written by Bloo (@littlemissbloo)
Hello once again fellow geekalicious cosplayers! Bloo here with some fantastic news for all of our Canadian cosplay geeks, as well as anyone looking to expand their wig options. Rather than blabber on at you about the little I know, I’ve interviewed Amber Noble, the Owner of the Mythril Wigs in Canada to find out all the details as well as some backstory on the new company.
Boo: What is your background in the costume wig industry?
Mythril Wigs: I was first introduced to wigs during the latter part of the 1990’s, when I crafted costumes purely for fun. I remember being absolutely amazed by my first wig, like my eyes had been opened to this entirely new world where you could create and be anything you wanted. This was very important to me, because I spent my teenage years in a small city with very few social ties, and often felt very limited. Costuming became a creative outlet for me, and helped shape a lot of who I am today.
It wasn’t until the mid 2000’s that I began to take costuming and wigs more seriously. I had moved to the Lower Mainland and became heavily involved in the Vancouver drag king scene. I was exposed to drag queens during this time, and they blew me away with their attention to detail; beautiful, hand crafted outfits, and heavily styled, realistic looking wigs. I purchased my first excessively expensive wig at this time, which formally guided me into the vast world of wig-dom.
As I slowly drifted away from the drag scene, I gravitated towards the local cosplay community, and was propelled further into costuming. I began to see my strengths and weaknesses; I was an absolutely terrible seamstress, but I excelled at accessory crafting and manipulating wigs. For several years I styled wigs for myself, friends and other individuals in the cosplay community, entirely for the love of the craft.
B: Why did you decide to create Mythril Wigs?
MW: The concept of Mythril Wigs developed through several different stages before becoming an actual independent wig brand. I first conceived the company name when I was styling costume wigs on a regular basis, and had intended for the company to represent me as a styling commissioner. After several months of styling wigs for other people and having very little time to myself, I pulled away from custom styling work.
My next venture to satisfy my creative needs and continue to work with wigs was to pre-style popular character wigs and act as a re-seller for other established brands. This idea had never gotten off the ground, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I sourced wigs from a variety of different locations and ordered a large amount of stock, under the impression that I would receive the colour and quality that the stock photos conveyed. I have never been so wrong in my entire life! I was fairly disheartened, and sold off all of the wigs I had purchased at discounted prices on local sales groups.
Having experienced first-hand the disappointment of investing in products that turned out to be something they’re not, and suffering the added burn of exorbitant shipping and border customs fees to go along with it, I determined that what I needed to do was create my own line of wigs that was consistent with my vision of quality, and in turn provide a Canadian source for other costumers to obtain their wigs.
B: Have you received a lot of support or criticism?
MW: When I was first developing the company as a wig brand, it received an equal amount of support and criticism. The encouragement received from friends, family and supporters in the cosplaying community were paramount in this venture ever seeing the light of day, and greatly helped to overshadow the criticism the company was initially subjected to. Since our first convention appearance at NorthWest Fan Fest 2014, we have garnered so much support from the local cosplay community, it’s absolutely amazing.
B: What is the primary demographic that you're marketing to?
MW: We aim to market to artists and performers of all ages, whether they are cosplayers, stage performers, alternative fashion enthusiasts, or people that just love to spice up their day with a different hairstyle. Although many of our supporters are cosplayers, and they help to influence and shape our line, the vision of the brand is to offer the tools to any artist to shape and create what they want. The styles we offer, and will be developing many more of in the future, are intended to be flexible enough for multiple uses, so anyone can wear them and manipulate them to their desires.
B: You've been open for a few months exclusively at conventions. How has business been? Are people receiving your brand and products well?
MW: It was a bit of a battle to secure our first convention space, so I was concerned at how we would be received, but as the convention got into full swing that concern was washed away. Everyone that came by our booth was very interested to know all about us, especially since the only information available was through our website and Facebook for several months. It was a wonderful experience, and we received more and more attention as people started to understand that we were a new wig brand. Our second convention appearance showed the value of our efforts, as we saw many repeat customers who had very positive things to say and we more than doubled our sales.
In between our convention appearances we’ve received a lot of questions, suggestions, and excitement about our online launch. Giving people the opportunity to learn about our company in person by talking to us and seeing our products helps to give the rest of the world an opportunity to learn about us from these first-hand customer experiences. I believe that this is extremely important in an age where we heavily rely on reviews and recommendations.
B: What has been the biggest challenge so far with Mythril Wigs? Did you anticipate this challenge?
MW: The biggest challenge that I have faced so far is ensuring that we have enough variety of styles and colours in order to facilitate an online store. This was something that I was preparing for since the beginning as I knew we would be limited with what we could realistically provide at first. Starting and running a new business is very expensive, and since the company is ran solely by myself, I have had to make very careful decisions on the products that we are launching with. What has been chosen for our launch is intended to be general and flexible enough to allow us the opportunity to expand in many directions.
B: Have you had or encountered any touching stories thus far?
MW: As we have only been present at three conventions so far, we haven’t had the opportunity to hear any touching stories, but we hope that will change! A lovely woman came by our booth at Anime Revolution 2014 who was involved in hosting costume parties at seniors homes, which I thought was such a fantastic thing to do. There can never be enough community involvement and support, so it is very inspiring to hear when people are devoting their time and energy into making a difference in other people’s lives.
B: Do you have any exciting plans and dreams for the future of Mythril Wigs?
MW: There are definitely a lot of plans and dreams for the company. I can’t delve too much into them, but I can say that as the Lower Mainland is a very artistic and community orientated area, we hope to have a fair amount of community involvement over the next few years.
We do have some exciting things coming up though. We are currently collaborating on a themed photoshoot with MiraMarc Studios (www.facebook.com/miramarcstudios), a photography duo located in London, England. We are excited to work with them as we are very interested in their fantasy and mythology influenced style. We will also be collaborating in the near future with Kieran Strange (www.kieranstrange.com), who we are thrilled to be involved with. Her musical style and image are so refreshing and unique; she's a catchy pop rocker that can geek out with the best of them! Alongside our collaborations with Kieran, we are also the sponsors for her cosplay duo Hitbox Official (www.hitboxofficial.com), and will be working on collaborations with them as well.
B: Your website says that you have an online store opening in the fall. Do you have an exact date yet?
MW: Our exact launch date has not been finalized, but we are aiming to be opened for sales online by the end of the year. Although we originally intended to launch in the Fall, we have had a few setbacks to overcome first before going live. Information concerning our launch will be posted to our social media pages, so we recommend checking in throughout December for updates!
B: You're based in Canada. What does that mean for us American shoppers? Can we expect to see you at any conventions in the USA? Will you be shipping to the USA or are you a Canada only exclusive?
MW: Although our convention appearances will take place exclusively within Canada, we do intend to ship worldwide. We will be working to have international shipping available for our online launch.
B: Do you have a physical location to shop at in Canada?
MW: We will be an online only store with the exception of convention appearances. In the future we may consider a warehouse location where scheduled pickups could take place, but plans for this are not currently in the works. Anything is possible though!
B: Any other interesting tidbits before we end?
MW: Following our online store launch, we will be introducing some brand new colours which we are very excited about, and hopefully a new style or two! We are also finalizing a selection of helpful accessories that will be available in the new year.
B: Do you have any links (fan pages, websites, social media, etc.) for interested customers to locate you?
MW: We are the most active on our Facebook, with Twitter taking second place (as I slowly learn to use it and likely commit many Twitter offenses). Here is everywhere we currently maintain pages for:
And there you have it, folks! We’re super excited for the shop’s projected opening in only a few weeks. In the meantime, I will be putting together my own review of their wigs that will be released in a few weeks once the Mythril Wigs online store is officially open for business. Stay tuned!