on this panel?” I was like, “Forever YES. Just – blanket yes.”

What advice would you impart on somebody preparing to speak on a panel for the first time?

Chug water in the hour beforehand so your mouth doesn’t get too sticky while trying to talk. Eat food – like real food. Don’t over-practice; you’ll likely have an outline beforehand and it’s good to read that a couple times, but don’t practice your answers because you’ll sound too forced. Be authentic, but read the room. If people obviously want to hear more about a story you’re telling, you can divulge a little bit more. I was on three panels that were similar, and different parts of a story I told at all of them got more exciting at different parts depending on the crowd.

"Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss"  Jaimie Cordero (Espionage Cosmetics, CEO), Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Jordan Ellis (The Sartorial Geek), Allison Cimino (RockLove Jewelry), and Mandie Roman (Geeky Glamorous)

“Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss”
Jaimie Cordero (Espionage Cosmetics, CEO), Jazzlyn Stone (COO), Jordan Ellis (The Sartorial Geek), Allison Cimino (RockLove Jewelry), and Mandie Roman (Geeky Glamorous)

What was your favorite panel moment?

When Susan Eisenberg leaned back in her chair and winked at me, very secretly and quietly. It was amazing and I almost screamed into the mic. But I didn’t, and that’s probably one of the chillest moments I’ll ever have.

Do you have any favorite sentiments or pieces of advice that really stood out to you?

So much! I was taking a lot of notes during each panel because so much wisdom was being dropped. A few favorites:

“Think about it like a stovetop, you can’t burn all four burners at the same time or you’ll burn too much gas. Switch your energy between the four to stay focused and move forward.” – Robyn Warren of GeekGirlStrong, on sticking to four points of focus to avoid burnout.

Jaimie Cordero (CEO & Glitter Jedi of Espionage Cosmetics), Travis McElroy (The Adventure Zone podcast; My Brother, My Brother and Me), Susan Eisenberg (Voice of Wonder Woman, Justice League / Justice League: Unlimited), Tomi Adeyemi (author, Children of Blood and Bone), Ben Blacker (Vertigo’s Hex Wives, co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Jazzlyn Stone (COO)

Jaimie Cordero (CEO /Glitter Jedi, Espionage Cosmetics), Travis McElroy (The Adventure Zone podcast; My Brother, My Brother and Me), Susan Eisenberg (Voice, Wonder Woman, Justice League / Justice League: Unlimited), Tomi Adeyemi (author, Children of Blood and Bone), Ben Blacker (Vertigo’s Hex Wives, co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Jazzlyn Stone (COO)

“Stand out by finishing something. Create something, make something, and just ‘do’. Don’t be a afraid if the first round is bad.” – writer Sam Maggs, on how the biggest hurdle in starting something new is actually starting!

“I could have saved a lot of time by asking the customers wanted they wanted first, and not just assuming.” – Jaimie Cordero, CEO of Espionage Cosmetics, on listening to your customers and fans!

We also talked about our “bugs” and seeing them not as flaws but as features instead. My OCD and ADHD were hell when undiagnosed, but now that I’ve gotten ahold of them I’ve learned to redirect that energy and use them as tools instead of letting them hinder my lifestyle. I’m learning to rethink what I originally saw as flaws in my design.

You also got an invite to the Her Universe fashion show – what was that like?

The fashion show was fucking amazing. It was like a Beyonce concert – everyone dressed to the nines to be there. Also, some of the designers were their own models and I was in the front row (very luckily – thank you, Espionage Cosmetics!) and so I got to see them before they walked out on stage.

I would see them right before going out on the catwalk and they’d be backstage pumping themselves up and then they’d step out like “HELL YEAH!” and it was really sweet and also really inspiring to see what these people were doing. The one I voted for (and won!) was inspired by Ripley from Alien[s] and she didn’t even have to pump herself up on stage, she just got onstage and her music came on and she just did it. It was so good, I was losing my mind – we were all losing our shit. It was a really, really good show.

Speaking of showcasing fashion, you wore a skirt prototype to the convention. How did that go?

People were really excited about it and asked me where I got it! I think they were really excited that I was actively trying out a prototype at a convention and that they had the chance to see something that no one else has yet. I got the most compliments on that outfit. I, personally, am even more excited than I already was about this skirt because of how much shit I shoved into those pockets and it stayed up!

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Thank you, Jamie Rage, for this adorable photo!

Last but not least – favorite cosplay?

An amazing Shade the Changing Girl, and an incredible Jon Snow:

If you know either of these talented humans, please let us know so we can give them proper credit!