Knowing Your Stuff

One of the most difficult jobs in the shop is choosing what to stock.

When I first started there was a lot of Doctor Who merchandise in the shop as that’s what I really liked and so got carried away with all the cool stuff.  I mean, there was just so much of it!!

I do sometimes still get carried away, as you’d know if you read the blog about notebooks!  But it is all a learning process.  I’ve made mistakes along the way as I’m sure most people in business have.  As long as you learn from it and don’t repeat it then it’s all good.

Posters are the hardest things to choose, there is just so many of them!  And you can have 3 or 4 (or more!) designs for one show/film/game.  It’s worse if it’s something I don’t know.  That’s when I call on other people to help me decide which is the coolest of the designs.

Chatting with reps from suppliers is always helpful too.  They can tell us what are their best sellers or about any new designs and products coming out soon.  Likewise, big product fairs are good to attend so we can see what’s new.

But ultimately, the most important input is from you, our customers.  Just by coming and buying or asking for things helps us understand what you like and what you want.  We notice the trends with regard to films coming out and TV shows ending or a new game being announced.

As those of you with whom I have chatted know, we really do try to know our stuff about as much of the products we sell as we can.  We try and keep our knowledge up to date by watching films and shows or online clips of games so that when you come in, we can talk to you about the things YOU love.  Even if it means getting hooked on another new show!!

So if you are looking for an independent shop to buy your merchandise from then you know where to come.  We look forward to chatting with you soon.

http://www.geekgoods.co.uk/

 

 

Cosplaying – who, what, where and why

Dressing up sounds like something that kids do right?  And fancy dress makes it sound like someone’s wearing a pirate outfit and going to a party to get drunk, yes?  So it’s no wonder that a new term was found.  That term is cosplay.  A mixture of the words costume play.

Who – anyone!  Literally anyone can cosplay.  Age, race, size, gender it doesn’t matter.  The cosplay community is generally a friendly and welcoming one and will encourage you to just do whatever you want to do.

What – Originally started in Japan and mainly people dressing as their favourite anime & manga characters, cosplay quickly spread across the rest of the world and people were off to conventions dressed as their favourite characters from any genre.  Some buy shop bought outfits, some pull bits together and create their own, some make their own, screen accurate, from scratch!  There are so many different versions of cosplay I’d be here for ages if I wrote about them all!  Mainly you will see people dressed as a character, as a female or male version of that character or a male dressed as a female character and vice versa.  But as I said, there are so many more ways to cosplay!!

Where – anywhere!  Mainly done at conventions, cosplay can be done wherever and whenever you want to.  Who gets dressed up on Halloween??  Go one better this year and dress up as a horror movie character!  If you enjoy cosplay but don’t find enough times to do it, then check out your local groups, comic shops etc and even ask them if they would like to run an event to encourage people to cosplay.  Our local comic book shop does and they have a competition for best outfit.  Get yourself off to some more, smaller, local conventions.  They are cheaper to get in and you can get the opportunity to show off your awesome outfit.

Why – well why not?  It’s fun.  It’s different.  There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you pull it all together.  There’s a sense of pride when people stop and ask for your photo.  And by going out there and doing this, it makes more people have the confidence to go out and do it too.

Also, there are professional cosplayers out there, yes really!  They get paid to go to events because they are brilliant at what they do.  They have perfected the art of cosplay and inspire others to go out there and do it.

Photo credit: Lindsay Elyse

And there’s celebrity cosplayers ….

photo credit SDCC John Barrowman

Okay no that’s just John Barrowman in a sparkly TARDIS dress but you get what I mean.

Most conventions will have a cosplay competition.  You enter and can win a prize.  Some are judged purely on your outfit, some you have to act as your character on stage.  Fun to watch even if you don’t take part yourself.

