How Do You Want To Do This?

How do you want to do this?

Let’s rip this bandaid off: Bombsheller is restructuring. On May 19th, we will be closing the retail and brand side of company and pivoting to manufacturing exclusively private label clothing. We’re saving our final blog post to say farewell to the end of an era, so for our second-to-last post, we’d like to explain this change and what it means for the Bomb Squad.


If you’re surprised, so were we. This was one of our most successful quarters and 2019 felt like it was going to be our year. I’d like to think that it still will be, but now in a way different from what we previously thought. Our parent company needs to restructure, and that means we do, too. The retail side of the team is moving on with heavy, but full, hearts. We still have our amazing Production team, who will continue to make the best leggings in the game, but exclusively for our Private Label partners. We hope that this means opportunities to help other brands offer inclusive sizing. Luckily, we have time to do a last sale, and already we’re working with our friends and artists to make sure that some of our Shells (in the full size range) will be available in shops across the web. We’ll be updating this blog with a  complete list as we add to it.

We get to decide how we’re going out.
This is a privilege that most companies are not afforded, and we want to end this incredible journey as we lived it – with a big-ass celebration. Together, all of us, our team, our fans, and our artists accomplished something amazing and I am so damn proud that I was able to join this wild ride. Starting today and until May 19th you can get 20% off orders with the code “StayBadass”.

What this means for you.
If you have a design that you’ve had in your cart, now is the time to buy it. If you’re in the greater Seattle area, we’ll be doing our final factory Pop-Up Sale on May 18th. If you have a story you want to share with us, we’ve set up a form on the website for your fan mail and love letters. Please help us spread the word of our last sale. We want to make sure that everyone gets their last pair of Shells.

Over the past week, I’ve asked over and over again, “Is it possible to die from a broken heart?” Luckily, the team has my back -even now at the close- and we’re getting by with a little help from our friends. The team is staying on until the end to close this mother down- together. We’re going through the grieving process -together- and I’ve been brought to tears by the thoughtfulness of my coworkers. We might be coming to an end of this version of Bombsheller, but we hope you’ll think of us whenever you wear your Shells.

As is tradition, the end of Bombsheller blogs usually turn into long winded appreciations. This time I want to take a moment to thank the whole Bombsheller team. I just adore you. I am forever grateful for your kindness, your talent, your support, and your hard work. More than ever, I am inspired by you and in awe of your strength. Although I’m sad to see us come to an end as a team, I’m so excited to see what you do next. Thank you for sharing your light with me for the last six years.

To everyone else, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stay Badass,
Jazzlyn Stone
COO
Bombsheller
💖💣✨

Important details:
-As of now, we are no longer taking design submissions, and will no longer be selling Noir Shells
-Use the discount code “StayBadass” for 20% off until May 19th
-Orders placed on and after April 24th are final sale
-Any orders placed before April 24th can be exchanged before May 10th
-If you want to share a story with us, we set up a form on the website here 
-Our Social media will turn into an interactive reflection of our time together 
-If you’re in the greater Seattle area, we’ll be doing our final factory Pop-Up Sale on May 18th.  Join us for the final party!

Emerald City Comic Con 2019 Recap!

Since our first Emerald City Comic Con last year, we’ve talked a lot about what we’ve learned and how we could take that to go bigger and better this year. The end result? A bigger booth, two live signing duos, five panels (including our first ever Bombsheller-programmed panel!), and an afterparty with Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, creators of The Wicked + The Divine!

The Booth!

Our booth stood a little higher this year, with with a Bombsheller banner above the booth to make us easier to find from across the show floor. We were able to add one more rack along one side, meaning room for even more Shells than we had this year! 

The extra space gave us the opportunity to soft launch two new products: scrunchies and Wide Waistband Shells! If you were at the convention, you may have gotten a chance to check out the new additions to our spandex family. You can find some sneak peeks of both in the background of our photos on page 2, but if you’re feeling left out, don’t worry – they’re coming soon!

The extra space also gave us the ability to hang up a backdrop. Throughout the weekend, people in costume and badasses rocking their Shells would stop to take pictures with “Stay Badass” cheering them on in the background. We had multiple people who wanted photos with us (which is just so damn sweet), and people would wear their new Shells straight out of the booth, making sure to stop for a photo op.

The Live Signings!

