Badass Babe of the Week: Akasha-Régine Hembley

Akasha is a cook at the MGM who aspires to open her own Latin Asian restaurant. Her favorite characters and fandoms are Moana, Lilo & Stitch, Harry Potter, Sailor Moon, Marvel, and Doctor Who. She loves singing and dancing (which was very obvious to me, especially being that she sang throughout her Moana photoshoot). She believes in a past life, she was a Broadway star. The musicals she is most obsessed with are Rent, Wicked, Guys & Dolls, Hairspray, Hamilton, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, and Monty Python.

Akasha came to my booth at Magfest with a face that started out "alright, what is this" that quickly changed to "WAIT WHAT IS THIS". She did the cutest little happy dance (that I posted on Instagram) once she decided she wanted to be Moana, and has been a nonstop ball of excitement since. I was SO looking forward to her photoshoot because I knew that her reaction would be the definition of what keeps me creating dresses and owning a small business where I get to interact with every customer. She's just so clearly full of love and someone who gives you life to be around.

Thank you Akasha for the consistent enthusiasm keeping me pumped till you could model your dress, and the onslaught of photos you've sent or posted since then. I LOVE IT AND I LOVE YOU.

PS: Within a day of owning her dress, she sent me photos of it tied 3 different ways, including one she made up herself. Then she said she sent me this photo which is the "Dani" tutorial because she loves me. So yea, she's constantly sweet. <3

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Boss Babe: Jordandené

Being interviewed always gives me the warm fuzzies inside, so I wanted to be able to spread that loving feeling. It only made sense to start with the company whose praise I sing the highest- both from the owner being one of the sweetest humans on Earth and from her shirts actually being something I wear on a daily basis because they are as soft as my dresses. Everyone, meet one of my Brooklyn Boss Babe Bestie's, Jordan Dene Ellis aka Jordandené

Tell us a little about yourself! 

I grew up in small town Pennsylvania, got married at 21, and moved to New York to be a teacher. I never actually started teaching and instead nannied for a few years while simultaneously figuring out how to run a business. I spend my free time watching all the TV (Marvel’s Netflix shows, Game of Thrones, and low budget true crime shows are my faves) and throwing ridiculous theme parties. I also obsessively go to comedy shows because they’re my happy place.

 

Why did you decide to start your own business, and is it your full-time job? 

I started Jordandené as an Etsy shop in 2011, and it took over as my full time job about two years ago.

 

What is your most popular item vs your favorite?

My most popular and favorite item are the same: my hand-lettered screen printed tanks. The most popular design changes every few months, and my favorite designs usually come out in the shirt of the month.

 

Owning a small business is incredibly rewarding but can sometimes be viewed through rose tinted glasses. What are some challenges you face? Do you have any advice for others thinking of starting their own?

Think really hard about why you really want to start your own business. If your reasons are to make a lot of money or have a lot of freedom, know that those things can take a really really long time and might not actually happen. It's really easy to feel alone and like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and so many things can go wrong (and those things can end up costing a lot of money). My best advice is to find a community of people from the beginning who can offer their advice and support you through all of your ups and downs.

 

What gives you the drive to keep doing what you do?

Honestly, my customers. I never intended to run a business, and I don't think it's the only career I could be happy in. But, I’ve made so many incredible connections, friendships, opportunities, and memories that I don’t think I could ever leave.

 

What is your favorite convention that you vend at? 

I have a bunch of favorite conventions for different reasons. LI Who is my favorite after-hours convention experience. NYCC is great because literally everyone is there, and I get to meet so, so many people. MISTI-Con was my first convention and feels like home. AwesomeCon is my favorite "big" convention because the staff cares so much and makes everything run as smoothly and easily for vendors as possible. Honestly, I just love being at cons.

 

What comic book/ nerd culture character do you identify with the most and why?

Strangely I don’t really identify with characters in other stories - I don’t know know if it’s a weird quirk, but I’m purely an audience member with whatever I’m reading and watching. My younger self could relate to Hermione Granger (but not completely; I’m such a Hufflepuff!).

