Back to Black (and Pink!)

The Bombsheller Team loves April Fools. We never want to pull a “prank” that harms, but we can’t resist getting a little sassy on April 1st. We’ve been working on Noir Shells for a while now, and had the genius idea to release this long requested variant on the one day no one would take it seriously. This is known as a “bad idea” in retail. We’d prefer to see it as “hilarious” and hope our fans do too. 

For as along as we’ve been around, we’ve had UX designers and brand management experts telling us to “change gears” and tone it down to appear more approachable as a brand. “Don’t use the term ‘badass’; it’s too aggressive.” Most of us are no stranger to unsolicited advice.

April Fools gives us a chance to have fun with that advice and play up the “what if…?” The branding of Bombsheller has some strong wording and styling rules. Our tagline “Stay Badass,” is a call to remind yourself that you are great as you are now – but sometimes that wording gets us in awkward situations (mostly with Facebook Inc.) So, for April 1st, 2019, we played around with the idea of NegaBombsheller. What would a white website look like? How do we soften our graphics and copy? You can check out my joke blog post here.

*Cries in branding*


We launched at midnight. We were meticulous. The website landing page, Noir lookbook, product page, metadata, Twitter bio, Instagram bio, all comment responses were flipped for ONE DAY. That’s a lot of work for a one-off joke. A few days before April I had a lapse in faith. “At what point do we break character and say “April fools?” I asked, unsure. Our Web queen Arielle, Designer Ivy, and Community Manager Emily all turned to me and incredulously said “April 2nd!” They were fully committed to the bit. We would all go down with the ship if necessary.
The joke was that good. 

The website and brand flip were the joke; Noir Shells were NOT. We print our Shells on Fabric Fatale, a lux white fabric. We can’t print black Shells to our standard, so we went searching for a black fabric we could use to create some. After a tiring search, we found and fell in love with Noir Fatale (more on that in a later blog post) and started the process for creating Noir Shells. Noir Fatale is more compressive than our Fabric Fatale, but we’ve found most enjoy the tighter fit. I’ve worn an old prototype on every flight I’ve been on this year. I feel like incognito cat woman, effortlessly badass and comfy.

Jazzlyn Stone in Noir Shell prototypes.

The response was better than we could have hoped! As some people started digging around our shop and realized we weren’t joking, word started to spread. Friends of the team started texting us frantic questions. “Is this real?” We were high-fiving, popping confetti poppers, and celebrating when we slowly realized the orders were pouring in and not slowing down.

“Hey this was going really well!”
“Oh wow, they just surpassed our WicDiv launch!”
“Oh, haha, now they have passed our BitchPlanet launch!”
*nervous laughter intensifies*
“Oh wow, they’re still going….”
“WHAT HAVE WE DONE?”

In the end, we were the fools. We all learned a powerful lesson that on April 1st: if you mess with the bull, you get a ton of orders. Sometimes when people say “If you offered this in Black, I would be a million pairs” they are not kidding around. 
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As is tradition, I would like to end this blog with a thousand thank yous. Thank you to our amazing fans that encourage us to have fun and get sassy. You’re the best fans in the world! Thank you to Arielle and Ivy for taking the joke ALL the way. Your attention to detail is baffling. Thank you to our amazing models, Camille Primous and Victoria Stone, and Photographer, Stephen Klise. The Noir lookbook is some of our best work to date. Thank you to our new Product Development lead, Rachel, who is the reason we’ve been able to launch new products this year. You’re killing it, girl! Thanks to our badass Production team, who all had to learn quite a few new techniques to make these work, but took it in stride and with flair. Your ability to work together and problem solve always makes me a bit weepy. I love you guys.

Finally, Thank you to our fans that helped us spread the word and ordered so many Noir Shells on a Monday launch. Your orders literally keep us going. We couldn’t do it without you! 

。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ S T A Y  B A D A S S  。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

Bomb Squad Spotlight: Shubzilla!

Here in Seattle, we have – give or take – about a billion conventions. Two of our favorites, which both happen to be of the nerdy persuasion, are PAX West and GeekGirlCon. This year, both conventions landed in the same month and we thought that this seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase Seattle Nerdcore rapper and total bombshell – Shubzilla!

She’s one hell of a geeky powerhouse; on top of her music, she’s the residing merch manager for GeekGirlCon and is also a co-founder and member of The NPC Collective, a space that supports nerds of color. We’re big fans of her work, and we’re over the moon that she’s a fan of us, too.