My first cosplay

Whilst I’ve done fancy dress before, mainly at drinking events, I’d never heard of cosplay until I started doing conventions.  The first time I decided to cosplay I didn’t have a lot of spare cash but I wanted to make it look as much like the character as I could.  And just to make things difficult I decided I wanted to be Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood (really don’t do things by halves).  So I sourced some trousers from a charity shop, a plain white tee for about £3, braces from Ebay.  I got an official RAF shirt, brand new, from the internet.  That was almost it.  I knew I couldn’t afford his long coat and the only other thing I needed was his vortex manipulator.  I looked at making my own (not creative) and I also searched the internet for a replica or toy version.  Finally found a toy version, with Ten’s screwdriver so I bought that.  I think, in total, it cost me less than £50.  I met a few Torchwood actors whilst wearing the outfit, including John Barrowman, and they all said I looked great.  I was very happy about that as you can imagine.  So the next thing on my list, when I can afford it, will be his RAF Greatcoat!

Myself as Captain Jack Harkness next to a replica TARDIS and a cutout of Doctor Who (Ten)

Since then myself and both my girls have cosplayed different characters and it’s something I would like to do more of.

I love sitting and watching people go by when I’m at conventions.  Even if I don’t know the character, I can clearly see the amount of work that’s gone into the outfits.  And I will always tell someone if I think they look fantastic.

Hopefully this will give you more of an insight into what cosplay is and why people do it.  If you fancy a go yourself, we always put an entry into Ulverston Carnival, the first Saturday in July.  We are also going to be looking at holding a couple of events in the area so keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for more details.

www.geekgoods.co.uk

www.facebook.com/geekgoodsuk

Notebooks

Oh I do have a problem with stationery!  Anyone else?  I think the worst it’s been is just before Christmas last year when we had a total of 27 different designs of notebooks.

When we look at purchasing notebooks, we always look for three things 1) quality 2) affordability 3) awesome designs.  We want you to love them as much as we do.  This is why you will usually find two different types of notebooks in stock.

Spiral Bound – these notebooks are usually on the more affordable end of the scale.  The pages are lightweight, lined paper with logos on each corner.  We try to get a variety of designs in the spiral bound notebooks.  We love these for school, college and business as you can fold them in half, taking up less space on your desk.

Premium – these notebooks are usually leather look and debossed with logos on the front cover.  Although we have had some furry and fluffy ones in before!  The pages are a thicker quality paper, usually plain and with a logo in the corner.  As the name suggests, these are usually a little more expensive but beautifully crafted and perfect for a whole host of uses.

I do try not to get too carried away but there are so many amazing designs out there it gets quite difficult.  Our notebook stocks are usually at their highest between September and Christmas.

You can check out our current stock here:

https://www.geekgoods.co.uk/notebooks-26-c.asp

 

The Comic Con Bug

Clearly, I was a bit geeky before I even thought about running my own shop selling geeky things.  I didn’t realise I was, I just enjoyed the things I liked.  It never occurred to me that you could actually go places and meet your on screen idols (or crushes!)  I mean, if you’d told my 13 year old self that I’d one day meet that cute guy from Stand By Me, I would have thought you were crazy!  But, in 2017, some 30 years later, that’s exactly what I did!

With Wil Wheaton at London Film & Comic Con

But let me take you back a little further ……. October 2011, my very first convention.  Eternal Twilight 6.  Only 7 years ago, but feels like another lifetime!  Earlier that year I’d immersed myself into the world of sparkly vampires created by Stephenie Meyer.  Twilight.   I was a bit late to the party and one of my friends told me about this awesome convention she’d been to and all these fantastic people she’d met and did I want to come with her next time.  YES!!  Absolutely please.  And so off I went.

I have to say it was like a completely different world.  Birmingham Hilton Metropole, near the NEC.  The whole convention was in the hotel, including the guests staying there.  If you’ve never been to a hotel con, there’s panels (talks), photos, autographs, meet & greets, coffee lounges and then themed parties at night.

I met a few of the wolf pack and some of the nomad vampires, had photos and autographs, went to a few talks and had a very good time.  The other fans I met were all amazing and I am still friends with most of them now.

With Chaske Spencer who played Sam Uley

I did more conventions like this, another Eternal Twilight one and a couple based on The Vampire Diaries.  I attended some as a trader, Supernatural and DC based hotel conventions and then we went to comic cons in Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and London.  But the one that we love the most, is Wales Comic Con in Wrexham (so much so I might just do a blog purely about that one).

