Author Archives: Jennifer I

Black Owned Business Lists

I started this as a Facebook post, then recreated it on Twitter. But I keep finding more lists. So I’m storing them all here.

https://stephano.me/fashion/blog/black-owned-kawaii-brands-list

https://shoppeblack.us/2020/04/black-owned-face-mask-businesses/

https://afropunk.com/2018/03/black-owned-goth-brand-collaborates-alternative-model-yasmin-benoit-latest-lookbook/

https://thehuntswoman.com/black-owned-plus-size-brands-boutiques/

https://themadmommy.com/black-owned-etsy-shops/

https://stephano.me/fashion/blog/black-owned-goth-brands-list

Chashudon Fashion – Otaku apparel

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Valkyrie Apparel is owned by a white CIS hetero woman who knows she’s privileged AF and right now it is time for her to sit down and let other people do the talking.

Updates to the Valkyrie and Morgana Tees

We are going through our catalog and updating the images of short sleeve t-shirts using a new to us service that allows us to show our designs on a variety of human bodies.

As our tees are, for the most part, unisex this means I am including photos to represent more genders.

But in doing this I realized two of our graphics were not as inclusive as they could be.

A few years back I had an idea or a line of shirts with graphics of Legendary Women. Unfortunately, the Adobe filters I was using to create these images went away so I stopped after two. Mostly because when I switched to new art software I could not recreate the style of the first two. I had hoped to include women of color but the loss of my presets in Adobe Photoshop kinda made me flip the proverbial table.

While working on the new images though it occurred to me that I could easily change the skin tone on the two images I DID finish. This was the result.

   
[supsystic-gallery id=11]

Each page for those designs now lets you choose a skin tone.

  • Pale (which I thought was better than pastey)
  • Medium (because I didn’t want to use food as a description)
  • Dark (because that’s what it is)

(I figured 3 choices would please the Morrigan and keep me from going crazy trying to create a million new mockups.)

PUHLEEEZE tell me if there are better descriptions. I basically checked makeup sites for foundation shade names.

 

It’s Time to Serve Some T*

* T as in “Truth” (As the young people are saying on the social media.)

I almost named this post “We are the clothing designers, and we are the dropshippers of dreams” but that is WAY too long.

When I started my business I planned to have a warehouse in my basement. I wanted to do this so I could measure garments to create my own size chart and take pictures using plus-sized mannequins. I quickly discovered that this was not efficient or affordable for me. So I started investigating dropshipping suppliers.

Dropshipping is a business model where an online store does not stock their products in house. They take your money and use it to buy the product from another company. That other company sends the product to you with the dropshipper’s invoice in the package. In some cases, the second company creates the product to the first company’s specifications too. THIS is my current business model.

I work with 3 suppliers. Two based in the US and one in Hong Kong. If you turned your nose up after reading “Hong Kong” then it’s time for the T. I have searched high and low for a dropshipping supplier offering clothing in our listed size range: Small to 5XL. In 5 years I have found TWO. Both in Hong Kong. And one of those companies was so unreliable I have stopped working with them. All of the US-based companies I’ve contacted either don’t offer products larger than 3XL OR they only deal with companies willing to buy thousands of dollars of products. Considering I don’t want most of their product line because it’s covered in rhinestones and flowers… it’s just not economically sound for us to work together. I’m not going to buy a palette’s worth of one dress and HOPE I get enough customers to order it.

SO that leaves me having clothing made on demand and shipped to you. I’m not a seamstress. Hell, I don’t even keep my fabric and paper cutting scissors separated. Making my products myself is not the best idea. Finding products for y’all in our size range became much easier because NOW I was at least in charge of what each item would look like.

We started with t-shirts and hoodies because those vendors were easy to find. The “print on demand apparel” started as a way for businesses and sports teams to customize uniforms. Companies like Red Bubble and Zazzle changed that. NOW we have started working with a print, cut and SEW supplier. This works great for everyone involved. I have creative control and no one has to deal with overstock.

That brings me to the current state of the world. Covid-19 is wreaking havoc all over and dropshipping businesses are feeling this in two ways.

1) Overseas suppliers’ warehouses are shut down.

2) People are freaking out about ordering things that might come from Asia. (Which frighteningly includes the local Chinese restaurant for some people.)

I’m telling you all of this because I was anxious about posting a notice about possible shipping delays. I shouldn’t be but people have made some crazy comments to me about using overseas suppliers in the past. But also there was TikTok drama about a dice dropshipper recently and I don’t want to be associated with that kind of asshattery. (My other website, Strange Child Productions, will have a blog post about that soon.)

As of writing this post, I have contacted my three suppliers to ask if they anticipate delays but no one has replied yet. Valkyrie Apparel will continue to process orders but our turn around times may be longer than usual. Please be patient and place any time-sensitive orders sooner rather than later. If things change, y’all will know shortly after I do.

Stay healthy everybody!

How Did Pokémon GO Change the World?

