Boss Babe: Geek Girl Strong

This week boss babe is Robyn Warren of Geek Girl Strong! She is a health and fitness instructor who coaches women in wellness and magic- and is the person I would want most on my side in any battle. Her classes range from personal lessons to the Fangirl Health Club. She is my woman crush everyday for how openly she discusses mental health and tries to build up a community of strong women. I have a huge goal of starting a side project with her and finding the time to do pole lessons. She is fierce and flawless and I want her to do this every day. Please check out her event with NYCC on June 25th! (And buy this week's Bitch Planet because she's on the back cover with Chavon of Geeky and Creepy)!

Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Robyn Warren, some people on the internet know me as Stormy Riot. That's my gamertag and the name I used all over the internet while I was still a public school teacher. I was born and raise in Brooklyn, NY where I still live now with my 16 year old pup, and my partner/player 2/ex-boyfriend/new fiancé. I love video games, comic books, Harry Potter, Sci-Fi and more. I just started watching Star Trek and like it a lot more now than I did as a kid when I would watch it with my mom. I also love being physically active which leads us to...

Why did you decide to start your own business, and is it your full-time job?
 I created Geek Girl Strong after teaching Physical and Health Education in the NYC public school system for five years.  I realized that I wanted to live my entire life (not just in the classroom) as an example of better health. It's my brainchild, bringing all that I have worked on and towards together: wellness, female empowerment, and my geeky qualities.

More and more I am tempted to make the jump into making this my full-time work but right now I am also a Family Planning Health Educator at a Federally Qualified Health Center.

What exercise do your students enjoy the most vs what is your personal favorite routine?

I think that what they normally enjoy the most isn't necessarily what they want to do the most, which can be confusing...
I think they enjoy gamified workouts the most, ones that feel like playing. I think that a lot of them really like learning how to improve their arm strength, push-ups, pull-ups, the bench press... maybe even just lifting in general. They want to feel strong and express how bad ass they are! My personal favorite is lifting and dancing- separately and together as pole dancing.

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?

Time is the biggest challenge. I wish I had more time to put into my business since I am still doing other work full-time. Other than that I would say that the fear of not being financially secure is a very close second if not a tie.

I got some really great advice from a close friend of mine, Denise Cooper of Sexy Money, who is an amazing Financial/Business coach (I'll paraphrase) "Do you honestly believe that you/your business will put you in a position where you will not have a roof over your head or enough to eat? If that is the fear that is holding you back, realized how unlikely that is.

 Another piece of advise is to let yourself cry sometimes, running your own business is HARD and sometimes you're going to crash, just make sure to keep good/supportive company around and get back up.

 

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

I have different answers for this from day to day.

Today my answer is that I am tired of making my bosses rich. I am tired of having to compromise on my ethics and feel as if the main goal of my work is not actually to help people but to meet numbers and make others money.

I want Geek Girl Strong to be a world force, a community, and safe space... while also being able to take care of myself and my loved ones.

What are some of your best health tips?

Based on feedback from clients and friends I would say the biggest on is practicing self-care and being proud of it.

To find physical activities that you enjoy. If you're not having fun and feeling good about yourself you're not going to stick with it. Just like anything else, if it no longer serves you in the way you presently need it, it's time to reevaluate!

Lastly, eating a tasty, nutritious, diet. Whatever that means to you! There's no "one fits all" for any health thing ever, that includes diets. I aim to eat food that I enjoy and that will allow for my body to run well!

One thing that I've shared in regards to food lately is that I have really tried to take white (processed/altered/bleached) grains out of my diet almost completely (outside of chocolate pastries because they are my much loved guilty pleasure). I look at white rice as chocolate cake because once all the other parts of the grain are removed it is a simple carbohydrate, just like the sugar in cake. So, my inner dialogue goes something like; Robyn, you either get to have that rice or some cake later. That rice ain't sh*t compared to the chocolate cake I just envisioned.

 

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

I can never choose one so here's four I think of the most haha (sorry):

-Harry Potter. Only child with a pretty traumatic child hood. Not the worst in class but not the best. Gryffindor.

-Vin (Mistborn Trilogy). Pretty rough childhood (see a theme? ha. ha.), little but fierce, more sensitive than she lets on.

-Lauren Olamina (Parable of the Sower). This was pointed out to me by two exes before I actually read the book myself. They weren't wrong. (Yes, more trauma.)

-Storm (X-men). Childhood trauma (I know, I know), New York native, bad ass Black lady.

 

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

Because no one else is going to do this for us. We need to continue creating collectives and trusts and spaces where we can walk through doors then reach out hands back to pull someone else through with us, continually.

Choosing one name is really hard!!
Instead of I would like to shout out two people who I would love to see turn what they already do/are great at into their work...

Ashley Warren, is a bossy geeky lady in the best way possible... it makes her an amazing event planner. Even when she has been a guest or participant at my events I can always found on her to keep things running smoothly.

Chavon Coleman of Geeky and Creepy, has this incredible skill... She e-networks like no one else I know, I go to her when I need to find deals on ANYTHING, and she's pushing me to be better with social media marketing.


Let's just say that when able to I'd want to hire ladies like these to make and keep Geek Girl Strong a success.

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

Just that I was an inspiration of some kind, that I created Geek Girl Strong and it allowed for people to take better care of themselves in a way that was best for them.

Check out all of Robyn's classes at www.GeekGirlStrong.com including her event with NYCC on June 25th

Follow her on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter to see pole, weight lifting, clients, and more! 

Don't forget to check out our Awesome Con Geek Girl After Party ! Robyn will be raffling off a FREE one hour in person or online personal training session!!!!

Badass Babe of the Week: Margot Kavendek

Margot is the owner/ photographer at Kavendek Photography and a booth babe extraordinaire at Little Petal. Her favorite fandoms are Sailor Moon, Overwatch, Star Trek, Steven Universe, and Monster High. Her favorite characters are Amethyst, D.Va, and Ghoulia Yelps. She has three cats, a menagerie of reptiles, and after a lifelong crush on Commander Riker, married a man who looks shockingly like him. Margot is an advocate for raising mental health awareness, specifically about autism. She is also a really phenomenal singer.

Margot is one of my closest friends in the world. We butt heads often but always make up because we know that we each have our own particular set of anxieties that cause us to have specific reactions- and I think we are stronger for it. I deeply admire how openly she discusses her own struggles with mental health and having people understand her, and just how frustrating that can be. She is one of the most passionate people about my company- always promoting it everywhere, always suggesting it to everyone, always tagging it on statuses, always literally encouraging women who ask her about her dresses to feel them. She is also that friend who remembers all of my favorite things and always tries to surprise me with little gifts- and even gets sad somethings sells out too quick. She's that person who, if they one the lottery, they would likely spend their entire earnings on buying their friends things because it's important to her to bring others joy. I find her extremely endearing and if you do not have a friend like this in your life, I highly suggest searching until you find one and reminding them how important they are frequently.

Dear Margot, I appreciate you so much. I am sorry for every time I lose sight of that, and thankful for how much we are capable of teaching each other. Never doubt yourself. And for the love of all things holy, please start singing more often. Your voice could move mountains. Love you to the moon and back.

Boss Babe: Popcycled Baubles

Popcycled Baubles is a geek chic business that makes bags, necklaces, pocket mirrors, coasters, bows, and other accessories from licensed fabrics or upcycled comic book pages. Laura Longtine- Rosado is one of the most driven women I have ever met, with endless ideas and an admirable willpower to somehow accomplish them all. I previously featured her as a Badass Babe of the Week (she owns three of my dresses)- and it is debatably the most heartfelt one I ever wrote because she personally motivates me to be able to do more. I am constantly in awe of her stamina. Laura unfortunately won't be at our Girl Power Awesome Con After Party (she will be at HeroesCon) but she sent me over some fantastic photo props for pictures and a Wonder Woman coaster set for the raffle!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I was a nerd before I was a geek. The awesome 90's show X-Files was my first love, and I wanted to be Scully so hard. I didn’t see Star Wars until I was 18, and I didn’t even like it until Yoda showed up! Now Star Wars is at the top of my fandom list, along with a million (literally) other shows, cartoons and movies. 

I live in Charleston, SC which is a lovely city but it’s really hot here! I’d love to be someplace much cooler. I'm married and my husband helps me run PopCycled. We also have a pup who keeps my spirits high, in fact I called her my Chief Morale Officer. I work with databases and I really like statistics.  Basically, I am a Slytherin Jedi Master who loves fairies and the beach at night. I make stuff, do things, and hope to live to be a 120 (while still be sharp as a tack) working to make the world a better place.  

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

The first and foremost reason was a HUGE lack of fandom items for female buyers. I was just so sad to go to a comic shop and see nothing aimed with me in mind. So I made a plan to make fun jewelry from comic books and from that concept became Popcycled Baubles. We do so much more now, but it started with a single pendant in 2010.

Although Popcycled is a huge part of my life it’s not my “full time job” - I have two full time jobs, lol! I also work as a database administrator for a non-profit in my town.

 

What is your most popular item vs your favorite?

Right now, our most popular item is our 8-bit collection. Each is made bead by bead and they are stunning and quite a draw. I honestly don’t have a favorite item, I love them all like children (seriously). I make each one and love them equally and then see them off into the world to be loved. That’s my favorite thing, making an item that someone is excited to find.

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?

Keeping up!! Most every night and weekend is filled with to-do lists of items I need to get back into inventory, plus trying to work on new ideas. It’s hard to get new products into the shop when I’m so busy working on current items. Plus book work, and taxes, and trying to have a life…it’s hard. Taking time for yourself is key, I just took my first vacation in 5 years and it was so mentally cleansing.

My biggest suggestion to anyone looking to start a small craft business is this – do not undersell yourself!! You’re not a big box store; make sure you pay yourself a living wage.

 

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

My customers, hands down. I will be honest, I have almost quit a thousand times – but then someone will come to my shop and squeak and cradle an item, and I remember. I do this for them and that feeling I get in providing handcrafted and unique items. It’s truly an amazing feeling.

What is your favorite convention that you vend at?

I’ve cut my convention “tour” down significantly, so I have more time to create inventory - I only kept the ones I enjoyed. My favorite though if I had to pick one is Dragoncon.  Dragoncon is my first love convention wise and even if I cut all my other shows out tomorrow – I’d still do Dragoncon.

 

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

I have a fandom problem! I like too many things and can’t ever pick one. I have bits of everything all mushed up in my brain – can I be a Leslie Knope, Yoda, Peridot, Wonder Woman, Batman, Vader and Klingon hybrid??? LOL – that seriously scatter brained list sums up my personally pretty well.

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

As we all know we women are still are fighting for equal pay in the workforce and many of us are creating to supplement income to pay student loans or even just make ends meet. I always try to support small businesses, like my good friend Emily of Cold Lipstick’s Garden. She is a hard working mom and business owner. We work together on some items and she’s an awesome person and I enjoy supporting her business however possible.

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

When I started Popcycled, there wasn’t many people doing anything like what I was doing. Now there is an explosion of crafters at shows and online. Not only that but in recent years, fandom items for women and now even little girls are becoming easier to locate, even in the malls. I’d love someone to recognize businesses like mine helping to create the groundswell of demand that has resulted in female driven items being commercially available.

Check out all of Laura's amazing designs at www.popcycled.etsy.com

Follow her on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter to see all of her adorable bows and bags and million other different trinkets, as well as Corde- the smiliest pup on Earth.

Don't forget to check out our Awesome Con Geek Girl After Party ! Laura will be raffling off a Wonder Woman coaster set!!! I'm so excited to take pictures with her adorable photo props!!

Badass Babe of the Week: Gina Cardilla

Gina currently sells watches but aspires to write novels. She is also the newest Little Petal convention team member #boothbabeextraordinaire . Her favorite characters are Hawkeye, Luna Lovegood, Mae Borowski from Night in the Woods, and Purah from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Her favorite fandoms include Gaming YouTubers, Harry Potter, LOTR, Legend of Zelda, and The Princess Bride- which she named her cats after (Buttercup and Westley). She is particularly obsessed with Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb (one of her dresses is based on Danny SexBang). Her nickname is Grandma.

I met Gina at Magfest 2016 where her and her bestie, Amanda, spent probably hours at my booth letting other girls order before them because they could see how busy we were. Putting other people first is definitely an obvious character trait of theirs. At Magfest this year, Gina hovered in front of my table in her Mettaton dress, noticed how shot our voices were getting, caught on to what we were saying, and started giving the spiel to anyone who came to look- real life testimonial style. This might sound easy but it is a lot of information to tell each potential customer about the dresses so to just pick it up like that is incredibly impressive. I asked her if she would like to booth babe at Colossal Con, Dragon Con, and Awesome Con shortly after. Colossal Con ended up being the ultimate "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" weekend and somehow Gina managed to hold it together like a pro. Even with the show being an abnormal bust for us, I was able to laugh it off because of how phenomenal she was- both in how easy going she was about everything, and in how perfectly she said and did everything at the booth (my retail expectations are high because I am a robot and she went above and beyond them). She had so much weighing her down and just kept enthusiastically powering through and it's the only reason I was able to stay sane. Also seeing how giddy she got by every Danny SexBang cosplayer and any time she saw a photo of my dog helped.

Thank you Gina for being my newest companion and for being so passionate about my company. I appreciate you so much and just want you to know how important you are. All the best parts of you, that you're too humble to think others might see, are much clearer than you realize.

Boss Babe: BenaeQuee Creations

I came across Kristin Sirota of BenaeQuee Creations in an online Artist Alley group I am part of, and was immediately impressed by her bag designs. I tend to really love crafters that create pieces inspired by the character's costumes - the mindset being "what would they wear or carry with them in day to day life. Every piece she puts out is handmade and done with a tremendous amount of care. I am super thrilled to finally get to meet her at Awesome Con this year, where she is joining us and Jordandene at our Girl Power After Party!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I'm a mom to 2 adorable fur kids, River Tam, and Princess Leia (cats). I'm happily married to someone that was willing to uproot from NYC to move to sleepy Eastern Shore of MD, so that I could have a shot at finally doing what I love. I'm a costumer and have been sewing for over 20 years. It all started because of my love of dressing up as something different. I have more costumes than actual clothing, and most of my shoe collection is geared towards those costumes. I love craft beers and checking out new breweries with my husband. He's a trained chef, so we both also LOVE to eat and cook. My favorite fandoms are Star Wars and Doctor Who, but I really love mostly all sci-fi. When I'm not chained to my sewing machine, I can be found swimming at the local gym or photographing my cats.

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

I've always been the entrepreneurial type, from as far back as I could remember. I would organize my own lemonade stand (yes, cliche, but I did it) and yard sales. I made jewelry in 4th grade that I was selling to classmates. I was top cookie seller one year for girl scouts as well. My mother and father had their own business for a long time, and have expanded it since then. I love what I do, it is my full time job, and a true passion. I've had many jobs working for other people, I finally had enough and wanted to work for me. It's NOT an easy task, when you are the one producing everything you sell (with some help from my hubby), plus managing social media, emails, promotions, accounting, etc. I'm making it work though, and have come a LONG way in a year and a half since I started!

 

What is your most popular item vs your favorite?

My most popular item, is probably my Star Wars Light Speedy bag. Its a custom order item, since I have to get the fabric specially printed for me. My favorite piece that I've made, is actually a recent piece, which will be at Awesome Con. It's an all vinyl Wonder Woman inspired handbag. There are so many fun details I put into it. It was a challenge for my poor sewing machine though, so it may be a one of a kind for the moment.

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?

It's not always fun! It's a job, like any other. You have responsibilities and duties to attend to. You need to make sure your taxes are paid on time. You need to account for all your costs for your inventory. This includes gas and mileage on your vehicle. I've had to go 3 hours out of my way to source a fabric for a custom order before. That got factored into my cost. If you are making your own inventory, it is tiring. I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me to drink water and stretch. I often times start working at 8am and stop at 11pm with maybe 2 hours interspersed for various breaks. However, the reward of seeing my pieces in my booth at a show, and watching people light up when they walk out with their new purchase, makes it all worth it. I had a guy recently Skype show for his wife, who was unable to attend. It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. She followed my FB page and saw what I was going to be selling and sent him to my booth to get them first thing. I've also made new friends from this adventure, and we all help each other out along the way.

 

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

Seeing people get pure joy out of my items. My best friend cried, big tears and practically hiccuping, when I gifted her a purse she was eyeing up. I saw a woman give her husband the biggest hug ever when he pointed to a bag and said "I'll take it, she likes it". I make things that are useful and beautiful, for every budget. I have a ton of fun designing things as well. Most of the time, it's in my head and I just start cutting fabrics. Sometimes I'll actually stare at my pile of fabrics and accents materials and start laying them all out to see what looks good together.

What is your favorite convention that you vend at?

I've only been at this for under 2 year so I haven't done many shows yet. ReGeneration Who in Baltimore MD has been a favorite though. This year was my second time vending, 3rd attending. The crowd is full of fun and they come ready to buy something unique. My friends all go to the con as well, so I have them to hang out with after hours!

