Badass Babe of the Week: Lilin Davis

Lilin is currently studying audio tech and working as a tutor, with a goal of making music for a living. She writes lyrics and instrumental music (film scores), plays piano, and is a producer and an engineer. She describes her own music as Pre-Raphaelite Punk Rock. Forever the overachiever, she is a fan of the Romantic period piano music and loves to take on pieces (supposedly) beyond her abilities. Her favorite composers are Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt. Lilin's favorite fandom is the Venture Brothers, (her next dress will be Councilwoman Dr. Mrs. The Monarch). She has a kitty named Cat Mandu or Mr. Mandu or Doodle, who scratches and is friends with her bunny- who is invariably up to no good.

Lilin has been a hugely supportive friend since the beginning of Little Petal who was finally able to get a dress of her own. After a ridiculous amount of requests from customers for a hood add-on, I could not deny Lilin when she messaged asking me to create one. I've watched her go from someone who was shy, depressed, and unsure of herself to a self described Spooky Bitch who posts selfies galore. Watching your friend finally stop feeling trapped and become who they have always felt like they were is amazing. Being allowed to be a part of helping them feel even more beautiful by making them a dress they literally scream in excitement when they receive, is even more amazing. (Or maybe I screamed in excitement, who's counting?)

Thank you Lilin, for constantly telling everyone about my company even before you owned a dress. I cannot imagine how many people you will tell about it now. I am SO proud of you just for being you, and cannot wait till you are back in NY where you belong. Dream big, my love. You are one of the most intelligent souls I've ever met; you can do anything.

Badass Babe of the Week: Victoria Long

Victoria is currently a nanny and personal assistant for a vendor company that specializes in pop culture conventions. She is also going back to school for agriculture to help solve America's food crisis. Through her job, she gets to travel all over the country and meet people like Peter Mayhew. She volunteers with at-risk youths teaching them about gardening. She is passionate about sex positivity and LGBT actions. Her favorite fandoms are scifi, fantasy, marvel (especially Iron Man), anime (Naruto, SAO, Record of Lodoss Wars, InuYasha), and has a huge love of books (HP, Dresden Files, anything David Eddings). But most of all, she has always been obsessed with Starfire and Nightwing.

Victoria is one of the most capable humans I have ever met. She is quite possibly the person whose work ethic is closest to on par with mine- which is the highest compliment I can give someone. Victoria has worked for me at my 15 hour a day every day for 25 days straight outdoors December job, and she has been a booth babe, and in both cases, I was constantly overwhelmed by how impressed I was with her. I've never met someone who absorbed information so quickly or who really understands what putting the whole of yourself into working means. This girl is my kindred spirit. She will go as far in life as she allows herself to (and I hope that she sees that). Anyone who ever has the opportunity to have this girl work with them, better swoop her up while they can. She will better your company and she will better you.

Thank you Victoria for buying a dress just because you wanted to support a small business, and for wearing it allllllll over the country. And thank you for letting me occasionally be your boss lady and keeping me sane.

Badass Babe of the Week: Emily Wagner

Emily is a former Young Adult Librarian at Lucius Beebe Memorial Library who is in the process of shifting careers into publishing. She helps run a small literary science fiction and fantasy convention called Readercon, where she is in her third year as Program Chair. She has four cats, that she adopted with her wife all pretty much at the same time as kittens- which she swears was the best idea ever, despite how bonkers that sounds. She also used to fly stunt kites competitively when she was a kid (I love all the adorable tidbits I find out about my customers through this weekly feature!) Emily loves all sorts of fandoms, but because she owns three dresses, I specifically asked her why she chose those characters, and her answer was as rad as she is. "My first dress was LSP. I picked her because I love fat lady characters with attitude. She's silly and rude and she knows she's awesome. My second dress was Ursula and, huh, I guess most of what I just said applies there too. I've loved her for a long time and just have a lot of feelings about octopuses anyway. Who DOESN'T want to be a sea witch though am I right? My third dress is Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. She's a pilot with superpowers and goes out into space to deal with her stuff and save whole galaxies. She's smart but sometimes she'd prefer to just punch things. She has a cat that turns out to be a weird alien thing with a million babies and she doesn't care because Chewie is still her cat. Three badass ladies doing what they need to do and inspiring me all the time."