In the summer of 2016, Pokémon GO premiered and swept the world, capturing tens millions of players and earning its parent company, Niantic, $950 million in revenue. While its user base has shrunk since then, the game is still wildly popular and a financial success for Niantic. This astounding phenomenon happened because of Pokémon GO’s merging of an established and popular brand, interactive gameplay and excellent use of augmented reality and location-based gaming. If you’ve been playing Pokémon GO since it came out, you’ve likely seen much of its impact for yourself. There is little doubt that Pokémon GO has changed the gaming world. Here’s a look at how.

Augmenting Reality

Although Niantic’s first AR game Ingress really built the foundation for augmented reality games, the technology didn’t really take off or become popular among users right away. Pokémon GO really put this technology on the map when it became a worldwide phenomenon. With the framework Ingress put in place with location-based gaming, Pokémon GO was really able to hit it off with users and make it go viral. All of a sudden, not only were people able to use this technology to interact with the real world—they were able to insert themselves into a nostalgic fantasy of catching Pokémon like they had always wanted to as kids. Other games have since followed suit and capitalized on users’ nostalgic desires, including Niantic’s own Harry Potter augmented reality game, Wizards Unite.

Accidents

Statistics show data suggesting Pokémon GO was responsible for accidents. This occurred because players became distracted by their phones and would accidentally trespass, walk into traffic, trip and fall or, in at least one case, get mugged. There was a long-term lesson here for players of augmented reality games. They soon understood that they had to be careful. Developers, too, realized that they had an obligation to do what they could to warn players to use caution when playing. Niantic has since added warnings to Pokémon GO and reduced the amount of collectibles available during bad weather events.

Physical Activity and Gaming

One of the biggest long-term impacts of Pokémon GO was that it incorporated physical presence into the game. Indeed, Pokémon GO was impossible to truly play unless you got up and went to various collection points, PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms. As such, it encouraged players to get off the couch and move, play with their friends and go into public spaces. The internet is replete with stories of players who credited this game with getting them outdoors, and many businesses in various locales have attributed their increasing foot traffic to Pokémon GO.

Pokémon GO was a very different game from anything that many people had seen before. In that sense, it absolutely changed the gaming world, and it will likely set the stage for many other augmented reality, location-based games.

If you’re a nerd but prefer your games to involve dice, check out our gamer shirts!

Achievement Unlocked! Size-Inclusive Product Photos

Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, and 6 months of whining and procrastinating I have fought my way to finishing Phase One of “Operation Size-Inclusive Product Photos”. There may still be kinks (the not-fun kind) to iron out, and pics I could redo… but in the end, I am happy with what I’ve accomplished.

The two completed product groups are the Empire Waist Dress and the Short Sleeve Tunic Dress.

What has changed? Why let me show you!

Products that fall into the aforementioned groups will be shown on a minimum of 5 different models.

Each of these pages now has two text links that look like this:

Shows that the View Size Chart & Model Measurements link is above the buy box,

If you click those links a window will open to display a size guide. Each size guide contains the manufacturer’s recommended size chart, photos of 5 or more models with their B-W-H measurements, fabric content & fit notes.

  • When you click the model pictures it will display their size, measurements and any comments they made about the sample they’re wearing in the pic.
  • Fabric content is there to give some context to…
  • Fit notes: Things to consider when choosing a size. These notes are based on product reviews, the model’s comments and our personal experiences with the product.

So what’s Phase 2? Another photoshoot! Stay tuned for details…

New King in Yellow Promo

King in Yellow Tees & Hoodies are available here: https://wordpress-454519-1589811.cloudwaysapps.com/product-category/tees1/t01/

Text is from an excerpt from Act 1, Scene 2d of The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8492

Soundtrack is Glimmers (Triangle, Trinket, Treasure 1) courtesy of John R Harford: https://aspectarts.bandcamp.com
https://www.patreon.com/johnrhaford

Coming Soon – Size Inclusive Product Photos!

So as many of you know, one of my dreams is to have a variety of model bodies on Valkyrie’s product pages. Today I took a step toward doing that.

BEHOLD the mockup sample tunic dress.

Sexy right?

This item will not be sold in stores. Or online. It WILL travel with me so people can see it, much like a two-headed turtle.

Most importantly though, once the two tops arrive and pass inspection, I’ll be scheduling a photo shoot with my two favorite models wearing this.

From there, I will hopefully build a photoshop file that will work much like my vendor’s software. (I’ve already done this for our flat images of t-shirts, long sleeves, and hoodies.)

If it works, I’m going to be buying a ton more samples this summer.

Creature Feature Recommendation: Tremors (1990)

Scariness Level: 1

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100814

Creature Feature Recommendation Catch Up Post!

Night of the Creeps (1986)

Scariness Level: 1

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091630


Pet Semetary (1989)

Scariness Level: 3

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098084


Arachnophobia (1990)

Scariness Level: 2

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099052


Graveyard Shift (1990)

Scariness Level: 1

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099697

Creature Feature Recommendation: Critters (1986)

Scariness Level: 1

Legend for Scary Level
0 – Family Friendly (parental guidance suggested)
1 – A thriller, with a tense moment or two
2 – You’re going to lock the doors but sleep ok
3 – You might need a nightlight
4 – You definitely need a nightlight
5 – Sleep is for the weak. Time to clean the bathroom.

Watch the trailer here:

Learn more at IMDB:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090887

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