Established in 2015, Dave Mullet and Shara King, celebrate geek culture in their business, Midnight Tailors, by honing in on ‘geek chic’ casual wear, of which they have found a vast market and clientele for. Comic books, TV shows and films, video games and other areas of fandom and collection are some of the styles and prints they supply for their unique accessory line. Initially, the duo began marketing custom order suits for their patrons and more recently they have narrowed their product line to focus mainly on accessories, allowing people to express their individual personalities through their clothing.
‘It is extremely difficult to charge what [bigger items] are actually worth. In a world where you can get a suit jacket at Walmart for a hundred bucks, people cannot understand why we cannot charge the same thing. It is not a greed thing; we have to cover costs of time and materials that we put into it,” said Mullet.
Although the accessory line is traditionally geared towards men, King said, the line is adored by all.
“Finally we have narrowed down our products to just accessories — men’s accessories mostly. I say ‘men’s accessories’, but it is all unisex. Women buy our accessories as well. Women wear bowties and neckties, and we also put them on chains. Most of our Harry Potter ties are sold to women.”
King and Mullet absolutely love that being a geek is now not only acceptable in today society, but is celebrated to a degree. People of all ages buy their products and place custom orders.
“When we were in school, it was not cool. Now it is hip to be geeky. A lot of the older crowds are now realizing that it is okay to express your inner geek, and they are coming to conventions a lot more, it is not just young people,” said Mullet.
The couple also pointed out that the meaning of the word ‘geek’ has evolved over time. It used to refer to people doing ‘nerdy’ things like: playing Dungeons and Dragons or reading comics. Now, ‘geeky’ is more synonymous with the idea of a healthy obsession with something.
“Saying ‘geeky’ does not necessarily mean wearing a Star Trek tie or whatever, we specialize in casual accessories, people who casually wear a bowtie on an everyday basis—like Bill Nye the Science Guy—tend to fall into that category of geek culture and fandom. We all have a geek inside of us, whether you are sports fan or TV fan,” said King
“When you think traditional ‘geeky’ things you think comic books, and Magic the Gathering, but what is more geeky than fantasy football? Not a darn thing. Geeky has a new meaning, now it is a word for something you are passionate about,” Mullet added
While Midnight Tailors’ primary focus is on geek chic accessories, they also do custom order formalwear for weddings, proms, graduation and other special events. Sometimes the customer accessories might fall into the geek chic category, others simply want to provide matching accessories for the whole family—often including pets and occasionally their clients place custom orders for body shapes and sizes that are simply not easily found in stores, if they can be found in stores at all.
“We had a custom order for wedding — actually he could find the pattern he wanted in stores but he was almost seven feet tall so no store-bought tie would fit him properly,” Mullet said about their custom orders of the past.
King and Mullet operate Midnight Tailors out of their home in St. John’s, and they rely heavily on comic book conventions and other special events to sell and promote their products. This year will be a busy one for the dynamic duo. They will be starting the season out with Geequinox in Nova Scotia held on April 22 and 23. Then they will return home to St. John’s for Sci-fi on the Rock the following weekend through April 28 to April 30 at the Sheraton Hotel. Through June 30 to July 2 they will be setting up shop at the Anamaritime convention held in Fredericton, NB. Then July 7 to 9 they will be attending the official Comicon in Montréal and returning back home for the Avalon Expo which will be held at Mile One Center this year from August 25 to 27. King and Mullet will pack up again and had to Corner Brook for the Atlanticon convention September 15 to 17 and from there they will head back to Nova Scotia from September 22 to 24 for the Hal Con, which they attended last year and saw a crowd of 14,000 people come through.
This year’s Avalon Expo is particularly exciting because there is a lot of big names who are relevant in current pop culture coming to make appearances such as: Colin Bakes who placed the sixth Doctor from Dr. Who and Sean Gunn who is the brother of James Gunn director of Guardian of the Galaxy. As well as playing Kraglin in the film, Sean Gunn acted using motion-capture technology for the on set Rocket Raccoon. He is also well known for playing and reprising his role of Kirk on Gilmore Girls.
Avalon Expo has always had great guests at previous events, but they were often people from niche market fan groups or smaller cult followings such as makeup artists and writers. Those who love them absolutely LOVE them, but may not have been necessarily appealing to the general public. This year, the event will showcase more relative guests that will likely bring thousands of fans to the event.
“Especially where Gilmore Girls came out so recently and people were and are so obsessed with it, having Kirk make an appearance will bring out a whole other group of people who might not normally go to a convention like this,” said King.
As for the future of their business, Midnight Tailors is looking into showcasing their products in up to five retail outlets throughout the province. They also want to continue to design and create custom formalwear and continue to tour around the convention circuit throughout the country. The first retail store they have partnered with is already carrying a line of their accessories. Coast Clothing in Stephenville is a snowboarder/skate shop and will carry products that match the store’s specific clientele. The couple wants to customize the products to match each retailer to better assure product interest and sales, as well as to avoid direct competition between partner retailers.
King said, “we love our home conventions. We love going to travel around. We have a strong dynamic. We usually spend twenty-four hours together every day, we do it altogether. I am not sure I would recommend it to others but it works so well for us.”
Midnight Tailors is supported by Metro Business Opportunities. MBO help the couple by providing professional advice, as well as financial support. To learn more about MBO visit www.mboc.ca
For more information on event dates and locations, or to place or inquire about custom orders visit www.midnighttailors.com