#FunFunComputerTime

For those not familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
My music is catchy, aggressive, and bass heavy.

When did you start rapping professionally? Is it something you’ve always had an interest in?
I started rapping in 2011 and began doing shows later that year. I am trained as a dancer and when the wear and tear got to me, I switched to being an emcee.

Being on the mic has always been something that I’ve wanted to do, but assumed I wouldn’t get a chance to do. Retiring from dance pushed me in the direction to pursue this art form. To be honest, I didn’t know where it would take me. I feel super fortunate with where it has gotten me thus far! I’ve toured twice, done numerous shows, worked with wonderful people, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

#FunFunComputerTime

What is your absolute favorite song to perform?
I don’t know if I can pick just one! If I had to pick one, it would be Necklace. It’s an incredibly empowering piece about catcalling. Performing that song makes me feel larger than life because I’m creating this narrative that puts me in control of the situation described in the song.


#CircuitBoard

Are there any music artists that you dream of working with someday?
I’d like to work with Run The Jewels, Hall and Oates, Peter Cetera, M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Psy, Angel Haze, and Snow Tha Product. There’s more, though!

#FunFunComputerTime

Are you deep into any particular fandoms?
I’m a fan of Sanrio, some anime, Netflix TV series (ie. GLOW), board games, and tabletop RPGs. Also Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. I know a shit ton about Sailor Moon!

Right now, I’m watching through Boruto and re-watching One Punch Man and American Horror Story. When I need a break from writing, I’ll play The Binding of Isaac. Haven’t beaten it yet, but I’ve come close!

#CircuitBoard

If you’re in the greater Seattle area, Shubzilla will be taking the stage alongside Bill Beats on October 26th at the Central Saloon. Do yourself a favor and RSVP here, and make sure to follow her using the links below for updates on upcoming shows and new tracks:

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/shubzilla

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/shubzilla

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/shubzilla

Listen on Bandcamphttp://shubzilla.bandcamp.com

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3G0rozJPUigut63laX2W7Q

 

Badass photoshoot by @StephenKlise

Introducing: Our Sizing Video!

Need a little extra help figuring out your measurements? Prefer a visual aid over boring ol’ text instructions? We’ve got you covered:

We set out to make this tutorial easy to understand and interesting to watch, and I think this team accomplished exactly that. First, meet Camille and Olivia – our charming-as-hell models who helped make this possible.

File_001

Olivia (left) and Camille (right)

If Camille looks familiar, it’s because she’s been gracious enough to let us shoot her multiple times over the last few years. You might recognize her from our Muscle & Flow or Maps collections, or that time she partied with us on National Butt Day. You can read more about her in this blog post, where we interviewed her after the Muscle & Flow photo shoot, where she showed off more of her yoga poses and talked to us about the positive impact that yoga has had on her life.  We were so excited when she agreed to come back to help us make this video!

Shakin’

Olivia is fresh on the Bombsheller scene, but she’s no stranger to being a total badass. You may know her as Seattle’s own Guayaba, or you may have known her once as Aeon Fux. Either way, if you don’t – you should. She’s an ever-evolving powerhouse in the Seattle music scene. She lays down commentary on the world around us and her place in it, exposing the rawest parts of herself in the process. Her most recent album, “Black Trash, White House” is available on Bandcamp, and you should be listening to this shit right now.

Shimmyin’

Of course, this video wouldn’t have been possible without the team behind the scenes. Remember the hatchet-wielding bad babe from our Bitch Planet girl gang shoot? That’s right, she’s the kick-ass woman who put this all together. She’s been in a number of our photo shoots and has modeled alongside Camille multiple times, but got behind the camera (and the editing desk!) to spearhead this project and turn it into the awesome video you see before you. Our good friend Marshay also swooped in during editing to provide us with a voice over to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing while taking your measurements. Even girlboss Jazzlyn lent a helping hand (or two!) during filming. Go back and watch the video again and see if you can spot her! You should also check out this adorable little compilation of outtakes if you just can’t get enough behind-the-scenes content.

File_000

Ivy setting up the shot with Camille

Now break out your measuring tape, pull up the sizing chart, and get ready to find your perfect fit!