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Why is it important to you to support other women in the industry? Name drop a favorite boss babe that isn't Little Petal.

My business would be no where near what it is today without the support of other women in the industry, and I could never make that a one-sided relationship. Elena at The Colorful Geek is the only reason I was brave enough to enter the world of conventions, and my business would be so much different without everything she's done for me. My geek boss hero Allison at RockLove Jewelry has taken me under her wing in the kindest way and walked me through so many situations. There are too many women to name, from people who run conventions to other vendors to geek chic bloggers to cool women who just hang out in the industry, and I'll do everything I can to give back as much to the community as they've given me.

 

In fifty years, if the world remembered any one thing about you and your business, what would you want it to be?

I want to be a bright spot in people's memories: whether by a favorite product that made a great gift (for you or someone else), a positive customer service interaction, help we give through one of our charity partnerships, or knowing that hanging out in our corner of the internet is a safe and welcoming place.

Check out all of Jordan's amazing designs at www.jordandene.com

Follow her on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter to see the shirt of the month and her bazillion adorable customers! 

Don't forget to check out our Awesome Con Geek Girl After Party ! Jordan will be raffling off a prize of 6 months worth of her Shirt of the Month!!!

 

 

Badass Babe of the Week: Nancy Hanie

Nancy is an Accountant and a LuLaRoe Consultant who wishes she could travel for work. Snow White is her ultimate favorite character followed by Ariel and Belle. She also loves the Evil Queen and Alice. (If this isn't obvious, she is a Disney girl!) She is also fond of Harry Potter, especially Hermione. She enjoys playing Leto games. Fall is her favorite season. Nancy is half Asian and American Indian, and a proud single mom to an Army veteran. She just turned 40 this year and is still never growing up!

Nancy ordered a Snow White dress (shocking!) at Megacon the day after I stayed up super late editing photos to be able to show them at my booth... so I got to feel like that lack of sleep/ bringing my computer all the way from Brooklyn to Florida was worthwhile. She ordered it to wear to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (and I'm sure a million times after) and made my heart happy by sending me photos of her with the Nightmare Before Christmas cast (check it out on Instagram: LittlePetalNYC). Nancy has been an endless sweetheart over the past couple months while I've been dealing with severe depression- every message she sends me is cheery and positive, and totally makes my day.

Thank you Nancy for being a total darling, please never grow up!

Badass Babe of the Week: Eve Cowan

Eve works at a photo print lab and does photography, while crafting and sewing on the side. Her Etsy shop, ThatCreativeFox, mainly focuses on super hero themed cats but occasionally features other fandoms such as My Little Pony and Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls. She loves special requests, and her most popular character is Catpools. Her favorite fandoms are MLP, Doctor Who, Star Wars, all superheroes, Jem, Disney, TMNT, Pokemon, and of course Avatar! Eve loves cosplaying and creating props for the characters. For Halloween, she was Vanellope from Wreck it Ralph and made her kart! Check it out on her Instagram at omgpopphoto

Eve ordered her Korra dress at Baltimore Comic Con 2014 so she'd have something fun and comfortable to cosplay in while vending at conventions. I love that she ties in her own style by wearing her pabu backpack and her appa on her head. She calls it her "korrabound" (like disney bounding with korra)! I'm someone who owned about a million stuffies as a kid/ still own quite a few, so I absolutely adore her crafting and always enjoy seeing what new kitty she comes up with. I have a particular soft spot for other nerdy vendors who own my dresses.

To check out her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThatCreativeFox/items

Thank you Eve for being one of my first vendor customers and for always looking outrageously adorable when you pop by my booth in your dress!

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Badass Babe of the Week: Yvette Santana Taveras

Yvette works for the City University of New York. She helps run the New York City Science and Engineering Fair for high School students and the Model NYC Council Project for the College Now program. Her favorite fandoms are Games of Thrones and Walking Dead. Her most loved comic book series are Fables, Saga, and Y: The Last Man. She has a strong affinity for Storm and Wonder Woman. Yvette is a secret Sci-Fi junkie. She loves vegging out on all sorts of zombies and end of the world movies, even those rated 1 star.