This year, we got to host a live signing for both The Wicked + The Divine (Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie) and Bitch Planet (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro)! Seeing people’s faces light up when they get to meet their favorites never gets old, nor does explaining to people how a Digital Live Signing works. If you aren’t familiar, the artists create signatures on a Wacom instead of in ink, which we bring back to the factory and print into custom pairs of Shells. How amazing is it that we live in an age where you can have an artist sign your clothing and you can actually wear it without worrying about it fading?


After our Friday signing with Kieron and Jamie, we actually printed the Shells that day, so that folks could pick them up on Saturday morning and wear them to the afterparty later in the evening. We’ll come back to that, but first…

The Panels!

Over the weekend, our COO, Jazzlyn, spoke on five panels. All of the panels carried the same theme of being a creator in the geek industry, and each had an A+ lineup of panelists. If you happen to see “Building Your Own Themyscira,” “Nostalgia Marketing in Geek Biz,” “Level Up: Be a Nerd Boss,” or “The Cult of the Side Hustle” in any of the programming at the next con that you attend, we highly recommend that you check them out!

Behind the Merch Table was the first panel that we programmed and submitted to ECCC – you can only imagine how we were thrilled we were when the panelists enthusiastically accepted our proposal and the con approved our application. Not every application gets approved and it can be hard to schedule that many incredible people to be in one place during a convention weekend – we really felt like we hit the jackpot! Click here to see the full list of panelists!

The panel itself was so, so good. It fostered a lot of discussion about the importance of not trying to do everything yourself. Whether it’s delegating work, finding a good table mate, or finding somebody to handle “just” shipping (trust me – there’s way more involved in shipping than you might think), all of the panelists had something to share. I did my best to live tweet the conversation, but I was only able to capture a very small fraction of a lot of excellent advice! We were able to record the panel, so we’ll make sure to share the video once it’s available. 

The Afterparty

Where do I even start? Where. Do. I. Even. Start?

When Kieron and Jamie of The Wicked + The Divine said they wanted to throw a party with us, we were excited and honestly flattered, though we knew it was going to take quite a bit of planning. We were incredibly nervous, having never organized anything quite like this before, and we wanted to do both The Wicked + The Divine and their fans justice. The guys wanted to DJ a party where fans of the series could come together, unwind after a long day at the convention, and just dance.

And oh, we danced.

 

We ran the door speakeasy style, with a passphrase necessary to get in. Throughout the night, people would approach the door, often in costume, sometimes surprised when we actually asked for the phrase.

“D… Dio invited me to the party?”

“…And he’s so glad you’re here,” we’d reply, flashing a smile and gesturing them towards the doorway.

Their eyes would light up and they’d eagerly make their way through the door. On the other side, we could sometimes hear them gasp as they took it all in. 

The Fred Wildlife Refuge feels like it was made for this party, with a dance floor downstairs and cozy pink chill out spaces upstairs. The first thing you could see crossing the threshold, though, were the projections. Jamie McKelvie’s art. Matt Wilson’s colors. Clayton Cowles’ letters. Our very own Tati Soutar turned them into larger than life images that swirled and moved with the music. In the DJ booth above, Kieron, Jamie, and friends Ivan Salaczar, Ray Fawkes, and Tia Vasiliou mixed playlists  for the party below. Amongst fans and visages of the gods, it really felt like we’d been pulled into the pages of the comic.

By the end of the night, many of our WicDiv and Bombsheller show flyers taped around the venue were gone, and rumors were beginning to swirl about some of the more, ah… amorous shenanigans that may or may not have occurred that night. Despite our nerves at the beginning, we felt we’d truly thrown a party that would have made Dionysus proud.

More party photos and links to Jamie and Ivan’s playlists can be found here!

On to the next chapter!

But first, this wouldn’t be a Bombsheller blog post without a billion chances to say “thank you.”

As always, thank you, Bomb Squad, for not only supporting us, but for also just being so damn cool. So many of you came by the booth just to say hi, or thank you, or to show off which design you were wearing that day. It honestly moves us to tears sometimes how grateful we are for all of you!

Thank you

To the panelists and panel moderators, for sharing your experiences, expertise, and senses of humor, for giving us seats at your tables, and for helping make our own first panel go smoothly.

To Kieron, Jamie, Kelly Sue, and Val for bringing the magic to our digital live signings and for believing in us!

Also to Kieron and Jamie for helping us put together a party that might result in at least one baby with a god’s name at the next ECCC.

To the booth crew – you made my first year as booth manager go so ridiculously smoothly and we haven’t stopped hearing how friendly and helpful everybody was! When I asked the team for their favorite things about ECCC, the responses almost unanimously involved making our visitors happy. Thank you for bringing that kind of kindness into the world and into our booth!

