Monday, 25 November 2013

MCM Birmingham I ordered some new retro Sega shirts to arrive in time for MCM Birmingham from a new supplier.  When I arrived home on Friday I found that they tried to deliver whilst no one was home.  The depot is in freaking Newbury so no new shirts for the con and a limited number of Marvel shirts as I'm still waiting for them to arrive.  So by this point I'm a little stressed.

My friend Robbie agree to come to Birmingham with me so he picked me up after he finished work on Friday and our friend Kev met us at his and we got pizza and played Mario Kart until about midnight, feeling a lot better about the weekend.

The alarm on my phone went off at 4.45 which was not fun, and I mighta eaten too much pizza the night before as I was still stuffed!  We packed the car and off we went in the dark.  2 hours later we got to the NEC, Rob dropped me off at the door and went and parked up.  We rushed setting up and found ourselves between the Amazing Cake Company and an artist selling Anime copies called Anya and her sister's boyfriend Josh.  Yes the Amazing cake company do amazing cakes (as I type this I realise Robbie stole my one I got at the end of the convention and have just sent him an abusive text.  Not happy).  Anya has a lot of talent, although you could tell her heart wasn't really into Anime.

So Saturday was a good day, with us selling more in one day than all of last weekend!  I had a chat to the guys I always bump into and found that one dealer last weekend sold a total of a single £2.50 key ring in 3 days which made our losses seem a lot better!

After we finished we drove to the hotel and got a massive KFC.  I basically ate so much fried chicken it hurt to breathe and fell asleep before the end of the film I was watching (Ocean's 11).

So I was up quite early Sunday sweating as I'd turned my heating on full.  After my morning ablutions I booked next March's con online so I didn't have to fight the crowd in the organiser's office and off we trundled back to work.

Sunday was slower as always, Robbie found something for his kid and Baby Momma and I managed to have a flying chat to Cult stuff who were next to me at Cardiff comic con.  For lunch I sent my helper out to get Subway as that's healthier than Pizza or fried chicken......

At the end of the day Danny John Jules dropped past the Amazing Cake Company, robbie got all fan boy and almost blinded him with the Flash on his camera but was too shy to ask for an autograph (I like to point out the deal for him helping at the show was Craig Charles autograph, its not my fault he pulled out, and he could of gotten the Cat's for Free).  As this was happening one of the organiser's brought a shirt, so I must be doing something right with our selection!

So after we had packed up and started the journey home our trusty Sat nav took us down lots of back roads all the way to the M40.  We eventually found a decent services just outside of Reading where we completed the fast food pyramid by having a Bacon double cheeseburger XL from Burger King and robbie brought a couple of books as he was feeling emotionally guilty for leaving his son for the first time.

I eventually got home about 9 and collapsed in front of the TV with a cuppa tea to start catching up on my tv shows from the weekend.  Today I've been doing the boring admin bits but I'll tell you all about that another time

Monday, 18 November 2013

Collectormania 20 aka The frozen wastes of Milton Keynes

So I'm thankfully back from Collectormania and grateful to be home as it was awful.  Sit back and hear the tale.........

After another ungodly early start (5am Wake up for a 6am train) I got to london, made it across to Euston on the Northern line to be confronted by steps off the platform.  Lets say with 2 suitcases this was looking pretty shitty until a helpful aussie kindly carried one up for me.  I made it to my train and felt a little quesy, I mean tilting trains just isn't normal!  So I got to Milton keynes and got a taxi to the Arena (no way was I walking the hour!).

So I got in and set up and was a little apprehensive as the people next to me had a baby, which as it turned out was the least of my problems over the weekend.  So I got set up and sat down, waiting to sell my wares and realised the arena was only half finished.  The floors were bare concrete, the walls were half finished and it was freezing.  Oh, and there were pigeons flying about like the vermin they are.  

Friday was slow, hardly any people at all and fewer sales.  If I hadn't enjoyed talking to Andy the autograph dealer and Seb, Anne-Marie and the baby from Dr Who online I might have cried, everyone agreeing that tommorro would be a better day.  Afterwards I got picked up by my friend Myf who's house I was staying at and went back to her's to warm up.  After watching Star Trek Into Darkness (KHAAAAAAAAN!) I went to sleep.