 

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

Star Wars, forever. I met my husband through the fandom, we were married with music from the movies, and we even named our cat Leia. We're both members of the 501st and Rebel Legion and have been since 2002. We have enjoyed dozens of events over the years. The charity events are my most favorite. I LOVE seeing little kids (and kids at heart) light up when they see the characters they know and love. I've gotten so many hugs from little girls, saying that Princess Leia is their favorite, and they wanted to be just like Leia when they grow up. I was that little kid, and now I get to be the hero they look up to admire.

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

You have to look out for your sisters. We're finally in an age (at least in this country) where we don't need our husbands or fathers to cosign a Credit Card for us. We get to do more than be secretaries and teachers (nothing wrong with those careers BTW). We can speak out voice and march to be heard as a much larger group. We still have a bit of a ways to go, and we need to support one another along the way. I really have way too many list to be honest. My friend Becka Doodles does amazing little cartoons inspired by fandoms and everyday life, She's teaching the next generations to also be awesome. Just a plug, she makes this ridiculously adorable BB-8 as a kitty pin (and tee shirt). I wear it on my Finn jacket and people LOVE it, he's just so CUTE! 

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

That I was the handbag lady. The one to go visit at a con or check out online. With custom bags for every taste and fandom, some of which were limited to one piece only. I'd like to think that my pieces will last that long (or longer) as well lol

Check out all of Kristin's gorgeous designs at  www.benaequee.etsy.com

Follow her on Facebook/Instagram to see all her new knit and crochet accessories and patterns! 

Don't forget to check out our Awesome Con Geek Girl After Party ! Kristin will be raffling off a Star Wars wallet!!!

Badass Babe of the Week: Carol Pinchefsky

Carol has been a freelance writer of geek culture and technology for twelve years (http://www.carolpinchefsky.com). She is a contributing editor for Syfy Wire, and has written for the New York Times, Time Out New York, PC Gamer, IGN, Geek & Sundry, and many others. Two career highlights were interviewing Adam West and Leonard Nimoy, her lifelong geek crush. Her favorite films are Star Wars, Alien/Aliens, The Terminator, The Martian, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Galaxy Quest, Shaun of the Dead, and The Mummy (1932), (which she fell in love with during a Universal Monsters Marathon at age 7). Her favorite television shows are Classic and Next Gen Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Firefly, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Life on Mars (UK).  Her favorite books are Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart, Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clark, Dune by Frank Herbert, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, Beauty by Sherri Tepper, the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, and the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey. And her favorite characters are Dana Scully from The X-Files, because "she’s intelligent and rational", and Chloe Sullivan from Smallville, because "she’s a writer who loves chasing facts." Carol is wildly in love with her husband after 16+ years of marriage, who she describes as brilliant, funny, and compassionate. "He always makes me think, and the way to my heart is through my brain." I am a hopeless romantic so that fun fact made my heart melt.

Carol is what I refer to as an OG Little Petal customer because she bought the second ever Batman inspired convertible dress. The interview she did with Adam West was in it, which she has always told me is one of her professional career highlights- not realizing that is also a highlight of mine. I don't know if my customers realize just how excited hearing things like that make me. Carol shoots me a message every once in a while of some geek fashion related event she thinks I should do. Carol is also who wrote the Geek & Sundry article about me, and is therefore responsible for my fundraiser skyrocketing in donations and reach. She views herself as fact and logic driven, but based on our conversations, I would say she's also extremely heartfelt with stances that align very clearly with mine. When I asked her to send me some fun facts about herself, she said "I’m a professional writer of geek culture. For the most part, I’m the person I wanted to be when I grew up." That is the goal. And reading that sentence was so inspirational.

Thank you Carol for helping me raise money, always supporting my company, and for taking the time to make sure I know someone thinks what I am trying to do is important. Being told that you can see that I am compassionate and feel the world's pain is more healing for me than you realize. I will probably never write a book about myself like you advised, but I'd certainly let you!

Boss Babe: Level Up Nerd Apparel

Next up on my list of incredible geek chic boss babes who I want the world to know about is Lara Cooper of Level Up Nerd Apparel. Lara makes gorgeous nerdy crochet and knit accessories that constantly impress me (she made a Zoidberg out of thin air! And yes, she made that Super Mario Brothers blanket below). I have the privilege of calling her a customer and a friend. Donate to the "We Are All Wonder Women Fundraiser Contest for Planned Parenthood" by May 31st for a chance to win one of her Wonder Woman inspired headbands!