To all of our team; everybody pulled extra weight to make this convention go as well as it did for us. If I could thank each person individually, I would need a whole separate blog post. I am grateful every day that I get to work with so many talented, badass people. Our success cannot be credited to any single one person and I am constantly amazed by what we manage to accomplish.

And THANK YOU to Fred Wildlife Refuge for having us. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue or a better team at the door, behind the bar, and behind the scenes. (Seriously, if you’re looking for a Seattle venue, please check them out!) 

Here’s looking forward to the third installation of the Bombsheller x ECCC Anthology!

Make sure to check out some of our favorite convention photos from ECCC weekend on page 2!

Afterparty photos can be found here!

Drumroll, Please.

The numbers are tallied and your votes are in. Put on your glitziest outfit, break out the champagne, and take a scroll down below to see the winners of the 2018 Best of Bombsheller Awards!



BEST DESIGNED FOR BODIES

F I R S T  P L A C E
#SharpStems
by: birdstare

R U N N E R  U P
#Woden
by: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson



BEST ORIGINAL ARTWORK

F I R S T  P L A C E
#3DNekko
by: Akane Fuji

R U N N E R  U P
#StellarDinos
by: Jen Bartel



MOST CREATIVE

F I R S T  P L A C E
#HeyKidsPatriarchy
Design: Milkfed Criminal Masterminds
Art: Laurenn Mccubbin

R U N N E R  U P
#NASAtyWoman
by: Akana Fuji



FAVORITE OVERALL DESIGN

F I R S T  P L A C E
#Norns
by: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson

R U N N E R  U P
#MementoMori
by: AJ Hawkins Art



FAN FAVORITE

F I R S T  P L A C E
#HeyKidsPatriarchy
Design: Milkfed Criminal Masterminds
Art: Laurenn Mccubbin

R U N N E R  U P
#Norns
by: Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson



MOST SOLD

F I R S T  P L A C E
#StellarDino
by: Jen Bartel

1 S T
R U N N E R  U P
#MementoMori
by: AJ Hawkins Art

2 N D
R U N N E R  U P
#ODYC
Design: Milkfed Criminal Masterminds
Art: Christian Ward

SHOP THE WINNERS >

Use code BestOf2018 for 10% off the collection!

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!

Bomb Squad 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

 

b16da27b-4282-4361-ad17-3606297d6311 (1)

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.

preview_corgiflage

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!


bio3

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

2017: A Year in Review

Babes – we made it. We’ve left 2017 in our dust, and we’re moving forward into 2018 at full speed! While we’re happy to leave it behind, it’s always important to look back and celebrate successes, learn from experiences, and recognize the people that help us improve upon who we are and what we do. You, our bombshell babes, are the driving factor behind what we do; every goal we meet, every awesome opportunity we get, and every awesome collaboration we do is because of you.

You support us. You don’t just shop our site – you come to our sample sales and pop-up shops, we see you tagging your shells on social media, and you provide us with valuable, honest feedback. We’ve had a lot of great opportunities this year, and we owe that to you. Thank you for helping pave our way! Now let’s dive into it.


 

A Year at Bombsheller

In March, we saw the return of Bitch Planet as part of a full Milkfed Criminal Masterminds INC collection. Not only does this collection have designs for Pretty Deadly, ODY-C, and Sex Criminals, but the new Bitch Planet design a live drawing at ECCC ’17! Val literally designed and drew a pair of leggings right there at his booth on the show floor, which was fascinating to watch. When they were done, we sold pre-orders, took the design to the factory, printed them, and went back to the convention the next day for pick-up!

Val drawing live @ ECCC

April showers brought the Spring Sample Sale, and ENAMEL PINS. These pins are so cute! They’re not for sale online, but catch us at a sample sale and you might just walk away with one of your own. Our sample sales are a party every time – treats, mimosas, good music, and, of course, amazing people. We love getting the chance to talk to every single one of you!

In May, we started on our quest to bring you a better shopping experience. First, we released our Sizing video and added it to our size chart page. We want everyone to make sure they get the best fit possible – all you need is a measuring tape! Well… and maybe the latest HTML5 plugin update to view the video. We then debuted the 360˚ Viewer. A series of 2D images can only show so many sides, but 360˚ degrees lets you see every detail!