Emily first contacted me on Etsy after reading my Daily Dot interview with one of the most endearing messages I have ever gotten. She said she "nearly started crying, because the other day I thought about searching for an LSP dress but KNEW that I wouldn't find them in plus sizes and figured the irony would actually kill me dead. Thanks for these incredibly cool dresses and custom sizing." Her first email though, was actually just the simple question of "Is it possible to put pockets in the skirts of your dresses?" At the time, I only put them in my own because I can't live without them/I hate carrying purses and it is too time consuming to put them in all of the dresses because I have to construct the skirts differently/ offering pockets as an add-on felt weird. Emily convinced me that I should absolutely offer them because pockets are worth it- and she was proven very right based on the reactions I've received from everyone who opts to get them. SO Emily is the reason I started offering pockets! She also knows as much about my company as I do. When she comes for a photoshoot or offers to booth babe or talks about my dresses online, I just sit back and let her talk because watching how passionate my customers are about my product is an incomparable feeling. I cannot count the amount of women who have told me they heard about Little Petal through her.

Thank you Emily, for convincing me that my time is valuable and pockets rule, and for being one of my most supportive customers- I cannot wait to make a dress for your wife.

Badass Babe of the Week: Melissa Lorenzana

Melissa is a native New Yorker who teaches immigrant students English. She recently relocated to Florida for some fun in the sun and to make all of her friends jealous of her near constant Disney adventures. Her fandoms range from the Justice League to Doctor Who, but are mainly book based. Calling her a massive comic book nerd is an understatement. Her first crush was Matt Murdock, when she was 7 years old, but now her heart beats solely for Wally West. Loud Melissa was also a booker for the longtime New York DIY punk venue ABC No Rio.

I met Melissa behind the merch table at ABC No Rio while I was constructing a wedding veil for a Zatanna dress. I needed a head to momentarily model it on so she excitedly offered hers up. Sparks immediately flew when she found out what my company was (and that I played hand saw in the punk band she booked for that show). She nailed her photoshoot with her vivid tattoos and vivacious personality that practically jumped out of the screen. She was one of my first convertible dress customers, and the sheer amount of genuine compliments she gave me in regards to fit and comfort of her dress furthered my realization of just how few companies really pay attention to plus size women and how I will never be able to understand how hard that must be; so the least I can do is make sure my customers always feel magnificent. Melissa is someone who holds an extra special place in my heart because she was very vocal to me that my sobriety helped her on her own journey. I am incredibly proud of how strong she is, and could pick no better time than when she's about to hit her one year milestone to highlight how badass she is.

Thank you for being my sober sister and for always talking nerdy with me. Double wedding= you & Wally, me & Hal <3

Badass Babe of the Week: Allison Irving

Allison is a teacher's assistant with a degree in Early Childhood Care. She is working towards eventually having a daycare classroom of her own for age 12-18 months or 18 months- 2.9 years because everything is new and exciting to them and they keep you on your toes. Ally is also a Cosplay Queen who is constantly posting photos of her adaptations of characters- especially Once Upon a Time/ Disney. Her other favorite fandoms include Pokémon, Labyrinth, Full Metal Alchemist, Sailor Moon, Legend of Zelda, Inuyasha, Harry Potter, Firefly, and Mario. She really enjoys a well thought out villain. She also loves metal and classic rock (hell yeah).

Allison is one of the most endearing girls I have ever met. She has one of those completely bubbling, shining personalities that makes you feel good just to be around. One of the beauties of owning a small business is getting to know your customers, especially the repeat ones. I love every time she posts a new cosplay photo because I know how into character she gets. Her Elsa photoshoot is still one of my favorites because her free style (or as we call them "vogue") poses were so uniquely hers and dynamic and really how Elsa would act if she were captured in a photo studio in Manhattan. I cannot wait for the day that I hear she opens her own daycare where both the children and the teachers are encouraged to dress in cosplay to enhance their creativity during their developmental years instead of stifling it.

Thank you Allison for being the sweetest Badass Customer Babe of the Week, helping me out at NYCC, and always being ultra enthusiastic of my designs for your dresses!

