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............