If you're looking for adorable and geeky yet practical items, be sure to visit bluetiedesigns at GeekCraft Expo Midwest's Fall Mall October 14 and 15 at the Madison Masonic Center! This longtime GeekCraft exhibitor creates handmade nerdy totes, wallets, clutches, scarves, aprons, and much more.
We talked with bluetiedesign's Beth Schofield about how GeekCraft Expo Midwest has changed over the years, how she got started selling to the public, and what she's bringing with her this fall!
GeekCraft Expo: How did you get started sewing?
Beth Schofield: I’m not sure of the exact age when I started sewing, but my mom taught me some sewing basics and how to cross stitch when I was around 8 or 10? However, I honestly didn’t start actively sewing until 2008. My best friend and I jumped back down the rabbit hole of costuming/cosplay, and now rarely a day goes by without me sewing. Heck, I was sewing before I wrote down my answer!
GCE: How and when did you decide to start selling to the public?
BS: I’ve been selling a few things online since 2012, but I made the big jump to conventions and artists' alleys in 2015. My love for sewing and creating took over my spare time, and having an outlet for these creations was very important to me! I figured if it were things that I liked and enjoyed, hopefully others would enjoy them, too. Plus, it gave me a good reason to buy cute and awesome fabric.
GCE: What are your most popular products?
BS: It varies by show, honestly! Some people absolutely love the nerdy potholders I make, others enjoy the small snap wallets or pillows. Reusable totes as well. I enjoy making such a wide variety of items that hopefully others will like, too.
GCE: Do you take commissions?
BS: I do! Depending on size and scale, they’re on a limited basis. My work and personal schedule limit me, so I don’t want to take on anything that I know I won’t be able to finish in a timely manner. But please feel free to talk with me at the show!
GCE: What are your favorite nerdy shows and characters?
BS: Let’s see . . . I love Hana Yori Dango, Voltron Legendary Defender, Sailor Moon, Pokémon (90s kid at heart), Batman, the Persona series (which are games but I enjoy them!) with Mitsuru being my fav, Supergirl . . . I know there are more but I can’t remember them all!
GCE: What surprised you about last spring’s GeekCraft Expo Midwest?
BS: Having more vendors, having a very successful kickoff party at the Bodgery (last year was just myself and GCE staff!), the great crowds that we had with the dreary weather, and just how much more Kim and Dan have taken on and accomplished. It’s easily become one of my favorite shows to sell at.
GCE: What kinds of things will you be bringing to GeekCraft Expo Midwest’s Fall Mall this year?
BS: I’m hoping to bring even more things than I have before! I make nerdy and practical things like small wallets, clutches, brush rolls, totes, pillows, potholders, aprons, zippered bags, infinity scarves . . . my list continues on and on! As long as time allows, I may have a couple of ready-to-go kigurumis for those looking for Halloween costumes! If I have materials and an idea, it will become something and make its debut at GeekCraft Expo!
Thanks again to Beth for taking a break from sewing and answering our questions. Don't forget: RSVP for GeekCraft Expo Midwest's Fall Mall now!