After another early start and burning my self on her shower I put on 2 pairs of socks and off we went.  We were only a few minutes late (I blame it on the queue at the Mcdonalds drive-thru) we sat and waited for the customers.  They didn't appear.

After a soul destroying day for all dealers we (Myf and I) decided to have Wagon mama's for dinner and watch Gravity to cheer me up.  The food was good (love Udon noodles) and the movie was good, but not sure if it was as good as the hype, but most probably the best 3D movie I've seen (well, I have only seen 3 now, that, Thor and Dredd).

Sunday Myf dropped me off, I was well prepared this time wearing 3 pairs of socks, before returning to her bed.  Sunday was a strange day, the Dr Who online team had headed home so we expanded a bit and we actually sold more t-shirts than on the Saturday.  Myf turned up at about 2 to help bearing much appreciated KFC, although it wasn't appreciated as much as being able to leave her to look after the stall whilst I went to pee!  

The highlight of the weekend was most probably stood chatting to Myf, Andy and Judson Scott about films, directors and actors he knew and what kind of people they were.  At about 5 it was obvious there was nobody else coming in and so we packed the suitcases which were still basically full after an awful weekend and I was dropped off at the Station for my journey home.  The connections were good and I finally got home about 9 trying not to use the weekend as a positive.  Yes, I lost money, but it's a learning curve and one bad show out of 4 isn't too bad, I just hope MCM Birmingham is better next weekend.

My highlights of Collectormania 20 include:
  • Freezing (it was warmer outside on Friday)
  • Not being Shat on by Pigeons (apparently that happened to a couple of dealers)
  • The apology letter for how bad the show was from the organisers.
  • Meeting Seb and Anne-marie
  • Chatting to Jusdon Scott.
  • Getting home.

Next up is MCM Birmingham, hopefully there we'll make some money...........

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

MCM London Winter Comic Con - part 2, eventually after a weekend at a wedding and hassle from Ali, I'm finally finishing the story from MCM, why did I split it into 2?  Mainly as I was told my last coupla posts were "wordy" but anything longer than a tweet is wordy for ali!

So The Saturday at Comic con, after a much needed Bacon Sarnie we got to Canning town and had to walk to the Excel with our suitcase (Ali still contends he's got a bad hand from playing netball).  So we got set up, ali bitched about there only being one chair and we were off.

The morning started slowly but soon picked up, at one point whilst ali was peeing I was serving 3 people at once, I am one fine salesman!  Originally we were going out with a friend drinking but by the end of the day we ended up crashing as soon as we got back to his and doing Ali's homework - watching Arrow season 1 (The poor boy is good with computers, but lacks all popular culture references what so ever, sometimes I wonder what he did as a kid when he couldn't even name Donkey Kong......)

So Sunday Morning I woke up bright and early and was surprised that I was awake before Ali, so I did my morning ablutions and Ali was still asleep.  It was only then that I had the glass shattering realisation that I'd forgotten to change the time on my phone so was up an hour early, Sunday was gonna be a long day!

It only got longer when we got to the Excel and found it opened at 10am, so we were an hour early, and I was so tempted to climb on top of our table and sleep.  Sunday was also a lot busier than expected, but i was good and didn't look round as I'd of brought too much stuff but did see some awesome cosplay, including a real life space marine.  He was so big he had to have a guide to tell him when to stop and when to go!

So at the end of the day we managed to put all our remaining stock into my 2 suitcases and managed to squeeze onto a bus to Canning town so I could get the train home.  I wasn't that lucky.  Due to the weather my train took 2 hours instead of 1 and was rammed full of people.  By the time I got through my front door all I wanted was a cuppa tea and my bed!

Next up we've got Collectomania in Milton Keynes with a new comer to con life, our friend Myf....

Monday, 4 November 2013

Our first 10% off offer

We hope you had great weekend, we certainly did at our friends wedding,  congratulations to them both.

As it is now November and I know my wife is already thinking about Christmas presents, we thought it would be great to do our first 10% discount code.
We announced it yesterday on our Geek is Chic facebook page.

By entering "geek01" into your basket you can get 10% off of you whole basket. Unfortunately the code will expire on the 10th of November so don't delay or you might miss out.

Visit Geek is Chic now.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MCM London Winter Comic Con - part 1

So our latest adventure was the crazyness that makes up the MCM London at the Excel centre.  I was stressed before I even got there as the 7 day print guarantee for our business cards didn't turn up in 7 days and one of our suppliers shipped the t-shirts to me AM delivery, and were a no show when I left with my 2 suitcases full of goodies at 11am!