Badass Babe of the Week: Tammy Demko

Tammy is a dental hygienist and a Dryad Enchantress, constantly hiking or camping, and finding inner peace through nature. Her goal is to work to live so she can scratch her travel itch often. Her bucket list is never-ending, and stretches further with each trip she takes. Tammy is truly connected to mother Earth. She uses essential oils to make products that are all natural and good for your body, such as toothpaste and deodorant (which I've actually used on my tattoos!). She plans to expand to using herbs and growing plants to make her own tinctures and home remedies as well as health and beauty products. During the winter, she gets her workout fix via yoga and aerial silks. Tammy also creates gorgeous crotchet pieces from hats to reconstructed vintage shirts. Her favorite animes are Death Note, My Love Story, the Studio Ghibli movie collection, Samurai Champloo, and her first love- Inuyasha. She is always looking for new suggestions! Her current cartoon obsession is Rick and Morty, and while this is not a fandom, as long as I've known Tammy, she has been enamored with Saves the Day.

Tammy has been my best friend for over 16 years, which is more than half of the time we've spent on this planet. I've watched her grow from a girl who never left NJ in her entire life, to someone with a likeminded travelers heart who feels stifled when they aren't roaming the country. I feel as if I was able to see her transform into who she always wanted to be, and it will never stop being exciting to watch her spread her wings. The oneness she has found within herself and wisdom she evokes during our conversations is something I cherish. I try to internalize her words and grow from them. She also taught me how to sew when we were sixteen, so without her, there literally would be no Little Petal! There is no one that I hold dearer to my heart which is why she is my Valentine's Day Badass Babe of the Week.

Thank you Tammy, my Tambi, Tambone: for always being there for me. You will forever be my platonic life partner, and I will love you more and more as we get older and wiser and continuously more attractive than when we were young and foolish and mall goths. Drop a pin on a map, we can go anywhere.

Badass Babe of the Week: Leanna Stager!

Leanna is the Scholarly Publications Librarian at Hofstra- School of Medicine. Unlike one of her many obsessions, Welcome to Nightvale, she is a librarian who can be trusted. Contact with her will not lead to fatality. She is a huge Korra, Steven Universe, and Gravity Falls nerd, as well as Doctor Who and Firefly. Leanna is also the webmistress for littlepetal.net and my head booth babe at conventions. She is a knitter and a baker and a cook and general maker of yummy things. She is co-producing a horror movie titled Theresa and Allison. Leanna is the only woman I know who was in a fraternity... because she is just a self aware unstoppable Queen. I wanted to write a thousand other awesome things about her but she asked me not to.

Leanna is my platonic better half and the driving force behind Little Petal. If you have been to the booth at any convention, you have met her. She's the girl that looks better in my dresses than I do. She selflessly uses her vacation days at her actual job to drive sometimes up to fifteen hours each way or fly across the country then stand all weekend to sell my dresses with me, just because she believes in my company so much. (I'm sure the flocks of women telling her how pretty she looks also helps). She lets me bounce ideas off her daily and helps me with all the little things that exhaust me just to think about doing. She is the "Danielle Wrangler." She is the type of friend who brings you your favorite ice cream and a box of your favorite cereal when she knows you've been up working for three days straight and are too stressed out to stop to go to the grocery store. I literally could not run my company without this girl's existence. I cannot imagine she could ever truly understand just how thankful I am that she is in my life. All I can do is keep telling her. She is by far, one of the most important people I will ever know.

Thank you Leanna, for being my badass right hand lady and my greatest friend.

Badass Babe of the Week: Amanda Retotar!

Amanda is currently a photo editor for the Daily Mail (or as she refers to it, an online newspaper with a bunch of British people). She is also a fellow Pratt cat like myself! She is currently writing letters to Charles Raby, an inmate on Death Row in Texas, and photographing his letters. I highly recommend checking them out here: Akretotar.tumblr.com. Amanda's favorite fandoms are Xena, Doctor Who, Star Trek, the X-Files, and anything and everything else Gillian Anderson, our Queen, has done. She has also built her own personal fandom around her cat, Mr. Pibb. (who I try to match photos with of my dog every time she posts an obscure posed cat picture). 

