Location: Apple Valley, CA
Owners: Will Blagg and Ashley Garcia
Date Established: April 1st, 2012
Number local employees: 3
By Nolan Patrick Smith
(Victor Valley)–Are you looking for something new? Something that oozes with creativity and nostalgia at the same time? Look no further than The Brass Wardrobe, as they craft items that are “a glimpse into a world you may never have known existed.”
Those are the words from Victorville resident Will Blagg, Co-Owner of The Brass Wardrobe. With hand made leatherworks and other costuming aspects, The Brass Wardrobe covers many genres in the world of costume play, or better known as Cosplay. “The Brass Wardrobe is the joint idea/passion of myself and my partner Ashley Garcia. We both enjoy costuming very much, particularly the Steampunk aesthetic.” Currently, there are only 3 employees for The Brass Wardrobe: Garcia, Blagg, and his wife Holly.
Steampunk is a genre that fuses the old Victorian style with a strong steam presence: locomotives, cogs, goggles, ray guns, and a look and feel all its own. Steampunk has garnered a lot of press as of late, as you can see Steampunk influences in films such as the two modern day “Sherlock Holmes” films and “Hugo”. But Steampunk isn’t all Blagg and Garcia create. Their genres span to the Renaissance as well, with plans to branch out to vampire hunters, Dungeons and Dragons and even superhero creations. So how did this come to be?
“I have been into “costuming” my whole life,” Blagg told High Desert Daily. “Every one of my hobbies has always included dressing up and playing a character of one sort or another: Drama, Renaissance Faire, Ballroom Dancing, Airsoft, and Cosplay. I’ve also always really enjoyed the aesthetic of leather armor and “fantasy” leather accessories, I have bought tons of costume pieces from other artists in the past and have only recently started to look at them and think, I can do that!”
For Blagg, the idea started to become real after buying some leather and tools from last year’s San Diego Comic Con for his Steampunk costume. The Brass Wardrobe has exhibited at one live event, with business also coming from their Etsy site, which is used to showcase and sell various arts and crafts. But this year is already looking to be a busy one, as Blagg ran down some of the plans thus far, “We currently have three shows planned in the next few months, including Anime Expo and Comikaze on top of currently four custom orders in the works and a producer of a web series has been talking to me about some costume pieces.”
The revenue is, of course, a huge factor to the business, but The Brass Wardrobe also serves a more personal aspect as well. “My self esteem is through the roof, and I fell like I have found “what I’m supposed to do” which so many people spend so long trying to find,” added Blagg. “Realistically, I’m looking at this as a hobby that I hope can pay for itself, although with the positive feedback we’ve gotten, It seems like it might actually be possible to become a full time job for at least one of us once we start getting our “brand” out there.”
For more information on The Brass Wardrobe, and to check out some of their products, visit them online at www.thebrasswardrobe.com or drop by their set up at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles in July.