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am the owner and designer of Level Up Nerd Apparel, where I crochet and knit geeky accessories. I get my inspiration from video games, comic books, anime, tv shows, and general geekery. I am a fan of Avatar: Last Airbender, Dr. Who, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Harry Potter, and many many more! I came out of the nerd closet when I met my husband, who is an even bigger nerd than me and brought me to the dark side. We have two fur-babies, kitties named Bumi and Odin (just in case we weren't geeky enough) who gives us all the parental satisfaction we can handle. Crochet and knitting is the bulk of my entertainment, which I do in front of the tv with either a nice cup of tea or a tall glass of wine. When I can drag myself away from that, I enjoy playing board games and occasionally Magic the Gathering, and if I have any spare time after that, I'll indulge in some puzzle-based video games. But deep down, I live and breath yarn - merino wool flows though my veins!

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

Five years ago, I designed and made a viking hat for my husband. He and his friends said that I should sell them, at which point I scoffed and told them they were ridiculous to think anyone would pay for my hats. But it got me thinking, and I decided that since there was very little risk involved, and it could be a nice way to supplement my grad student income, I could give it a shot. It has been a wonderful roller coaster ride ever since, and I do not regret a single day of it. It is a side enterprise for me, because I have another love in my life: science. I work full-time as a wildlife reproductive physiologist, making endangered species have babies. I only wish I could split myself in two so I could pursue both full time! 

 

What is your most popular item vs your favorite?

My most popular item is the Link hat, both as a finished product and a crochet pattern. I think it has a comforting nostalgic simplicity that draws people to it. My personal favorite is probably the Pokéball scarf; I just love the subtle geekiness of it and the look on people's faces when they realize the ball is a scarf. Also, I'm quite proud of how quickly I came up with it. 

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?

My biggest challenge is that these are handmade items that take time; I can't crank out dozens in a day. So my best advice to budding entrepreneurs is to be realistic: how many items you can make in a day/week, how much the materials will cost you, how much you can charge for them, if there is a market for it, if you can live off of it. Of course, you can and should still dream big - but stay realistic and pragmatic.

 

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

I have so many designs floating in my head, I'm going to create them whether people want them or not. So I might as well share them with the world. Also, nothing quite beats the look of exhilaration when a customer sees their favorite fandom represented.

What is your favorite convention that you vend at?

I have only vended at MAGfest, but I'm sure it would still be my favorite even if I did hundreds of other ones! 

 

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

Poison Ivy is my favorite character of all time. She's not a villain, she just has a different priority: Nature. Everything she does is to protect nature from the wrath of mankind, and if that means taking down a billionaire playboy who probably doesn't recycle his batarangs and who drives a gas-guzzler like the Batmobile, so be it. If I had her abilities, I would do it too - though it would also extend to animals. 

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

As women, we are constantly told what we can't, or shouldn't, do. I think it's important to remind ourselves that we can and should. We face all the same challenges as male business owners, but we have another set of social standards, expectations and constrains piled on top. One of us can succeed by pushing the others down, or we can all succeed by helping each other up. That why I love seeing women do well in their industry, especially when it's not done at the expense of others. One boss babe everyone should check out is Karen Hallion - it takes a lot of willpower on my end to not buy every single one of her prints!

In fifty years, if the world could remember any one thing about you and Level Up Nerd Apparel, what would you want it to be?

The year is 2067. Her Divine Yarnship the Empress Lara, Queens of Hooks and Needles, Mother of Yarn, looks over her dominion with pride and satisfaction, for it extends far beyond the reaches of the visible universe and was filled with equal opportunity crafters. The royal biographer asks her, "Your Yarnship, would you like to make a closing statement for your biography, perhaps looking back at your beginning." "Ms. Rowling, I'm so glad I figured out the formula for eternal life. Those 28 sequels to the original Harry Potter series alone have made it worth it. But yes, please take this down: it all started with a silly hat; love and support made the rest possible." 

Check out all of Lara's beautiful designs at www.levelupnerdapparel.com

Follow her on Facebook/Instagram/Ravelry to see all her new knit and crochet accessories and patterns! 

Don't forget to check out our Awesome Con Geek Girl After Party ! Lara will be raffling off her signature Pokéball scarf and Wonder Woman headband!!!

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!