If my job would allow it, my ass would be dripping with obnoxious anime aesthetic from Monday to Friday. I cannot get enough nerd apparel, and I am thrilled to see small businesses popping up with their own creative and innovative lines. To the surprise of no one, cosplayers themselves have started to concoct magical items ranging from “Trash hats” to custom-made chocobo kigurumis. The ideas and inventions are endless.
With this in mind, I was able to interview a rising cosplayer named Pasteldotz Cosplay. They have opened their own store online called Sweet Bitz, where they sell their own delicious works ranging from fun crop tops to cozy sweatshirts. I had the opportunity to chat with them about what it is like to be a business owner amid the geek world, so please enjoy!
Black Nerd Problems: Please give me some details about yourself! What does your day-to-day look like?
Pasteldotz: I am one year out of college working as a graphic designer for a Japanese industrial company. That is my 8-5 job that I work on weekdays. Coming home is usually me playing video games, watching anime, working on cosplay, or working on new concepts for my store. Somewhere in between there I eventually remember to eat! Everything that I do usually influences my work in some way, shape, or form.
BNP: Why did you decide to open Sweet Bitz? What was the catalyst?
PD: When I was in school, I always said I wanted to freelance for the first year, but I realized that was a lot harder than I thought! So I ended up working in house for a company. The job is great, but can be very stifling on my creative flow. I needed an outlet to put work that is my style into something. I had always played with the idea of having an online store and I thought that now was the time to finally make that into a reality.
BNP: Do you draw your inspirations from anything specific?
PD: A lot of nerd culture, to be honest. It’s what I am around the most. Video games, animes, anything. And then the whole kawaii aesthetic as well. A lot of my work does have that whole influence into it. Lately, I’m looking into what type of things are trending more and trying to cater to that as well.
BNP: What was it like transitioning from focusing primarily on your hobby to a business? (Shout-out to my editor for this question!)
PD: I think it wasn’t too hard of a transition of hobby to business. Mostly because I never thought of it [clothing design] as a hobby. It was just me doing stuff in my field, doing what I went to college for. I wanted to be able to continue to do what I love and profit from it. It was a slow start, as anything is, but as long as focus was kept I began to see results. It helped a lot to do research before diving into it all.
BNP: What advice would you give cosplayers who want to make a living off their hobby and art? (Shout-out again Leslie!)
PD: [Cosplayers] have to understand that results won’t be immediate and it is something that you have to stay on track for. Content building is a must. It’s a lot work, but if it’s something you love, you’re gonna have a lot of fun as well.
BNP: What are your goals for the future?
PD: Expanding my merchandise!! I want to add more items besides shirts and hats into my shop! I also want to have the Patreon become more successful so that I am able to provide more for the followers. There’s contests, giveaways, and polls that people can participate in! There are a lot of new things coming soon to Sweet Bitz, and I just hope it will be well received by everyone.
Jasemine Denise Photography/ Provided by Pasteldotz Cosplay
Model / Bunny Noodlez