So after a train trip and the underground I got to the Excel centre for about 12.30 for a 2pm start, not bad, thinking I only had to find my table then put out the shirts, how wrong could I be.  After queueing up I was told I had to go to the organiser's office, who then told me I had to go to the other office to get my weekend pass, where I was finally told I had to go to the back gate to get it. Whilst pulling 2 suitcases.  Fun.

So I got my pass and then had to find my table, well I now realise security aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer as they didn't know how to get to the hall, after being sent to 3 different places I finally found the entrance and my table and started to set up.  It was at this point I got the call telling me the remainder of my shirts had turned up in Aldershot.  Nice.

So I set up my table, and proceeded to not sell many shirts.  At 7 I quickly put my shirts away and took my empty suitcase and rushed to the DLR so I could get back to Aldershot to pick up my shirts.  So I got back to Aldershot at 8.50 and rushed home, packed as many t-shirts into my suitcase as I could and then had to pull it back up the hill to the train station.  38 minute round trip and I was so proud!  

On the train I met a Spanish Au Pair called Laura (pronounced La-Or-Ra) and chatted in spanglish to Surbiton.  She was just my type, pretty, foreign and doesn't speak very much English!  So I eventually made it to Ali's for 11pm and basically passed out.  And the weekend had barely begun for geek is chic..........

Thursday, 24 October 2013

London Film and Comic con, Kensington olympia

So after Cardiff Comic con I was kinda pumped about the business, but unbelievably disappointed that the website wasn’t up and running.  The weekend after my birthday I came up to London to see Ali and we ended up finishing the website as well as watching the entire 6th series of Big Bang theory (of which a t-shirt is available here. 

As we were doing this I’d set up an account with a new supplier who sells some awesome transformers t-shirts and ordered 100 of these and topped up the stock of our other shirts and was prepped for the London Film and Comic con at Kensington Olympia.

The Friday before the con I came up to London to set up the stall so got to the venue, dumped all my tee’s on the table, covered them with a sheet and took my empty suitcase with me to Caledonian road to pick up our oh so sweet transformers tee’s.  The guy at the factory was really nice if not more than a little surprised that I was taking all the shirts in my suitcase, but I signed the form and I was off back to Olympia where I dumped the suitcase before going home.  Just as I was falling asleep I got a call from Ali’s wife telling me he was over excited as although he’d never been to a comic con he’d found out Brian Blessed was going to be there!

Now getting to Olympia is actually pretty easy for me, 1 change at Clapham and I’m there, for all Ali claims at living in London it takes him a bit longer to get there than it does for me (it involves 2 buses a tube and a walk).  I was there bright and early, waiting on Ali who had half our shirts which I’d brought up the previous weekend and winding me up that he hadn’t bothered to bring any.

So the Con was pretty quiet, overall we sold less shirts than Cardiff.  Our stall was opposite one of the photo booth’s which was pretty awesome as for about a hour we could hear “GORDON’S ALIVE!” being shouted by the legend that is Brian Blessed.  We also saw Michael Shanks (better known as Danial Jackson to Stargate fans and Victor to Burn Notice fans – what do you mean you’ve never heard of Burn Notice?  It’s awesome.  I mean, Bruce Campbell – nuff said).

My Highlights of Cardiff Comic con included:

  • Hearing Brian Blessed from our stall.
  • Too many cosplay of the Doctor.
  • Cosplay power ranger couple who shouldn’t have been wearing lycra.
  • Slutty Captain America crossplay (In case you were curious, crossplay is cosplay as the opposite sex, so yes, it was a very attractive female Captain America)
  • Lots of Stargate teams.
  • Lots of slutty Harley Quinn cosplay.
  • Transformer family Cosplay – my favourite cosplay EVER! (they're in the below video, honest)
  • Being able to pee.


So now I’m going back to packing for tommorro’s trip to London for the start of MCM London Comic Con at the excel centre (and by packing I mean baking cookies) but we’ll update you after the weekend with our stories...........