Yvette ordered her Daenerys inspired dress at NYCC 2014 and I had not seen a photo of her in it until two weeks ago. My booth babe, Margot, was working NYCC for PopCycled Baubles, saw Yvette walk by, and asked her to stop for a photo to send to me. AND I SCREAMED. And then sent the photo to Leanna. And then emailed Yvette screaming at her about how happy the photo made me, to which she told me she got a million compliments on her dress throughout ComicCon. I just cannot get over how adorably gorgeous she is.

Thank you Yvette for being excited to order a dress forever ago and for rocking the hell out of it so I could be cheered up while I wasn't there this year.

Badass Babe of the Week: Laura Wittenberg

Laura is a clinical laboratory scientist at Day Kimball Hospital. "It's like CSI, but instead of solving murders, she figures out what's making someone sick. Also it is less sexy." She refers to this as her day job that supports her real jobs: professional breakfast-eater ( http://toomuchbreakfast.tumblr.com ) and professional SuperFan for the Protomen- who she has seen 41 times in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Laura loves wrestling, especially Sami Zayn because he teaches people valuable lessons about friendship through wrestling, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Vaudevillians and Bailey. She also loves Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Sailor Moon, Berserk, Serial Experiments Lain, Magica Madoka, anything Hayao Miyazaki touches, Shin Megami Tensei, The Tale Series, Jem, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and 80's New Wave music and ska. She adores Hello Kitty and all the Sanrio characters and knows an uncomfortable amount of trivia about her and her friends.

At Magfest, Laura ordered the first Little Petal dress inspired by a wrestler, and I laughed at her throughout the entire ordering process because it was such a wacky, amazing concept that I was so excited about. I did have to convince her that putting his signature across the buttocks of the skirt would not look fabulous, but her excitement level was through the roof regardless. Sami Zayn favoriting the tweet she posted in her dress made my day. I also love that she told me it converts from a wrestling dress to a ska inspired dress admired by all the old Two Tone rockers. One of the reasons I love doing these write-ups is to find out more about my customers because all nerd girls want in life is to geek out with other nerd girls. Laura telling me about her breakfast tumblr and following around the Protomen was so bonding because I'm a Cereal Monster fanatic who only leaves her house to follow the World/Inferno Friendship Society on tour. So now I want to run around in the pit with her to experience her energy in my favorite way possible.

Thank you Laura for giving me a new fandom / one of the goofiest orders to design for, and for being endlessly enthusiastic about it. You are great.

Badass Babe of the Week: Laura Longtine-Rosado

Laura is both the owner of PopCycled Baubles and a Database Administrator for a local non-profit. She is a statistics and data guru. At PopCycled, she creates unique comic book jewelry and accessories such as pendants, earrings, bracelets, key chains, paperweights, and coaster sets (my personal favorite) from upcycled comic books. She also makes hair clips and head bands which are too cute for this world. Her and her husband, Shaun, travel all over the country to vend at comic book conventions when they are not at their full-time jobs. Laura's favorite characters are Maleficent, Eeyore, Cthulhu and all Lovecraft stories, Darkness from Legend, and Rainbow Dash. Her favorite fandoms are Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, and frankly, everything, because that's what happens when you are a vendor who makes everything (she didn't say that, I just know from experience). She started her crafting skills by making Doll Houses as a teenager, and would have a house full of them with painted ceilings and electric wiring if it wouldn't be weird.

