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.
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!
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!
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 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.”
Did I forget to mention…?
WE OPENED THE FASHION SHOW AND TOTALLY KILLED IT
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.
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!”
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.
Photographer: Stylist: Event Coordinator: