GeekCraft Expo Seattle's Holiday Market is right around the corner—make sure to join us November 25 and 26 at Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park to shop more than 70 of the Pacific Northwest's finest geeky crafters!
One such crafter is Pennavir Decals, which is bringing fantastic vinyl decals for almost every fandom under the sun! We interviewed Kaili Galati about how she got started making decals and which ones she's bringing to GeekCraft Expo this year.
GeekCraft Expo: How did you get started making vinyl decals?
Kaili Galati: Four years ago I was working IT in an office. My brother had access to decal-making machinery and wanted something made but didn't know how to operate it—so he contacted me and I taught myself the trade. With my mix of IT training and a whimsical art minor, I started making car window decals for my friends and family, who all told me I should start selling my designs. To be honest, once I got going I started wishing I'd minored in business instead of art . . . but after lots of research and hard work I began to see success, and a year later I quit my IT job to sell decals full time.
GCE: What are your most popular decals?
KG: I get asked this a lot, but it's hard to say which of my decals are the most popular. I try to create unique designs for every genre, from anime to classic horror, so I sell pretty evenly across the board. But some fan favorites include my Game of Thrones custom house banners made to look like classic European family crests, the Mario Kart decals that come with free bananas, and my minimalist Studio Ghibli designs including Totoro and Haku the Dragon.
GCE: What is the best way to make decals last for a long time? Do you have any care or usage tips?
KG: The best way to ensure decals last a long time is to purchase from shops that use high-quality materials! I personally tested at least a dozen different brands of vinyl in a rainbow of colors before settling on the materials I use today. My decals have a three-to-five-year life span outdoors in any weather and never fade or peel. Application and care instructions are included with every purchase, too, just in case this is your first decal rodeo. If I were to give my #1 tip though it would be to clean the surface first! A bit of Windex will lengthen the lifespan of a decal considerably!
GCE: Who is your typical customer?
KG: My typical customers are just as varied as my products—I'm just as likely to catch the eye of a tiny Moana cosplayer who wants a Twilight Sparkle decal for the wall mirror in her room as I am an older gentlemen in jean jacket and leather pants looking for Hydra decals for his gun safe. (I'm serious—Hydra. I try not to judge.) Decals make great gifts, too, so my typical customer will usually be purchasing not only for themselves, but for their friends and family who couldn't make it to the Con.
GCE: What is your favorite part about selling to the public?
KG: When I was working IT, my typical customer came to me frustrated and in a hurry. Now my typical customer is dressed as a superhero and spends most of our time together telling me about their favorite game or show or book—I've never had more fun. I especially love finding fellow Ravenclaws!
GCE: What are your geeky faves? Movies, TV shows, video games?
KG: I have a special place in my heart for a few geeky faves—Harry Potter, Zelda, Howl's Moving Castle, Dragon Ball Z, and Supernatural top the chart. I still get warm fuzzies whenever someone buys one of those designs from me; I look them in the eyes and think, "You and me. we're the same."
GCE: What are you bringing to GeekCraft Expo Seattle's Holiday Market this year?
KG: A lot. I'm bringing somewhere around 10,000 decals with over 500 different designs to choose from. These decals are good for any hard surface, including car windows, laptops, and cell phones. And each design I always have on hand in at least one color, black, and white, with multiple size options. Here's a rough list of the different categories I carry:
Books & Movies
Current Video Games
Classic Video Games
Our thanks to Kaili for telling us her origin story! Make sure to come out to GeekCraft Expo Seattle's Holiday Market and check us out!