Today we’d like to introduce you to .
, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Grew up in Haiti and always made costumes for Carnival with my mom as a kid, so naturally, when I moved to the US Halloween became my favorite holiday as this was the closest thing to Carnival from my homeland. Would always make my own Halloween costumes but never really ever considered it “cosplay” or something that I could make a living from.
My good college friends Roosevelt & Timna were very into going to conventions and would always encourage me to go, so when I finally folded and attended my first ever convention (Boston comic con 2014 or 13 I believe), I made sure I attended in full regalia and made Nightcrawler from the Xmen with moving tail and all.
The costume was so loved and well received that I really wanted to do more as I was mixed in with a crowd that loved the things I loved and respected the craft because they also knew the hardships of making something from scratch, so it kind of felt like I’d found my tribe and I was hooked. ^_^
I made a few more costumes, entered some contests, won every single one I’d participate in and before long had started making props and accessories for other cosplayers who appreciated my work. I was working fulltime as a Behavior Analyst Counselor at the time and would spend every waking spare moment I had in my studio learning and experimenting & creating new things.
It was during this time that I realized when I was making these cosplay related things that I did not notice the time go by, I’d come in after work around 9/10 swearing I’d be gone by 2 AM the latest and it’d be 5 AM by the time I looked at the clock and I had to be at work at 7 AM…
Realizing how much I enjoyed this activity and seeing that there might be avenues to create a sustainable business, I dove in head first leaving my 9-5 and founded GiveWave Studios after a 5 month intensive entrepreneurship program with the non-profit E forAll which gave the confidence and validation that I was on the right path as I ended up being the business chosen out of their cohort as most likely, to succeed and won their grand cash prize as starting capital… the rest, as they say, is history.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not smooth at all, lol… lots of sleepless nights and figurings out. I hate money management and even less so keeping track of stuff that comes in & out, but as a sole proprietor, I needed to buckle down and learn/implement certain disciplines so I knew how to run my business and make necessary changes if & when needed.
I’d much rather be creative and do nothing but make stuff but alas, being a one-man show I need to find the time to do a bit of everything, from marketing, to video editing, managing YouTube channel content, to web store managing, to promotions, teaching classes, completing commissions on time, tabling at conventions and make time to create new products never mind work on my own personal projects…
So, my days are long, and I’m actually looking to bring in some part-time help to alleviate some of these responsibilities.
GiveWave Studios – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
GiveWave Studios creates bespoke costume props and accessories for convention goers, cosplayers & memorabilia collectors. I sell online and share my creative process on social media outlets like Instagram & Facebook. I think what sets my company apart is the fact that I make it a point to have different price points for the same products.
I sell a mask, for example, sanded painted weathered, finished and ready to wear out of the box when the customer receives it (premium price point), but not everyone can afford that price point, so I also sell the patterns for that mask so someone who has the aptitude can make it themselves (low price point) and even more unique I make DIY kits that provide customers with the same parts I use myself paired with a YouTube video that takes them to step by step through the process of making this same mask (mid price point)… and as far as I know I’m the only one who makes these kits the way I do, which puts me in my own lane compared to other prop makers and creatives. ^_^
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is defined by the ability to do exactly the parts that I actually WANT to do in the business and not the ones I HAVE to while being able to stably sustain myself financially. So, in my opinion, I’m nowhere near my definition of success but being at a point where I’m starting to look for someone to bring in part-time to offset my responsibilities because I’m doing so much at least lets me knowI’mm on the right path. :-p
- Commission rate $45/hr + cost of materials & shipping
- Private lesson rate $35/hr (some consumables/tools like glue, markers, power tools, tape, heat gun etc. included)
- 3D printing of files is $9/hr (filament cost is included in price)
- Address: 47 Lee Street, Lowell MA 01852
- Website: www.GiveWaveStudios.com
- Phone: 9782389337
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
&D Designs, First Person Shooter, SilverHawk Photography, EP-bot, CW photography