June brought us the talented Ashley Joncas and the badass selection of robot legs that she designed for us. Ashley carefully crafted each design with different kinds of bodies in mind and we think she really hit the mark – literally, everybody looks badass any of the three designs. To top that all off, she orchestrated an incredible photo shoot at the plane wreckage in Sólheimasandur, Iceland.

joncas3

Click here to see the full Human + Machine lookbook by Ashley Joncas!

August brought the return of our favorite holiday, National Butt Day. We know what you’re wondering and yes – of course we had peach cupcakes. We even had three brand-spankin’-new booty-themed designs for the occasion!

three emojis - butt day

We got up to a lot in September, we popped-up shop on Big Gal Yoga’s book signing and yoga tour. Valerie’s designs were not only available during her Seattle stop, but can be seen in her book (which we highly recommend). She embodies badassery through self-love and kindness. We couldn’t be happier to have been a part of her book launch.

Valerie Sagun was an absolute delight and we’re so proud of her!

Later in the month, we returned to the show floor at Knock Out PDX! We were so honored to be invited back to this incredible plus size fashion show and shopping event in Portland. We met a lot of incredible people, cried during Glitter + Lazers’ keynote, watched our designs walk in the fashion show, and got to see a lot of seriously bangin’ outfits. We’re excited to watch this small show continue to grow and we can’t wait to see where it goes!

 

We also launched the Bombsheller Beta Program and the response was overwhelming! We had over 200 responses in our first run of sign-ups and look forward to more. We take product development seriously. When we extended our range of sizes, we wanted to do more than just “scale up,” because that rarely works. Instead, we relied on people of all shapes and sizes to help us prototype each size until we got it right. As we continue to experiment with potential new products and improvements, we want to make sure that we aren’t taking shots in the dark. We’re excited to utilize this program to help bring you more high-quality clothing and we can’t wait to see where it takes us. Make sure you’re signed up for our email list and following us on social media for more opportunities to apply as a beta tester!

November was also a busy month. Taking one more step towards a smoother and more convenient shopping experience, we released our Wishlist feature. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s simple – just sign in, then click on the heart on any product page to save it. To find your wishlist, just click on the little person icon at the top right of any page on the Bombsheller shop. We even provided buttons on the Wishlist page to make it easy for you to share your list with others!

Easy peasy

Easy peasy

We also had our last collab of the year when we released #GalacticCats by artist and pastel-punk land-mermaid, Jen Bartel. We’re pretty hyped that after her hiatus from designing leggings, she was excited as we were about getting her Galactic Cats design on our shells. If you haven’t already, go check out our blog post about her!

Web

Last but not least for November, we participated in Small Business Saturday with not only a sample sale. As always, the live sale was a blast and we were excited to meet and hang out with so many of you. We also may have had a high school prom level balloon arch in the doorway. There might be some awkward prom photos under said balloon arch – sorry, we’re keeping those ones for our own amusement. We also opened the online sample shop Cyber Monday, and we don’t unlock those digital doors for anything short of special occasions! We also debuted our new (and seriously cute) pink and holo shopping bags for events, so you can walk out of a sale in style… and maybe with one or two more shells than you planned on, now that you can carry more.

So... *sob* ...beautiful

So… *sob* …beautiful

At the beginning of December, we popped up shop at local yoga studio The Sweat Box on Capitol Hill to celebrate the studio’s 16th birthday! Our designs were featured in a yoga-centric fashion show, which was something we had never seen before. It was such a cool way to see our leggings in action, but also to see the positive impact that yoga and The Sweat Box have had on their students. There’s so much love here!

Photography by Donny Bryant

Photography by Donny Bryant

 


Behind the Scenes

Of course, there are a lot of things behind that scenes that speak to personal growth. Our team continues to grow bigger and stronger as we bring people on board. We continue to brainstorm and try new things. We spend a lot of time fawning over pictures you tag us in on social media and the kind things you say to and about us. We have plans that we have to keep mum about, but can’t wait to share.

We also spent some time updating and caring for the Bombshelter. We upgraded a few things, have fresh paint on the walls (our bathrooms are PINK now!), and have a sweet little sitting area with a family of plants that some of our staff have been lovingly caring for. It’s the little things.

We’ve got a lot more in store, just you wait – we’re comin’ for you, 2018. This has been quite possibly our longest blog post to date, and we’re hoping to have even more to report back on when we reach 2019!


Quick Stats for 2017! 

8bb0ff6c-0533-4934-8a03-482f2f1e0cd8 (1)