Amanda is a sci-fi cat, punk rock photographer, boss bitch feminist Queen. She was one of my first custom comic book convertible dress customers, back when all of the photos were taken on my camera phone in my backyard. It was totally in line with her personality that she would get a dress based on Lucy Flawless. Her sense of humor is so dry and unforgivingly real that every conversation is always refreshing. I can never delete my personal facebook account simply because her status' are comedic gold. She is just so in line with my "girls rule, boys drool" mentality that I love every aspect of her. The way I view this girl is "me but cooler."

Thank you Amanda, for being one of my first customers and for being one of my favorite humans to nerd out with about anything... especially how much more amazing women are than men!

Badass Babe of the Week: Kathy Denise!

Kathy is a third grade school teacher (who makes the silliest facebook status' about what that is like). She started as a second grade teacher and was given the opportunity to follow them up to third grade because it helps children in their education to have a teacher they already know and love with them once they are in the testing grades. Kathy loves Batman and Cheshire from Young Justice and is a BBC nut, especially Sherlock and the 9th Doctor. Harry Potter books are her go to when she needs an escape.

Kathy was a convention customer who came to my booth at HeroesCon 2014 about a dozen times just to compliment us and keep us cheery. It was one of the first conventions Little Petal vended at, and very far from home so I was nervous at how we would be received. Every time she came by, it was an immediate spirit lifter. "This adorable girl is still visiting us, we're doing great." At the end of the weekend, she put a deposit on a dress because she loved them so much and wanted the convention discount, and said she would just pick out a character later. Every convention since then, I've had one super adorable customer like her that I lovingly refer to as my "Kathy of the Con", who helps me keep my confidence through the weekend.

Thank you Kathy for being the Badass Babe of the Week and my little beacon of hope!
 

Badass Babe of the Week: Samantha Beard!

This week's Badass Babe is one of my favorite West Coast Customers! Samantha is a true cosplay beauty. She is someone who truly understands the labor that goes into custom work and is rabid about supporting small brands, large brands, honestly any brand that lets her showcase how adorably nerdy she is. From Little Petal alone, she owns a custom Loki dress, Doctor Strange dress, Maleficent tutu, and of course, a t-shirt! When I asked her why she chose Loki, she said she views him as layered and nuanced in a very rare way that made her fall in love with the character. She says her dress instills her with a sense of beauty and badass-ness that is so awesome to find in a dress that it makes her feel like she could take on the God of Thunder himself! She is also a proud puppy parent- which I relate to. She moved 3000 miles away from her family partially so that she could spend more of her time immersed in the world of fandom. Living in southern California affords so many opportunities to randomly meet other enthusiasts, artists, and writers in the field. She is currently busy crunching numbers at her software job but her dream is to find her own path into the professional world of creating fiction.

When Samantha found Little Petal, she was so thrilled that she finally found a company able to make a Loki dress, that she also ordered a Batman inspired dress for her best friend, Alanah! I was lucky enough to get to spend the weekend with them last year when Little Petal vended at WonderCon, CA. They both offered to booth babe for a couple hours so I could actually see the convention. It's always impressively heartwarming to me when my customers know as much about my company as I do! But the best part of the experience was watching the way the two of them interacted with each other throughout the weekend. They were a constant support team for each other; always complimenting one another; never even accidentally putting down or being sharp with the other; only ever building up their friendship and self esteem. The only moments of frustration were met with a few seconds of reflection instead of immediate escalation of the situation and then unspoken or heartfelt apologies followed by love and laughter. I've honestly never witnessed a friendship as healthy as this and I really took a great lesson of self reflection and how to achieve this with the women I love more often.

Thank you Samantha, for being one hell of a Badass Babe and supportive customer, but also for helping me in my never-ending quest of being a better feminist and woman all around!

Badass Babe of the Week: Yasmine Arrington!

I can honestly say that I love all of my customers and all of my models, but the pride I feel for this week's Badass Babe is something special. Please read all the way till the end!! I met Yasmine by cold call messaging her to ask her if she would model a dress that a customer would not be able to model herself because she lived too far away. In response, she asked to buy a dress for herself inspired by Princess Jasmine, who she has always felt a strong connection with! Yasmine is a translation of the name Jasmine (how cool is that?). When I finally met her in person, I was completely taken back by just how positive and uplifting her spirit is. Everything about her photoshoot was so professional that I could not believe her when she told me she has been trying to model clothing for years, but I was the first fashion designer she modeled for (side note: your loss, dummies). This is the type of girl who I wish I could give job recommendation after job recommendation for.