Laura bought a dress after head honcho booth babe, Leanna, stopped by her booth at HeroesCon 2014 to buy some of her gorgeous coasters, and literally walked her back to our booth. She now owns three, and still asks me/Leanna to tie them for her when we are at conventions together because she knows we will. Considering how many customers see her in her dresses then come to my table, I would never complain anyway. Laura is, by far, the most dedicated person I have ever met. Just knowing her inspires me to do more. I'm not sure that I accurately described the amount that she works- and also sounds pepped about always having new ideas for items to put at her booth- but I am constantly, endlessly amazed by this woman. Conventions are really the only time that I leave my house (other than when I am on tour with World/Inferno), so I always try to find after parties to attend each night. Laura, however, always brings her sewing machine, scissors, and hot glue gun so that her and Shaun can go back to their hotel each night and work for hours to prep for the next day. They are Little Petal's vendor besties so I have seen this in action and while I tease them (because I want them to hang out with me during the few times a year I see them), I am really very much in awe. This is both "relationship goals" and "inspirational women I look up to" at it's absolute highest for me. She is also very open about mental health issues- ours being very similar to each other, which as someone who constantly strives to smash stigmas, I really adore. While it is the most satisfying thing in the world, this line of work is not easy. The hours are constant. The pay per hour is barely minimum wage. Days/weekends off do not exist. You constantly have to explain your worth to people who already know it. It is very difficult not to get burnt out. And when I see Laura, I think, if she can do this with another full-time job, then I can do this too, because we both love what we do so much. I also think, God I wish she would quit her other job and do PopCycled full-time because she's so creative (but that's her decision). And lastly, I think, thank God she has Shaun so she doesn't have to do this alone.

Please follow PopCycled Baubles "Handmade Chic for the Discerning Geeks" at:
https://www.facebook.com/PopCycled

If you will be at NYCC, visit booth 1883 and buy something because everything is perfect. If you've been to my booth at a convention, you should recognize Margot who is helping out if you visit on Friday or Saturday. Give her a high five (you know how we complete sales at Little Petal).

Thank you Laura for being a friend, an inspiration, and someone I can always bounce ideas off of or vent to. The convention circuit is a weird little world and I am so glad I found you in it. I will always tie your dresses for you as long as you (and Shaun) will always keep a night open to go out to dinner with me.

Badass Babe of the Week: Shea Wishard

Shea is a technical writer and former English teacher who aspires to be a published author. Most of her writing blends the boundaries between reality and fantasy. When she looks at the world, she see it the way it's presented in Big Fish and Finding Neverland: something fantastical. (I would definitely buy her books)! Her favorite fandoms are Avatar and Mass Effect. FemShep is her personal hero because "she is an unapologetic badass with phenomenal voice acting." Video games and fantasy were a huge part of her childhood. Her brothers and her were constantly coming up with imaginative games and stories when they weren't collaborating on Mario or Sonic. It sounds like she was born to be a storyteller.

At Magfest, Shea ordered a custom design based on Katara because according to her- "she protects the people she loves. Her family and friends are her everything." She very clearly has a gigantic heart and embodies her chosen character- which I always love. My table is super overwhelming to look at during conventions because it is just full of beautiful women looking thrilled in bright dresses- so I tell people to just look up, ignore the photos, and ask themselves who they would want to be if they could be any one character. Who do they see themselves as? And I think she nailed it. Based on just her writing style in our emails and her view of the world, I personally cannot wait to read her first book.

Thank you Shea for trusting my concept and sending me tons of photos of you in your dress, which always makes me feel soooooo damn instantly better about my life.

Badass Babe of the Week: Hesa Oertly

Hesa, aka Heather, Oertly works in the frozen tundra of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. Her favorite fandoms are Batman, Captain America, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Elfquest, and Farscape. She is a vegetarian who loves owls, waffles, and will never have too many cats. Hesa firmly believes everything should be purple.

I cannot fully remember which convention Hesa ordered her dress at because I was lucky enough for her to visit my table at almost every convention I have done this year (99% positive it was Magfest). Her obsession with the color purple was immediately apparent when she asked for the Stephanie Brown dress. Even though I know she is a blonde, when I think about her, I always imagine her with purple in her hair- which I assume is what her D&D character would look like at least. She visited me at AwesomeCon in her dress and it was extremely obvious that she wanted to order a second but was patient and let everyone else at the fully packed table get their orders in, and just emailed me afterwards to set up a time to meet at DragonCon, which I appreciated an incredible amount. It does not go unnoticed by me when my customers see that I'm overwhelmed and treat me with compassion because they know that I am not going to forget about them. Anyone who shows others compassion skyrockets to the top of my list of favorite people pretty quickly (especially the ones who visit me to give me quick hugs at conventions!) I don't normally include customer's reviews in these write-ups but she really wrote the ultimate one that touched base on almost every worry customers have while still showing how much personality she has:

"I love my dress so much and I am not a dress-wearing person usually!! Batgirl dress, so much twirling about and looking awesome while being super comfy. We literally wrapped me in it like a mummy and it still looked good. :) There is so much you can do with these dresses; I will definitely be a repeat customer! Cannot express how much I love wearing it, and I'm slowly learning, and getting better at tying the dress! Holding the entire thing in your arms is like holding a bunch of wet towels, so heavy, but once it's on, it's the lightest, most comfy thing I own. And I highly recommend pockets!!"

Thank you Hesa for being patient with your dresses and visiting me all the time. You and previous Badass Babe of the Week, Chaitali, are the inspiration for the hopeful Little Petal after party next AwesomeCon!

Badass Babe of the Week: Sarah Wilkinson

Sarah is a full time freelance artist who does both contract work for companies and original concept oil paintings. She travels frequently to vend at conventions along with Studio deSade, and has been designing trading cards for Topps for eleven years. Her art has been used on comic book covers, as comic book pinups, story illustrations, children’s Halloween masks, children’s books, even remote control cars and toys for Disney. Basically, everyone loves Sarah's art. Her favorite fandoms and characters are Doctor Who, Star Wars -especially Han Solo, Spider Jerusalem, Deadpool, X-Files, Twilight Zone (a girl after my own heart), Outer Limits, Universal Monsters -especially Creature From the Black Lagoon, Pan's Labyrinth, and Star Trek. She is a wannabee crazy cat lady and a foodie whose soul is always on the road. She has lived in seven states, is a leftie, and hates black licorice.

I fell platonically in love with Sarah the moment I met her at WonderCon 2015. She had this piece of art, Heart Strings, that completely stopped me in my tracks when I finally took a ten minute break to walk through artist alley. I probably wasted five minutes of it standing gasping going "that's me"- I probably would not have done this if a human were actually at the table because I looked real awkward. Her table happened to be in eyesight of mine and I spent the next two days torturing myself looking at it, waiting to be able to go over and ask about it. Finally, I did and before I could even open my mouth, Sarah said "how much are your dresses? I've been dying looking at them all weekend but haven't had a moment to get to your booth!" So I said- "funny story, I came here to buy all your prints, let me go get an order form." It took her months to decide which dress she wanted, which was fine with me because it meant I got to chit chat a lot with this girl who I thought was incredibly impressive who's favorite fandoms are all the same as mine and who is cooler than me (and I admittedly have a big ego so that's saying a lot). Every time she puts a new piece up, it makes my day a little better. I always interpret her art exactly opposite of how she means it, but maybe that's okay because it's art and hers is deeply important to me. Every time Sarah and the rest of Studio deSale's are at a convention, I tell everyone to check out their work because I view them as part of my "con family" who I wish I got to spend more time with.

If you are at DragonCon this weekend, they will be at Second Floor 109D-111D. To view Sarah's work and convention schedule visit: http://www.sarahwilkinson.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/art.of.Sarah.Wilkinson

Thank you Sarah for constantly putting out artwork that drives my emotions, for always being genuinely sweet, and for designing my favorite tattoo (I literally said "I can't believe I get to look at this every day for the rest of my life" after getting it).

Badass Babe of the Week: Danielle Nolasco

Danielle is an aspiring computer technician putting herself through college and chasing her dreams. She builds her own computers and is planning on writing a book. She is particularly obsessed with Dragon Age. I mean- "My favorite characters are all of them. Main DA romances are Zevran, Fenris and Sera. Fave bad guy is Corphy because dat voice actor. I can't stop playing mages. I have a nug and a mabari plush, named Piddlypoops and Ser Calenhad respectively." I particularly enjoy when someone is really really into one specific thing so I thought I'd share that. Danielle also has a cat named Eddard after Ned Stark, is addicted to hot fries, and is a lvl20 in Pokémon Go.