Ana Forrest Is The Real Deal

Ana Tiger Forrest has a fierce gaze. She does not skim the surface. She cuts right to the core. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a harder badass in my life.

anasolo

She came to Bombsheller for a photo shoot this month with José Calarco, her partner in business and life. Together they created three new designs with artist Pedro Diniz, based on the artwork of the aboriginal tribes José has spent the last 30 years with in Australia. José is the founder of Descendance, a dance company that puts aboriginal culture on the national stage and advocates for their human rights. Since coming into each other’s lives, Ana and José have blended their pursuits, combining aboriginal music and culture with Forrest yoga poses. I went to the series of workshops they taught in Seattle, and I can say with the conviction of first hand experience that they are the real deal.

josesolo anasolonice

What makes Forrest yoga interesting to Bombsheller is the emphasis on thinking for yourself. Rather than passively accepting traditions handed down from a different era, Ana Forrest pushes yoga forward because she believes practices are meant to evolve to serve people’s lives as they are now. Developed in the 1970s, Forrest yoga is unique for addressing the particular neuroses of the 21st century. The poses and cues are made for people with messed up necks and wrists who have learned pay more attention to their computers than their own bodies. Native American ceremonies and aboriginal wisdom are purposely woven through to remind students of their connection to earth and restore harmony to our frazzled, distracted minds. José brings music and rhythm to the practice to both deepen and elevate the experience.

joseana2

Her own practice has evolved over time, most significantly to incorporate the aboriginal teachings brought in by José. Together they travel the world, teaching and singing, with the hope of propelling transformation in as many lives as possible. In their own words, the combined world of Descendance and Forrest yoga is a place of adventure, healing, culture, music, and learning to love again. Who wouldn’t want to live there?

joseana1

The three designs in their collection are full of color and stories intended to make your heart sing. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pair, ditch your old habits, and start living your fullest life right now.

Best Booty Moments of 2016

We’re only half way through 2016, but there have already been so many ass-tastic moments this year! Let’s count them down in honor of our favorite holiday #NationalButtDay.

1. Aussie fighter Million Dollar Bibi getting cheeky with Arnie at the Arnold Classic in Ohio.

slack-imgs-1.com

2. Brandon Morrison of Lift Big Eat Big is a certifiable centerfold.

Bombsheller_NationalButtDay2016-3

3. Non-Compliant booty. Look, but definitely don’t touch. Actually, don’t even look too long. She’s dangerous.

NationalButtDay2016-2

Kelly Sue and the Girl Gang

“I’ve called you all here to dismantle the Patriarchy.”- Kelly Sue Deconnick

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00626

Fighting for their lives…and their freedom!

6 months ago I was sitting on the floor next to my desk, staring at our shop copy of the Bitch Planet trade and a couple pairs of our #BitchPlanet leggings. When I imagined them on people, it was on a parade of people celebrating together, tearing down the patriarchy with their bare hands. Like the comic, it was loud and in my face. The design itself is much more subtle though.  A pretty, repeating pattern that we’ve come to call “stealth nerd.” When I wear them out, I only get approached by people “in the know”. “Do you read Bitch Planet?” they whisper.  Usually, no one around us knows what we’re talking about. It feels like we’re in a secret club. It feels cool. Same with the Non-Compliant tattoos. I’ve given more than a couple of knowing nods to someone rocking a NC tattoo.  They smile, we giggle. We’re a part of something. We’re in a secret gang. As much as I like the secret club of NC leggings and tattoos, I knew I couldn’t shoot the product subtly or politely.  I wrote an email to Kelly and the MilkFed team: “My absolute DREAM shoot would be Kelly Sue amongst a group of fierce ladies looking gorgeous and tough.” I pressed send and suddenly felt very heavy. I braced myself for a gentle let down from an intern.  Almost immediately I received a simple reply from Kelly Sue Deconnick: “I’m down.”

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00569

That’s me laughing in shock as Kelly goes straight for the throat.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00574

Babe with the power

A few months later we had assembled a girl gang. There were a lot of moving targets.  I wanted to show our product on a range of bodies, because we’re really proud we can do that, but also wanted to create an actual girl gang in spirit. With eight models, and five crew we had a team of 13 badasses coming together for this shoot. Most of them had never met each other before. A couple of them I hadn’t met in real life. I wanted everyone on this shoot to have each other’s back. I spent far too much time worrying that shooting a group of strangers would look just like that: a group of strangers.  There is an old sexist trope that women don’t work well together. That we get competitive and will try to outshine one another. That, dear reader, is a large pile of utter bullshit. While shooting, I often heard yelling behind me. I’d turn around and the models would be giving each other piggyback rides, taking selfies and practicing with the butterfly knife. We had created an actual girl gang. They weren’t pretending, they really had each other’s backs. That is one of my favorite side effects of this shoot. Now, I often see these women interacting and supporting each other online. Most of them hadn’t met until this photoshoot, but now they are regulars in each other’s lives. I wasn’t friends with most of these ladies before, but I sure as hell am now.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00291

So.Many.Selfies.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00054

For obvious reasons, Jess is the first model I thought of when trying to create a girl gang.

