A Q&A Session with local, Hikari wo Sagasu

IMG_4135I really like handmade, cute stuff. No, I really like to buy cute stuff from hard-working local vendors who like the same cute stuff I do. So when I first came across Hikari wo Sagasu, I was as giddy as the time I purchased tasty smelling soaps from HH-Candy (another crafty local ‘shop’) 
 
 
Now, I’ll be totally honest, Hikari wo Sagasu caught my eye at a local Sailor Moon day “convention” hosted in the gym of a Manhattan recreation building. So I can’t say that I’ve been following this crafty lady to every convention, but after finding her booth at the Sailor Moon event, I do try to keep my eyes open. In the past I have purchased earrings and a cute hair clip. Eventually I need to buy one of the rose hairpins since those were what caught my attention to begin with. I like to talk to people who have booths at conventions since I know a lot of work and effort goes into running a booth if you’re not from a mega-corporation.
 
At San Diego Comic Con, a vendor from Texas who actually used to attend New York Comic Con started chatting it up with me. She told me she used to go to NYCC, but found that ReedPop was getting especially greedy and she just couldn’t afford to go anymore. Weeks later an article floated around the internet about a famous comic book shop that no longer plans to attend SDCC because they actually LOST money by having a booth. So when I noticed Hikari wo Sagasu in Exhibitors’ Hall rather than Artist Alley, I was naturally curious.
 
Q: Tell us a little bit about your products. You make mostly cute hair accessories from origami, right? How do you do it?
“I make a range of hair accessories and jewellery.  I primarily use Japanese Washi paper to create my Rose Hair Accessories.  They are all folded and then covered in resin to harden them, making the paper durable and stiff.  It’s a timely process and tricky at times, due to the complications that arise when using resin.  Sometimes it takes days to completely dry.  After that process is done, I would attached them to hair clips, hair sticks, and hair combs.”
 
Q: What inspired you to make these items?
“Honestly, I have a obsession with anything Oriental fashion.  I am especially fond of the traditional Japanese kimono and yukata fashion.  The kanzashi and hair ornaments the Geisha wear were what inspired me to make so many different kinds of hair accessories.  I wanted to be as elegant for wedding attire, and simple enough for every day causal wear.”
 
Q: How many years have you been going to NYCC as a dealer? Has your experiences changed from year to year?
“2014 would be considered to be my second time as a dealer at NYCC.  The first year I was in the artist alley of the NYAF section of NYCC years ago.  With the new artist alley requirements; I was not eligible to be in the artist alley for NYCC, since they focus on print artists.  I joined up with my current friends last year and this is the 2nd year.  I enjoyed last year, and my friends were kind enough to offer space for me again. This year was about the same as last year.”
 
Q: What other conventions do you go to as a dealer?
“NYCC is the only con that I go as a dealer so far, unless Sakura Matsuri DC counts.”
 
Q: How does that compare with NYCC?
“Sakura Matsuri was only a Saturday this past year, I had a great time there. It was further for travel, but worth it. “
 
Q: How much did your booth cost this year at NYCC2014? People at San Diego Comic Con were not able to break even or make a profit because of the increase to have a booth in the dealer’s room.
“I really don’t know how much the full booth cost as it wasn’t under my name.  I used only a portion of the space so I paid my partner what she determined it to be.  We did break even by Friday for sure.  It really is a burden for anyone to have booth space at such a large con like NYCC. I feel like they get more and more expensive, and of course it depends on what size you need/want, and where you are placed in the room.  For more exposure and close to the front of the show, it cost thousands more. “
 
Q: Would you consider skipping NYCC in favor of smaller conventions?
“Yes. We are looking around the area for other smaller cons.”
 
Q: What do you think NYCC can do to be more friendly to independent dealers and their fans?
“Offer tables and chairs for all the booths.  It really is a pain to have to bring EVERYTHING.  for fans, better organization of the autograph session and how to obtain tickets for those. It was overwhelming how so much was going on, and it disheartened me when one couldn’t meet their idol cause they didn’t know they had to obtain ‘tickets’ in the morning at ‘x’ location.
 
Hikari wo Sagasu’s booth can be found at many smaller anime conventions.
 
You can purchase their merchandise @ hikariwosagasu.storenvy.com

You can also follow them on: Twitter: @hikariwosagasu and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hikariwosagasu