Danielle came back and forth to my booth at Magfest a couple times debating on a custom Morrigan dress, just as everyone does with their orders. She came to model it in Manhattan, and will always stick out to me because I think in the two and a half years that I've been having my photographs taken professionally, Danielle is the only girl who ever just stood in front of the mirror and wrapped herself in her dress while she was waiting for me between shots. Obviously I rewrapped her because I am anal retentive but she did a great job for a first go around! Typically the shoots are very goofy for as systematic as they are, but something about this just gave me the utmost joy. It was like she had to know just what she could do with her dress, and it's exactly what I tell everyone to do when they first receive theirs out of the box. Her inquisitive behavior and ultra nerdiness make her this week's Badass Customer Babe.

Thank you my fellow Danielle for your taking me off guard with your curiosity and for visiting my booth again at AwesomeCon!

Badass Babe of the Week: Chelie Setzer

Chelie is a program associate at Council on Foreign Relations, helping to spread knowledge of international affairs to policy makers. She grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and enjoys visiting home to be around the fields and tractors. She loves too many fandoms to count but Harry Potter started it all and is her most obsessive. Some other favorites are Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Doctor Who, Star Trek, D&D, the Marvel cinematic universe, Futurama, Mass Effect, and Portal (I didn't read all these until typing them and now I think I'm in love).

Chelie has one of the most intoxicating smiles I have ever encountered. Typically at the photoshoots, my photographer, Brian, likes to remind the girls that these aren't serious model shots. We want to see how much fun our customers are having in their dresses. We like to keep the initial "oh my god i love my dress" squee throughout the shoot. With Chelie, we did not have to say that because it was impossible to wipe the smile off her face. She is just a nonstop pleasant parade of compliments and I cannot wait to make another dress for her.

Thank you Chelie for bringing joy to other people's day just by being you and for writing me one of my favorite reviews!

Badass Babe of the Week: Emily Tiedeman

By day, Emily is an IT project manager. By night, she sells LulaRoe, comfortable and modest clothing for kids and adults. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoe.EmilyTiedeman/) Her favorite fandoms are Doctor Who, Firefly, and Harry Potter. She obviously loves She-ra! She has a Corgi named River (@riverthecorgi) and they compete in agility. She also has a German Sheperd/ Golden Retriever mix who is a retired therapy dog.

Emily's reaction to her dress the first time she saw it on herself in the mirror of the bathroom at Magfest was so enthusiastically perfect- that later in the day the woman who was in the bathroom with us came up to the table and bought a dress for herself. (I really should be taping customer's reactions to their dresses because the squees are the cutest)! She's so patiently sweet, and now after learning her dog's name, I understand our mutual obsession with River Song -who she ordered a second dress based on three months after receiving her first dress.

Thank you Emily for being a repeat customer whose smile pumps me up whenever I see you at my booth!

Badass Babe of the Week: Dana Rasmussen

Dana is a federal data cruncher who truly embodies her chosen character! She loves Legend of Zelda, Bob's Burgers, Dragon Age, and Steven Universe. She is a huge fan of reinterpreting her favorite stories and characters to be able to rep them along with herself.

I was SO excited when Dana messaged me asking about Sardonyx because I had just started watching Steven Universe and was so pumped on this incredible show that successfully infuses intersectional feminism into it, and had also just made Lapis, Opal, and Rose. When I found out that she is 6'5", I wanted to do a back flip at how perfect of a choice the character was. We unfortunately were not able to schedule a photo shoot but I managed to be able to meet up with her at AwesomeCon to tie her up and talk a bit before rushing back to my table. I'm so glad Sardonyx stole your heart so you could be my Giant Woman.

Thank you Dana for telling me you admire my dresses, trusting my design, and being a Badass Giant Babe!

