As of this moment, I don’t. To be honest I never plan on opening a store with “Meagan Marie” branded merchandise. I’ve been encouraged to do so to help recoup some of the expenses I incur while making costumes, but it’s not really my style.
Let me say this explicitly before I continue: I have no issue with cosplayers making a living from their craft. If I had wall space, I’d buy posters of my favorite costumers and plaster them all over my craft space for inspiration. I am just not personally interested in pursuing that route.
I want to work in the game industry until I’m senile and am forced to retire. Gaming is it for me. Cosplay is a hobby that I’m incredibly passionate about, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m not in it to make a living, and I have no desire to work my way into professional costume production.
I fear that if I start to monetize my work it will detract from the real reason I do what I do. I cosplay because I love it, it challenges me, and it lets me express my fandom. There’s no room for financial incentive in the equation.
Similarly, that’s why I’ve decided not to run “like” contests or aggressively promote my social profiles. I’m just fine with organic growth. If you find me interesting and choose to follow me, that is wonderful. If I’m not your cup of tea, no big deal. Since I’ve got nothing at stake on a personal front, it doesn’t hurt me to have slow-growing social numbers. The slow burn also allows me to get to know people on a more personal basis, which is a nice inherent benefit.
So, no. No cups or pillows or stickers with my face on them. Although I’m immensely flattered and somewhat surprised that there seems to be a small demand for the like..
That being said, because I am asked if I sell prints at least once or twice a week, I’ve been trying to figure out a solution for those interested. What I’ve come up with may be more trouble that it’s worth (for those interested in acquiring) but I’m willing to do so should enough interest be expressed.
I could, in theory, get permission from my favorite photographers to make high-resolution images of my costumes available online. At that point, anyone interested could print the image himself or herself and display as desired. If they were looking to get it autographed, I’ve been considering getting a PO box where the image could be sent, as long as return postage was included.
Please let me know if this is an option I should pursue further. I have no qualms paying a small monthly fee for a box, nor for taking the time to run back and forth to the post office. It’s the least I can do as a thank you for continued support.
So that’s that. :)