A Little Bit of Japan - A little bit of everything!

Ever since I started cosplaying, about 8 years ago, it was always a dream of mine to have my own shop, selling handmade cosplay and accessories, as well as manga, anime, plushies and more. I would see vacant buildings and shops and think to myself "Oh! I could put my shop here! Oh, I could have a cosplay bar or maid café with a cosplay library and a shop as well!" My dreams were pretty big, and I did have success selling at one con, but back then, I had neither the time or resources to keep going and to really take it off.

And as it is all too often, life happened. I ended up in a boring desk job and got away from cosplay and anime. But a turning point came 3 years ago when I met my now husband. He, like me, grew up on Anime (he's totally a DBZ fan!) and the Japanese culture, and although he had never cosplayed before, he was excited about the opportunity! So I broke out my sewing machine, and the next thing I knew, I was making us outfits left and right! And they weren't just anime/Japanese related: Renaissance, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled, etc, My creativity had exploded, and I was so happy to be back in my element!

Meanwhile, I had become a Nanny (caring for kids is my other passion!), and I knew although my nanny family loved me, eventually there would come a time when the kids would go to school and I wouldn't be needed. So with one already in school, and one on the verge of pre-school age, I knew it was time to get my shop going!

So in October '13, I officially opened my Etsy shop! I only had a few items, and really wasn't advertising too much, but slowly, I started to get item favorites trickling in. In March, though, I secured a booth as an artist at Kawa Kon in St. Louis, MO. It was relatively small con, but it was so exciting to have a physical "shop" and interact with real buyers! I had good success there, not only in sales, but in the connections I made and in getting my name out there. (Definitely need to give a shout out to my friend who borrowed my Tsunade Cloak I was selling, and went throughout the con, handing out my business cards and advertising my cosplay commissions!)

Since the con, I've gotten my first etsy sale, and they have continued to regularly come in, especially for the Goku Sleep Mask, which seems to be a favorite! I have more upcoming events I'll be selling at, including one as a vendor, selling both my own handmade creations and anime merchandise as well. My dream is slowly becoming a reality, and although I may never have a cosplay café of my own, I'll be pretty content with any success I do have!

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