Tue May 19, 2015, 1:55 PM
So wow, things have been hectic in early 2015! I want to apologize for not getting around to updating as frequently as I hoped. I've been going through a lot of family stuff which is only just now getting (somewhat/mostly) resolved enough for me to get back to updating. So here's what went on during the first part of the year!
This year marks our first year at the infamous Ohayocon! Partners went, but they informed me that it was super fun. As far as numbers go, we did very well, especially for having a bit of competition there! This was one of our first non-fanart cons, so we were a bit nervous, but I definitely think we'll be going back!
February kicked off with our 3rd year conniversray, Almacon in Alma, Michigan. We were happy to be there again with our new products, which went over splendidly! Unfortunately, the people running the show oversold the artist alley and dealer's room, so we and a few other artists and one dealer were shuffled off into a side room with very little traffic on Friday. Luckily on Saturday, Nina from Animezing Chicago approached me and said that there was a free table in the main dealer room. We had paid for 2 tables, so the con was nice enough to give me a refund for one of them. I made some awesome friends who helped me move all of my stuff into the dealer room, and then even stayed behind to help me sell and gave me a place to crash for the rest of the con. I didn't buy anything, but I did do an awesome trade for some rainbow scaled bracers and wrist cuffs from Damien of Black Ace Productions! Almacon has always been wonderful to us, and we will definitely be going back next year!
ANIME MILWAUKEE REVIEW:
Anime Milwaukee was amazing, but it was also very stressful! It was my first con being an on-site artist alley head, or so I thought. Unfortunately, no one had told my department head this, so I was basically just a head helper instead, but next year she wants me to help out as AA head on a more official basis, which should be great! I got to do some fun things, like help Little Kuriboh with his booth and get a hug from Terri Doty. I also go to do some not-so-fun things like check badges and make sure nobody went in through the out doors. All in all, though, it was a great experience, and I very much enjoyed helping out such a wonderful con!
While I was out and doing my work-thing, My partners were manning our booth in artist alley. We did great financially! We got a couple custom orders, but the rest was all from our etched glass and ear cuffs. We will absolutely be trying to head back next year!
ANIME CROSSROADS REVIEW:
Anime Crossroads was next, and it was great! I took a friend and stayed at EllisArts place, which was fabulous since we hadn't seen them since Gencon last year! We did well financially, but that was nothing compared to the amount of fun with friends! I also got to hang out with some of the cute maids and butlers in the Neko Wo Kaburu cafe. Thanks, lovelies, for all your help with carting things to and from my car!
Next on the list was Animarathon. I went again with SquirrelyEvil which was awesome. I miss hanging out with my bestie, so it's awesome when we get to work together! It was Mark's last year as AA head because he's graduating, and he was just as flustered (but amazingly helpful!) as ever. We donated a couple glasses to them for being so awesome to us, and I hope he got one! Our profits were up 30% from last year, and I can't wait for next year to come!
CHI-FI CON REVIEW:
At Kollision Con earlier this year, we made friends with an amazing guest, Apple Davies. She suggested that we get a table at Chi-Fi con. Unfortunately, that didn't go well... The con chair actually told those who complained about being placed in a small room with no signage that they should 'get a table at Wizard World if they want to make money. This is a non-profit con." There are so many things wrong with that, not the least of which is the lack of professionalism when dealing with clients. Yes, Chi-Fi is a non-profit con. But so are many, and I would hazard to say even MOST cons that we attend, and this is our first time in 3 years where we've not broken even at a convention. We didn't even come close. But to tell someone to go to another convention and to not expect to make any money at your con because it's a non-profit? That's just rude and unprofessional.
Luckily, Apple is awesome. I messaged her on Facebook and told her the situation. Even though she was busy being a guest, she still took time out of her day to come to check on the alley and even got it moved to a more well-trafficked area. It helped a little, but still not enough to make us want to come back. The staff said that they would be contacting us about compensation, but nothing has happened so far, and I'm not hopeful no that front. I think we're just going to call it a learning experience and move on.
A representative from Armageddicon approached us at an earlier con this year and said that, since they are a well-known party con and we make shot glasses as one of our items, we should vend at their con. We graciously accepted. The people who ran the alley were very awesome, even going so far as to come around and ask for constructive criticism, of which we had little beyond suggesting to give flyers to their artists or vendors to advertise a bit more. While not the biggest con, we still made a profit and will definitely be returning next year because of how friendly the staff was.
MIDWEST MEDIA EXPO REVIEW:
This was MME's second year, and our second year at MME. It is a local Detroit-area con put on by the same people as Youmacon and it's just as wonderful in my opinion! Our profits were up 16% from last year, and we will definitely return next year as well! We got to see our awesome friends at Legend of Cosplay and shared a table with the awesome Alex from Thundersteel Armory. We also got to see John St. John, who bought a hat from us at Kollision con, harass a couple customers in front of our booth, which was rather amusing.
ANIME PARK REVIEW:
The final con from the beginning of the year was Anime Park, a small high school con in Canton, MI. This was our 3rd year at Anime Park and it was just as fun, but not quite as profitable as before. Our table was right next to Thundersteel Armory and Black Ace Productions, and I got to see a bunch of friends that I haven't hung out with in forever. This con is so close and so fun that we'll keep going back!
We've added a ton of new con to our list again! Among them are Michigan Pagan Festival, Indy Pop Con, Trot Con (our first MLP con - wee!), Otakon (our first time at this behemoth ), Matsuricon, Ramencon, Youmacon, and Ponyville Cider Fest. We're still working hard on applying to shows in the Midwest, so keep an eye on our con schedule widget for dates and locations of our latest cons!
STILL TO DO:
*Finish Several Commissions (look for the list and status in this post!)
*Post Anime Park inventory
*Start Prep for the big start to con season!
*Design/create/order a better glass display system
*Bring some wares to a local game shop to see if they'd like to sell them for us
*Upload more fun stuff to the DA!
*Apply for MORE cons!
1. Etched bottles for partners - 0% (Sent out the email today with images of the finished product, just awaiting for the 24 bottles themselves!)
2. White Arm Warmers for Anthony - 10%
3. FF15 Leviathan mug for Keven - 10%
4. Cup with 3 Pokemon for James - 10%
5. Red & black arm & leg warmers for Jessica - 0%
6. Blue Exorcist cup for Heather - 50%
- Listening to: Crying kitties wanting me to open the door.
- Reading: Dragons of Dwarven Depths
- Watching: Panty & Stocking
- Playing: Nothing - no time!
- Eating: Nothing - getting munchy!
- Drinking: Watermelon Drink
So many cons! I would certainly like to get back to one or two of those. I was mad that Animarathon was the same weekend as Shuto, hopefully that won't happen again. Glad to see you're doing alright!