Badass Babe of the Week: Jenna Hughes

Jenna is a pediatrician currently training in preventative medicine and public health. She does lightsaber combat through NY Jedi (often in her Little Petal dress which she had custom made to her character details). Her favorite fandoms are Star Wars, Doctor Who, Firefly, Orphan Black, Marvel- mostly MCU and Ms. Marvel, Game of Thrones, and Vikings.

Jenna is an intersectional feminist, Jedi, Doctor babe extraordinaire. She has sent me more photos and videos of herself posing and fighting in her dress throughout the years than any other customer, and I love it. Some with a corset, some with long sleeves, some where she is lightsaber fighting so intensely that the skirt of the dress is dancing along in rhythm with her moves. She has also personally gotten me multiple customers since her own dress- I jokingly refer to myself as the official costumer of the NY Jedi because of how many of their gorgeous gals own my dresses. She is an extremely hardworking and driven woman, she is a strong LGBTQ supporter, she has a clear understanding of the importance of intersectional feminism, and she is someone who I consider an amazing role model and friend.

Thank you Jenna for constantly promoting my work, for helping me in my fashion show, and for being someone with a genuine moral compass that I'm psyched I get to know through these dresses that I make.

Badass Babe of the Week: Acacia Sears

Acacia, also known as Ms. Cacie, writes progressive, feminist songs for children. Her first album, "Only Yes Means Yes", which was funded at almost twice it's Kickstarter goal, just came out on itunes and Amazon. ""Yes Means Yes!" AKA "The Mommies on the Bus Say: Smash the Patriarchy" is a progressive, empowering album for children and the adults they love. Each song seeks to entertain while providing the opening for a dialogue about feelings, experiences, and confusing but important topics. Some include: consent, ableism, anxiety, empathy, and non-binary gender, all while incorporating fun, singable, danceable, playable tunes." She is currently teaching Ms. Cacie's Ukulele Academy to children at Greenberries in Baltimore. Acacia is a knitwear designer and flower crown enthusiast, who enjoys writing a good murder ballad for adults when she isn't writing feminist music for children. She loves anything post-apocalyptia like Mad Max: Fury Road and Adventure Time, and she named her daughter River after characters in Firefly and Dr. Who (RIVER SONG IS THE BEST)

The way I met Acacia was really darling and hilarious to me. She came up to the booth at AwesomeCon 2015 just to look at pretty dresses. Upon looking at the table, she started screaming "THAT'S MY SISTER THAT'S MY SISTER", totally unaware that her sister Jordan had modeled a dress for me (all of our models are our customers... which leads to pleasantly startling reactions of I KNOW THAT PERSON sometimes). We then designed a dress based around the colors in her favorite flower crown that adorns her head while she plays. Now she messages me regularly to tell me how many compliments she gets each performance she wears it at. I particularly appreciate Acacia because she is vocal about her struggles with a lot of similar problems that I face, such as deep anxiety and depression- which are problems that I feel more people should try to be open about if they are able to. It helps destroy the stigma. She is also helping to mold young minds into understanding the importance of consent- which is the most vital time to learn it- and how to treat other humans. What she is doing is significant. I hope she tells herself that each morning when she wakes up. If you have any kids you love, buy them this album.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yes-means-yes!/id1124119550

Thank you Acacia, Ms. Cacie, for literally helping change future generations for the better, and obviously for constantly reminding me how much you love my dresses.

Badass Babe of the Week: Rebecca Rose

Rebecca, aka Luna TikTok, is an International Burlesque and GoGo Dancer who spends her time between Glasgow and NYC. Her favorite fandoms are Star Wars, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and Supernatural. Her favorite characters are Captain Marvel (Shazam!), Brienne of Tarth, Hellboy, Shaak Ti, and Wonder Girl/Donna Troy. She has a special place in her heart for Darwyn Cooke (my personal favorite comic book artist and writer as well).

