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    With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, this weekend is full of shopping! After attending Cavalcade of Comics last weekend, I started thinking about all the small businesses that don’t have a storefront, specifically the geeky ones. Sure, you can go to craft shows and events like Cavalcade of Comics, but what if work, kids, or life in general got in the way? Can you shop small businesses for geeky stuff from the comfort of your own home? The answer is a resounding yes!

    In this article, I have compiled a list of five of my favorite vendors/artists from the local conventions I’ve attended. These small business owners spend much of their time and money traveling to and setting up at conventions not only all around Kentuckiana but also all across the country. I picked these particular vendors/artists based on the quality and creativity of their work and their dedication (meaning I see them at nearly every convention I attend). All of these businesses have online shops via Facebook, Etsy, or Deviantart, which makes it easier than ever to holiday shop for the geek in your life!

    1. The Halloween Queen

    First on my list is, you guessed it, The Halloween Queen. I’ve written about The Halloween Queen before, and, the truth is, I simply cannot get enough of her products. From Frozen soap to cameo necklaces of Benedict Cumberbatch and everything in between, owner and Louisville native Erin Phillips has everything a geek could want for Christmas. I currently own 5 of her cameo necklaces – The Princess Bride, Dean (Jensen Ackles) from Supernatural, Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) from American Horror Story, the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) from Doctor Who, and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from the Avengers – if that gives you any indication of just how many necklaces she has available. I also own an Evenstar necklace (Arwen’s from Lord of the Rings) and Dalek, TARDIS, Fight Club, and Transformer soaps. These products are adorable, durable, and functional. Everything I have purchased from The Halloween Queen has held up under extreme circumstances; I even traveled to England with my Doctor Who necklace! Plus, the soaps smell great and make your skin feel soft. The Halloween Queen has a Facebook and Etsy page. Click on the links find out more!

    2. Adam Hicks

    If you’re looking for artwork, look no further than Adam Hicks. An artist from New Albany, Indiana, Adam specializes in geek culture drawings and even does commissions. Many times, Adam adds a comedic element to his art. For example, one of my favorite drawings of his is “Rambo Brite,” a mashup of Rambo and Rainbow Brite that depicts Rainbow Brite holding a machine gun. Hicks is also a huge fan of Disney. If you have a Disney fan in your family, they would love his Disney villain shopkeeper drawings (ex. Ursula’s Sea Witch Tattoos & Piercings and Jafar’s Cave of Wonders Carpet & Rug Co.). Framed artwork is a great gift idea for Christmas because it’s personalized and one-of-a-kind. For more information about Adam Hicks’ art, visit his Deviantart site by clicking here.

    3. Izzy's Creations

    Next on the list is Izzy’s Creations. Louisville native and owner Trisha Koebel specializes in beautifully geeky fleece hats. I own a baby Groot hat from Guardians of the Galaxy, but she has so many more to offer including Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, Olaf from Frozen, and even Baymax from Disney’s latest hit Big Hero 6 to name only a few. These hats are not only adorable but also incredibly warm since they’re made of fleece. Who knows what the weather will do this winter, so why not look cute and stay warm? Plus, these hats are perfect for children or adults! Izzy’s Creations also offers an array of etched glass. On their Facebook page, Izzy’s Creations posted a picture of a set of eleven Nightmare Before Christmas wine glasses that were made for a fundraising event in California. If you’re looking for a classy gift for your geeky friends this Christmas, wouldn’t some etched wine glasses or shot glasses be fun? Plus, Izzy’s Creations has a wide variety of Christmas ornaments with all your favorite characters on them. From Anna and Elsa to the Flash, these Christmas ornaments would be perfect for an office ornament exchange! Visit Izzy’s creations Facebook or Etsy page for more information.

    4. Imagine Candles

    Imagine Candles is another locally owned business from Shelbyville, Kentucky specializing in candles big and small and even wax melts for plug in warmers. I have to admit Cavalcade of Comics was the first event where I noticed Imagine Candles, but I was so impressed with their creativity that I had to add them to this list. Imagine Candles takes a character or an object from a story and creates a scent based on that character. For example, one of their candles is named Maleficent after the villain in Sleeping Beauty.  In the description posted on Facebook, Imagine Candles describes this scent as “…a very earthy but spicy scent. For this scent there is a combination of earthy (no spicy) cinnamon melded with sandalwood, patchouli, and a slight vanilla musk scent…” If that doesn’t tickle your nose, I don’t know what will! Imagine Candles makes candles based on Fairy Tales, Literature, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, My Little Pony, and even music. Imagine Candles has a candle for each of the Beatles. I’m in heaven! If you want a really unique gift for the geek in your life, you need to check out Imagine Candles. For more information, visit their Facebook page by clicking here.

    5. J. Clark

    I saved the big-ticket items for last! Though not from the area, J. Clark attends so many conventions in Louisville that I think of him as an honorary local. If you’re looking for that special present, the big one that you carefully wrap and put in the middle of all the others, look no further. A man of many talents, Clark sells everything from artwork prints to laser cut superhero jewelry, but his talent lies in making props and costumes. Clark is a propmaker (and actor) for The Dark Order, a Star Wars themed cosplay, film, and charity group. His props are the best quality I’ve ever seen at a convention. His Captain America shields and light saber hilts could easily be mistaken for authentic movie props. Imagine waking up Christmas morning to a personalized, one-of-a-kind light saber or pretending to defend the earth from Ultron on Christmas night with your very own star-spangled shield. Clark also makes costumes. Pictured below are two examples of his costume pieces. Both the Darth Vader helmet and the Magneto helmet would be a wonderful addition to any super fan’s collection, especially if your geek likes to cosplay. Contact Clark (and see what projects he’s working on) through his Facebook page. Click here to be redirected.

    This holiday season shop small and support these amazingly talented craftsmen!

    Jenna Foster's picture

    About Jenna Foster

    Hi! My name is Jenna. I am a music teacher at a primary school. I love teaching because you get to feel like a rockstar without all the fuss of being famous. My hobbies include cosplay, reading, music, traveling, and collecting vintage clothes and records.

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