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

Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Facebook

Bomb Squad Spotlight: Tracey Wong (aka MacTrayy)!

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Instagram, you might remember a cute and colorful little video that we posted last year in anticipation of National Butt Day:

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The talented human shakin’ these pastel #CakeWalk shells is Seattle dance educator and Bomb Squad babe Tracey Wong. Tracey is formally trained in waacking, voguing, hip-hop, and house, and minored in dance at the University of Washington, where she took courses in modern dance, jazz, and ballet. She also currently reps more than one dance crew; Malicious Allure, a waacking and voguing performance group,  kiki house, and crew, and Chinatown After Hours, a collective group of street dance battlers and organizers for the community.

She’s also the event organizer for Funkee Monkee’s monthly open sessions, as well as the organizer for the annual all-womxn dance battle Queen of the Hill @ Folklife Festival – the largest waacking battle in Seattle, Punk & Funk. She also works at a local and POC-owned boutique called Moksha, located in Seattle’s International District. Not just a boutique, Moksha collaborates with and gives artists platforms for their work.

As if all of that isn’t already completely badass, she’s also training in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and has recently taking up DJing. You can probably understand why we wanted to learn more about her.

Make sure to keep reading after the Q&A for Tracey’s upcoming classes and dance battle events, plus a sweet behind-the-scenes video of Tracey showing off her moves for this photo shoot!


Have you been a dancer your whole life? What got you into it?

A year after my training in the studio, I began learning more of the foundation in hip hop and other street and club-style dances.

 actually started training in dance at almost the age of 21. I had always loved to groove and get down with my friends at functions and dabbled a little in Lindy hop whenever my mentor would take me, but I never had the financial privilege or knowledge about dance classes that I could take. I took my first hip-hop choreography class with my homie, Alexa at Westlake Dance Center. After that, we kept coming back every week to take it because it was so much fun. After class, we would just be so pumped. We did a student performance called Sign of the Times and after that, I kept dancing more consistently.

More and more opportunities kept coming my way to move towards performing, competing, joining crews, and I kept saying yes and worked hard at whatever I committed to. I worked really hard! What kept me STAYING was learning about the rich culture in street dances and knowing that there was way more than what I thought street dance was. There was a community that worked hard to keep the culture going and help elevate folks.

Did you have any heroes in the dance community growing up? 

Dang, a lot of folks inspired me in the community. I looked up to folks for different reasons and could learn a lot just from watching ’em. One person who comes to mind right now is Rina Pellerin from Vancouver, CA. She inspired me to want to learn how to waack and I took my very first waacking class was with her a few years ago.

Two other people that I look up to as mentors are Kumari Suraj and Dani Tirrell. Both Kumari and Dani have taught me about the importance of understanding the history and roots of street and club-style dances. All these street/ club-dance styles came from black/latinx communities and a lot of the times many folks don’t know much about the culture so there is a lacking of the feeling and essence for the dance styles. I am definitely still learning, but I appreciate these two a lot for being able to challenge me to do better, to explore what inspires me, what the dance means for me, and to keep diving deeper in my own individuality.

One more hero…my boyfriend, Lonnie! He has been with me since day 1 of my dancing and before I thought to continue dancing, he saw the fire in me and told me to always go full out 100% in it because he believed in me. If I never had that push, his constant love and support, I would probably not be where I am today.

You instruct classes on waacking – is it your favorite style of dance? 

Waacking, Voguing, and House are my favorite styles of dance. These are all club-style dances and the dance styles I typically do when I am at the club. These are my favorite because these are styles that help heal me. When I do these dances, I feel feminine and empowered. I feel as if I am re-claiming my body, my sexuality, myself. A decade ago, I was struck and dragged by a speeding car as a pedestrian and had major physical injuries to the body and mind. Functioning physically and mentally were difficult. It was a lot of trauma I was trying to heal from and I am still trying to navigate my healing process with this.

These dance styles are more than dances, but a culture – conversations I share in exchanges with my friends in the dance community. It is so releasing to be able to free myself completely through expression via movement and my experiences to drive my movement.

 

You recently posted a video on Instagram of you DJing – how long have you been DJing? Are we about to see the rise of bb DJ HAI CHEW?

I am definitely a bb when it comes to DJ-ing. However, I am feeling really grateful for so many opportunities being given to me so it drives me to work even harder. I started learning from DJ magicsean in the fall and had my debut in February of this year. I have 3 gigs lined up for next week and it’s so much fun being able to create good vibes especially for my dance community to get down to! I am still trying to decide what my DJ name is going to be, but leaning towards DJ Mac Tray!

If you had a chance to collab on a music video with any musical artist, who would be in your top three choices?

(1) Erykah Badu

(2) Sade

(3) Louie Vega

Last but not least… Favorite Bombsheller design?

#Seattle1890 – I have so much love for Seattle as I grew up in Beacon Hill. Of course, so much has changed since then, but I have mad love for my community of folks that still keep it 206.

#killbill – The Bruce Lee leggings because he and martial arts are huge inspirations for waacking. He is also my role model and makes me feel proud to be a Chinese American.

Tracey in #Jungle


Thank you so much, Tracey, for taking the time to let us get to know you better and for a great photo shoot! You can find Tracey on Instagram as @Mactrayy to stay up to date on what she’s up to next, and make sure to check out some of her upcoming events below this adorable behind-the-scenes video!


 Upcoming Events

Tracey recently placed in semi-finals in a solo competition and her group Malicious Allure placed 2nd in the crew competition! Check out these events if you need a little help with your dance moves or just wanna cheer her crew on at their next battle!

FUNKEE MONKEE :: Funk, Soul, and Disco Open Session 

MONTHLY OPEN SESSIONS

Upcoming Dates: Tuesday, 5/1 and Tuesday, 6/12

830-10pm @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

$5 Drop-In

More info

 

PUNK & FUNK (VOL II) :: Waacking and Open-Styles Dance Battle and Party 

A FUNDRAISER FOR QUEEN OF THE HILL

Saturday, May 5th | 4-10pm @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

*4pm-5pm: Waacking Workshop with Sheena

*530pm: Battles Begin

More info

 

QUEEN OF THE HILL :: All-Ladies 7-to-Smoke Openstyles Dance Battle 

DANCE WORKSHOPS/ PRE-PARTY/ QUALIFIER BATTLE

Saturday, May 26th

12pm-3pm Dance Workshops @ Washington Hall (open to all)

430pm-8pm Qualifier Battle & Dance Party @ The Beacon: Massive Monkees Studio

MAIN EVENT

Saturday, May 27th 2-330pm @ Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater

“Special shout-out to Trichome Seattle… a local and POC-owned shop in Chinatown/ID that also supports me and will be helping to sponsor Queen of the Hill. Please go support!” – Tracey

More info

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.