Rebecca owns the first ever custom comic book inspired convertible dress! Three years ago, I was making solid color convertible dresses for bridesmaids and my traveling musician friends to bring on tour, and I thought, "this would be more fun as Wonder Woman." She hopped on the opportunity to own the first one. Little did she know I was going to eventually have her model 40 different tutorial styles so she would be the most recognizable person on the website! I have known Rebecca for a long time from when I was a manager at St. Mark's Comics before I started Little Petal. She is one of the most heartfelt and committed girls I've ever met. I'm endlessly proud of her every time I get to look at her completely captivating photos on my website.

Thank you Rebecca, for being the face of Little Petal and remaining vibrant for hours and hours of photoshoots. I love you <3

Badass Babe of the Week: Chaitali Shah

Chaitali spends her life keeping people on the right side of the law. Her favorite fandoms are Star Wars (if you couldn't tell by her custom Ahsoka Tano dress) and The Last Airbender. She would be in danger of turning into a crazy cat lady without her husband preventing her from going to the shelter every week.

Chaitali is an AwesomeCon 2015 customer who came back to visit us again this year, looking stylin' with her spot on scarf accessory! The impression she left on me is that she is patient, open minded (or definitely trusting of my creative mind), and knows what she wants. She never had the chance to make it to Manhattan to model, so I wasn't able to show her the custom Ahsoka wrap I made up just for her dress. So I left my booth and gave her a little tutorial session at the convention! The booth is always slammed with new customers when we are in DC, and I feel terrible not being able to chat longer with my current customers. The brief walk to and from the bathroom with her made me realize I really need to host an after party next year so I can catch up with all of my Badass Babes because I love hearing from them.

Thank you Chaitali for getting my creative juices flowing. I'm excited to hang out for longer than like ten minutes next year!!!

Badass Babe of the Week: Kathryn Zinman

Kathryn is currently an Empress of Cheese at Trader Joes. Her favorite fandoms are Firefly/Serenity, Archer, any and all Kevin Smith creations, and Marvel movies. She loves puppies and she aims to misbehave!

Kathryn was one of our most excitable customers at AwesomeCon 2015- totally enamored with the concept. She came back to visit a bunch of times until her brother actually bought her dress. Of course, she was the first person to visit us this year at AwesomeCon 2016 once the table was all set up! We loved seeing her peppy face all weekend- keeping us in good spirits. The day she wore her Wonder Woman dress, she changed it halfway through the day- which really blew the minds of all of my potential new customers. And then, she bought a second dress because she is just that awesome.

Thank for Kathryn, for being our bubbling ray of sunshine throughout an already AWESOME CON. Can't wait to see photos of you in this one as well and to see you next year!

Badass Babe of the Week: Julia Lezoff

Julia works as a registered nurse (RN) on a cardiovascular/ICU stepdown unit. She describes the job as "difficult, and there are tough days, but it's so worth it." Julia is a Brooklyn Baby, currently living and working in central Pennsylvania. She has a BA in Psychology, "which is about as useful as a BA in English." She also enjoys reading about astronomy and quantum physics for fun. Science! Julia's favorite fandoms are Marvel, especially Hawkeye and Bucky, with a great fondness for Steve Rogers. Agent Carter is her favorite show. Her current favorite comic books are Thor, Ms Marvel, and Squirrel Girl, and she's obsessed with the Avengers Academy game. Outside of Marvel, she is fond of Rat Queens, Girl Genius, Star Trek, Batman Beyond, and Leverage. The Martian is one of the best movies, and greatest books, she's ever seen/read.

While I LOVE ALL of my customers, Julia is actually Little Petal's number one convertible dress client. She currently owns four dresses, and I have no doubt she is going to be the first to own one per day of the week! She is part of the "free pockets for life club." She has such a high enthusiasm and appreciation for custom work, and immense love of all things nerdy. Whenever she models, she bring the ultimate eccentric glow to her photo sessions. Every time I get an email from her, I immediately brighten up and know that i"m going to have a good day. She always knows just what she wants but let's me work my magic to bring it to life for her- and makes my heart swell with her excited reviews once she receives it. She is a true reminder of why I adore talking to each and every one of my customers.

Thank you Julia for being my constant, repeat Badass Babe. I cannot thank you enough for supporting my little business.