It’s been a pretty bad week and the year hasn’t been all that better, so this is my contribution for something a bit more positive within the sea of heart-breaking negativity in the world. I’ll be brief, and it’ll be back to my usual critical self soon enough, but I managed to experience the most wonderful and life affirming moments as a geek while at this year’s GeekGirlCon.
It started as a volunteer opportunity helping friend and past guest Catherine Elhoffer at her table. It was her first time exhibiting at GeekGirlCon and I was more than happy to lend a hand. Having never worked a booth before, I had no idea what to expect. As it turned out, I rarely left the table and it was the greatest two days I’ve ever had at a con!
It didn’t take long for people to notice Elhoffer Design‘s table. Catherine had all of her dresses laid out on the table, as well as sample pre-orders on display for everyone to see. By pure chance, the table happened to be right near the women’s bathroom, which gave women of all ages and sizes the opportunity to either try on the dresses in front of the table (no zippers, just over the head!) or in the bathroom should they need to remove costumes or clothing to get a better idea of the fit. Catherine, however, was pretty spot on regarding sizes and more often than not I saw a lot of women, and men, walk away with the right size, perfect fit, and huge smiles.
The biggest selling point on the dresses? Pockets. Not even kidding. I saw more faces light up when they discovered all of the dresses had pockets. Catherine and I even joked about having a camera pointed at people – mostly women – when they found the pockets while trying the dresses on or after we told them about the pockets when it looked like we hadn’t quite sold them on the dress alone. It may seem like a small thing, but trust me when I say women’s clothing has a severe deficiency when it comes to the inclusion of pockets. There have been a lot of studies about the gender politics of pockets, which I won’t go into now, but Catherine believes firmly in the equality of fashion. As she frequently said to anyone perusing the booth, “They [the dresses] have pockets because I’m a fucking adult.” Turns out, women don’t always want to lug a purse around. Sometimes we want to carry our shit in functional clothing. Go figure.
But above all else, the best part of working the booth was the people. Everyone was welcome to try on the clothes. Everyone. And with each person a new conversation occurred. Fandom, politics, clothing, you name it and we were talking about it. I couldn’t be happier and more proud to have been part of those conversations while seeing so much joy and passion come through. Seattle is a nerd/geek friendly town and they came out in droves to GeekGirlCon 2016. It’s getting bigger and better and I can’t wait to see what happens next year! And I can’t wait for more people to discover Elhoffer Design and Catherine Elhoffer. This lady deserves our support, so, if you can, I encourage you to check out her stuff!
If you’re local to the Seattle area, you should also consider helping Outsider Comics and Geek Boutique. The shop is opening in Fremont and they’ll be carrying Elhoffer Designs as part of their stock. Every little bit helps.
And, as always, Cosplay!