As any of you who have been in the shop will know, I’ve had lots of photos taken with actors and always have a selection on display in the shop.  I definitely have been bitten by the comic con bug and, one day, I’ll get myself to America and meet some more of my idols (and crushes!)

Do please comment about your comic con experiences or pop in the shop and have a chat.

Don’t forget to check out our website for awesome, licensed merch!

https://www.geekgoods.co.uk/

Our Framed Prints

In today’s blog I will be telling you all about our awesome framed print collection.

We first began stocking framed prints for events.  The first event we took them to we sold out within hours.  The second event we took them to, we brought most of them back again.  And that is how we began stocking framed prints!  We can’t resist getting them for events because they do look fantastic!

We love the look of these prints.  The way they are designed to make it look like the images are mounted, when in fact it is just one sheet, is fabulous.

They are a lovely size at 30cm x 40cm, with a 5cm sturdy, black wooden frame.  They have hanging hooks integrated into the back and can easily be taken apart for removal of the print.

The print has plenty of space should you wish to get it signed around the edges or you could just get an autograph across the face of the image.  Whichever you prefer.  Either way, they look amazing signed by your favourite actors.

            

We have a variety of framed prints including The Walking Dead, Supernatural and Sons of Anarchy.  Also, plenty of DC based prints such as The Joker, Harley Quinn, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Bombshells and Constantine.

You can find our prints online and they are £15 each.  If you are looking to purchase from the shop, you can buy 2 for £25 or 3 for £30.

https://www.geekgoods.co.uk/prints–artwork-30-c.asp

How It All Began

Hello!  So, there’s this blog thing on my website and I’d never really thought about how I could use it properly.  Besides, who on earth wants to read my wafflings!  Anyhow, after a chat with a few people, I concluded that it can’t hurt to talk about my business and the awesome products we have in.

But to start it all off, here’s a blog about how it all began …..

 

After giving up my job of 17 years working in an admin department of an accountants, I found it difficult to work out what I wanted to do with my life.  I had two young children who were growing up quite quickly and I knew that I needed to spend more time with them.  I wished I was creative enough to be a stay at home mum, making lovely things that people would buy.  Back in the real world however, I tried my hand at a few different jobs including in a call centre (awful), as a breastfeeding support worker (not the right title and a severe lack of funding).  I thought about things I’d wanted to do when I was younger and decided to try my hand as a teaching assistant.  Whilst it was great and I enjoyed it, there wasn’t the right funding for the kids I wanted to work with and actual jobs were few and far between.

Now, I can’t actually remember why in 2013 I suddenly decided to make tutus but I did.  I made a few for my girls for practice and then I started advertising that I could take orders.  And I got a couple of orders!  To be honest I was a bit shocked but the orders started coming in and I started making tutus for a living!!  A friend of mine showed me how to make hair bows and I started making them as well.  The two worked perfectly together and the next thing I know I’m having stalls at events.

Why am I telling you about this?  Well, there is a reason, trust me!

So there I am making and making to do all these events, I even buy myself a gazebo (pink of course) and do more outdoor events and festivals and then I start the local market.   But there’s a problem.  I notice that the brothers and the dads don’t come into the gazebo, there’s nothing for them.  So I started to get a few keyrings and wristbands, superheros mainly, Star Wars, that kind of thing.  Ooh that did the trick, people were loving them and asking if I could get more of those type of things.  Then, the catalyst, the event that changed my whole life around.  Blackpool Comic Con!!

Yes, anyone who went knows what an absolute disaster it was BUT from a trading point of view, it was EPIC!!  I couldn’t work fast enough to keep up with the customers, they were loving all of my stock.  Once I was home, I realised why.  There was nothing near us.  Anyone interested in this type of thing had to travel to city shops or go to events or use the internet.  Hmmm an idea was forming.  How far could I go, what could I stock, oooh definitely had to have posters!

And so Geek Goods was born.  The idea firmly planted in my brain and so began the search for a shop.  In the end we decided on a ‘pop up’ shop to give it a try and if that succeeded we would take the plunge and go all in.  Luckily for us, in October 2015, we found a great location and the rest is history.

From this ……

 

 

….to this!

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, I’m fairly certain the rest won’t be this long!

www.geekgoods.co.uk

5 New Market Street, Ulverston