Cardiff Comic Con

The first thing I did after putting my money into a bank account was to book a stall at the Cardiff Comic Con.  So after setting up some wholesale accounts with a couple of suppliers and asking myself which t-shirts I liked most I ordered a bunch, DC, Marvel and a few Jinx ones which I’ve fallen in love with and now own myself (It’s called a “marketing” expense) which were delivered quicker than when I order things on Amazon, all carriage free.

For those who don’t know me my driving skills leave something to be desired - the last time I drove something that wasn’t on Mario Kart ended up with Bessie (my campervan) being killed by an 18 wheeler.  My friends who were supposed to go up with me bailed so I ended up booking a hostel in the centre of Cardiff and after work getting the lovely train up.

So you’re most probably thinking “how did you carry 300 t-shirts?” The answer is 2 massive suitcases which are incredibly heavy.  On the train I read my book (Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch – A supernatural police book set in London, it’s alright but not spectacular) and got to my hostel in Cardiff about 9pm.  This was the second hardest thing of the weekend, carrying 2 suitcases up 2 flights of stairs – I’m getting a hotel with a nice lift next time!  

So after a good sleep I got to Cardiff Moterpoint arena at 8am and ended up walking around the building until I found some other dealers who told me where the entrance is!  I got inside, got my dealer wristband and told where my table was and set up.  As I was doing this I realised that I’d forgotten my camera so no photo’s of this con I’m afraid.  At 5 to 9 I went to pee, why is this important I hear you ask, well the hardest thing of the weekend was not peeing for 8 hours.

My stall was near some unbelievably friendly traders who were nice to the naive dealer I am and helped keep me sane as a Dalek went up and down our Isle following pretty girls.  I sold about 60 shirts on Saturday and was unbelievably relieved as 5pm came around and I could finally pee.  After tidying my stall I got some food at my favourite fast food restaurant Wok to Walk – the first time I’ve ever seen one outside of my favourite city in the world – Amsterdam.......

After this I decided rather than stay in the bar underneath my hostel and spunking all our profits on my friend Jack I decided to see Elysium at the Cinema and was pleasantly surprised!  Good sci-fi film, slightly spoilt by the smelly unwashed con attendee sat in front of me (SPOILER ALERT)but with a very unhollywood ending with the main guy ending up dead.

Sunday was a lot quieter trading the most surprising thing was biting into my sandwich to find it had Jalopenoes in it and not having a drink!  Over the whole weekend I sold about 80 shirts, so we made a small profit and proved Geek is Chic was a viable business, maybe not enough to quit my oh so cool day job (yet) but something to build on.

The train journey home was slightly stressful as I was worried about carrying all my money in a bum bag (like I said, I’m oh so cool) but eventually got home and passed out in my nice comfy bed.  

My Highlights of Cardiff Comic con included:

  • Could see the Hoff from our stall.
  • Too many cosplay of the Doctor.
  • Cosplay green arrow who shouldn’t have been wearing lycra.
  • Cosplay orange Power ranger with his ball bag hanging out........
  • Lots of slutty Harley Quinn cosplay.
  • Girl in tight leather pants and a bra with a guitar hero guitar, still not sure who she was supposed to be......

The next thrilling instalment in our blog about London film and comic con and the race to Olympia.....

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The history of Geek is Chic

Welcome to our Blog, according to Ali this is a good idea, more people will go to our site to buy our t-shirts if I write rubbish.  So the first blog is going to be on the history of Geek is Chic.  I don’t know where the idea first came from, but it Crystallised in a conversation with a Friend whilst walking round Woking shopping with the final name.  At the time I was commuting for 4 hours a day and hating my job beyond comprehension!  

When I escaped that and went back to Uni to get my masters I had a plan to start an ice cream parlour, that had always been the dream, and the business plan got one of the top marks in the year, but the reality was that one bad summer would ruin the business and the need of £100,000 start up capital was unrealistic.  Now there’s a place called Creams that’s growing which is basically what I wanted to do.  Bastards.

So back to when I was at Uni, we had other projects, a marketing plan and a finance plan that couldn’t be the same as your final business plan so I decided to do Geek is Chic and got some kick ass grades, and the feedback was good too.  When I finished, I realised that Geek is Chic was the most feasible of my idea’s and went back to work at my first job (I’m well cool, I cut fabric and deal with old people) and started saving.  After a year, Ali finally had the website ready (yes, he’s that lazy) and I’d managed to save enough to buy stock and book stalls at Cardiff Comic con which is the next thrilling instalment on my awesome blog............