Other than being the sweetest girl in the world, the reason why I am so immensely proud of Yasmine is because she is the Executive Director of a nonprofit called ScholarCHIPS (For Children of Incarcerated Parents). The non-profit provides college scholarships to high school students whose parents are incarcerated. To date, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $80,000 in college scholarships, positively impacting 23 scholars! THIS MAKES YASMINE THE ULTIMATE BADASS BOSS BITCH. On top of this, she is still in school getting her Masters. She's also a total Disney nerd who loves roller rink skating and traveling. She is so hardworking, and so damn modest, and so deserving of being spotlighted.

I'm so proud to call you Little Petal's Badass Babe of the Week Yasmine. PLEASE model for me anytime! <3

The Badass Babe Who Started It All: Rebecca Schlappich

Once upon a time, the violinist of my favorite band and my dear friend, asked me to make her a dress that she could bring on tour with her that she could wear each night but not feel like she was wearing the same outfit. Little did she know that by asking me to make her a convertible dress, it would bud the idea for my entire company!

Rebecca is a punk rock violin virtuosa who's bringing sexy Bach to every stage she sets foot on. Her beauty pageant background and classical music upbringing make her a rock 'n' roll anomaly who has really come into her own. Some of the bands that have been lucky enough to share a stage with her are Kiss Kiss, World/inferno Friendship Society, Wakey Wakey, River City Extension, and Mariachi El Bronx. Her favorite things to nerd out to are Amadeus (literally seen it 15 times), Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Dune. She is a cheese-oholic with an appreciation for craft beers; and is a hiking, swimming, Muay Thai jack-of-all-trades. She has a deep understanding of music theory, teaches lessons (she moved and I need a new violin teacher!), and constantly strives to learn new instruments- accordion, guitar, you name it. My personal favorite thing that I learned about Rebecca from this is that Mickey Mouse conducted her in the Disney young musicians orchestra at age 13. Possibly one of the most badass things about her is her work with Cultures in Harmony, a non-profit organization that brings music lessons to foreign countries such as Cameroon and the Philippines.

Thanks Rebecca, for being Little Petal's very first Badass Babe of the Week, and our very first convertible dress order! I will never get tired of hearing everyone ask me if that is the same dress that you look so gorgeous in each night of tour, wrapped a different way!

Want to be a Little Petal Badass Babe of the Week? Send us a photo of you in your Little Petal dress and tell us about your glorious self! Submissions should be sent to badassbabes@littlepetal.net <3

Little Petal's very first Badass Babe of the Week, Rebecca

Little Petal's very first Badass Babe of the Week, Rebecca

2016: Year of the Badass Babes

Happy New Year Little Petal Multiverse!

As you know, Little Petal is an incredibly small company that is completely customer oriented. We love creating your dress with you- designing it based on whatever fandom you love, custom making it to your measurements, and hearing you squee over it! Our goal is always to empower women, so we really admire Her Universe’s Fangirl of the Day for showcasing strong nerdy women all over the world. While we love their concept, we really want to do something to show appreciation for our customers specifically, so we have decided that each week we will have a badass customer babe of the week!

The joy of owning a small business is that you interact with every customer on a personal level, so we get to learn so much about a lot of you as you place your orders at conventions and through your beautifully geeky written emails. We are so thankful for each and every order. Every picture or review we get back actually means the world to us, because knowing you love the dress we custom made for you is why we do what we do.

If you would love to be featured as our Badass Customer Babe of the Week, please email us a photo of you in your Little Petal dress and tell us all about yourself! Even if you have already sent a photo of you in your dress, or we talk every day and I know you are a killer queen, OR MOST IMPORTANTLY if you for some reason do not think you are a badass babe- send a message to badassbabes@littlepetal.net If you own a Little Petal dress, you are automatically a badass babe.

Never be boring. Always feel beautiful. Anything could happen. <3