I didn’t sleep the night before the shoot. I went into work early with a coffee and packed everything, pacing around our factory and triple checking my sloppy pile of lists. Ever on time, my good friend and assistant for the day Stephen showed up with our crime van and helped load everything in. We drank more coffee. We got stuck in traffic. We finally got to the studio and started setting up. The Espionage Cosmetics team rolled in chipper and eager to get started. Our wardrobe assistant Dinah (who is also a printer at Bombsheller and had printed all of the leggings for this shoot) came in and started organizing the jewelry and weapons table. I introduced everyone as they came in. “This is Victoria, she’s a badass Librarian. This is Rodina, she was Miss Ethiopia International.” At some point I got a text that Kelly Sue Deconnick and Kit Cox had arrived. I ran upstairs to meet them. After a tour (“This is the weapons table, pick whatever you like, but please don’t stab yourself or your fellow gang members”) Kelly asked if Kit could join the shoot. I played it cool, but I was excited. That morning – while pacing – I had grabbed an extra pair of leggings, tops and shoes “just in case”. Looking back, I’m pretty sure they were always intended for Kit. She had become my main contact at Team MilkFed and I had grown to adore her quick-witted emails. I took them up to hair and makeup and  went back to shooting the madness.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00529

In real life, Kit is the nicest person. In girl gang universe, Kit is scary as fuck.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00039

Our amazing hair and make up team from Espionage Cosmetics. They are best described as wizards. Beautiful and talented wizards.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00083

Dinah (on the left) was in charge of clothing, accessories, weapons, and nail wraps. Fun fact: Dinah also printed all of the leggings for the shoot!

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00403

Helping Essie with her “shark knife”

We shot for about 5 hours. Every time a new model was ready, they would descend the steep stairs to deafening cheers and admiration. Finally, everyone was dressed, done up and ready to go. The full girl gang was assembled! We were ready. The whole day had been leading up to this shoot, but we had to be out of the studio in a little over an hour. Our gang was surrounding Kelly and I was rapid fire directing them, “Ivy stand here. Essie come over on this side, oh shit you have the shark knife, okay, stay there. Victoria over on this side, Jessica kneel down by Kelly. Rodina, you’re at the top with the spiked bat…” I went back to my spot by the lights to look at it in frame.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00602
Okay, deep breath, steady hands, lift the camera, look at your scene…

My breath caught. It was too much. For a moment, I couldn’t handle the scene before me. It was exactly what I imagined all those months ago, when I first sent that email “My absolute DREAM would be…” I felt my chest swell and half jokingly told them I needed a moment. Kelly Sue, the gravitational pull at the center of our orbit sat holding the sledgehammer in one hand and the spiked bat in the other. As I looked away she announced

“I’ve called you all here to dismantle the Patriarchy.”

And that’s all I needed. I took a deep breath and lifted my camera again. It’s not every day you get to shoot Kelly Sue and her girl gang, and if there is anything I’ve learned from being around these women that day, it’s that you don’t flinch around a gang of badass women.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00586

Girl gangs assaulting and killing for kicks!

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00385

Girl Gang <3

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00098

This was the first time we got to work with Alexa, but it felt like we had always known her.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00275

Going in for the kill.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00352

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00492

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00286

A photo of a photo of a photographer capturing a photographer photographing.

20160312-bombsheller-bts-00411(2)

BombshellerXBitchPlanet_2016-1-2

Our wonderful crew from left to right: Dinah, Kit, Essie, Rodina, Alexa, Victoria, Ivy, Christal, Kelly, Jessica, and Dawn. Not pictured: Jazzlyn and Stephen

The behind the scenes photos I’ve included in this blog post were shot by Stephen Klise. Because all of our team was amazing (and because I love Instagram) I’m going to include their handles here. If you haven’t seen the Bitch Planet look book, check out the final product here. If you would like to discuss your own girl gang or send me some sweet gifs I can be reached at  jazzlyn@bombsheller.com.

Over and Out,
Jazzlyn