What is Fan Expo?
Fan Expo is the place to be if you’re a fan of anything pop culture. Whether you love movies, cosplay, books, comics or toys Fan Expo is the event for you! There are vendors with everything your geeky little heart could desire. The artists alley is to die for. And there’s celebrities! Are you a Star Trek fan? George Takei will be there. How about Star Wars? Then you better go say hi to Billy Dee Williams. Princess Bride? Cary Elwes and Wallace Shawn will sign your DVD. Love Gotham? David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee will be there. And if you ever grew up watching Baywatch, you’d better get a pass to come say hi to Pamela Anderson. This is our seventh year vending at the Fan Expo. It’s one of our favourite events to do and we are so excited to come back in 2019.
When/ Where is Fan Expo?
Vancouver Fan Expo will take place at the Vancouver Convention Center. It will take place Friday March 1st from 4pm to 9pm, Saturday March 2nd from 10am to 7pm and Sunday March 3rd from 10am to 5pm. Tickets start at $30 for a one day pass and go up to $229 for a three day VIP pass online. At the door only single day and family passes will be available and only while supplies last.
Should you go?
Fan Expo is for you if you belong to pretty much any fandom. I guarantee that you’ll meet someone who shares your passion. Have you ever wanted to make a cosplay? Fan Expo is a great place to try it out. You get to be inspired by people who have been cosplaying for years and share the joy of your fandom with people you are just starting out. You’ll probably pick up some tricks of the trade while you’re there. If you don’t want to dress up that’s cool too! You’ll see lots of people in casual attire just enjoying the atmosphere. You should come check it out!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
First of all, if you’re not finished you’re Christmas shopping yet, don’t despair. We will be open 11-5 on Sunday December 23, 2018 and 11-5 on Monday December 24, 2018 for all your last minute gifts. If you don’t know what to get but you know your person loves the store remember that a gift card will always fit! We will be closed Tuesday December 25, 2018.
Now for the good stuff! Wednesday December 26, 2018 we will be open from 11-7 and everything in the store will be on sale (except items on consignment from local artists). Regular prices items will be on sale for 20% off! Gowns are on sale for $149! Clearance items will be on sale for $25! Our boxing day sale will only be on for December 26, 2018 so make sure you get down to the shop to check it out. We will not be doing any exchanges on December 26, 2018.
But wait! What if you’re out of town or you can’t make it to the shop? Don’t worry, we got you. You can use the discount code BOXINGDAY20 to get 20% off everything online! It will only be valid on December 26, 2018 so make sure you log on to snag a deal!
Gift Ideas for Your Hard to Shop for Friends
Christmas time can be stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift for people you care about. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype from advertising and then all of sudden you’ve spent $1,000 on PJs and chocolate. You end up feeling like nothing you go is tailored to the person you were shopping for. Don’t worry, we got you. Here is our gift guide for three very specific people in your life.
Your Friend Who is Super into Festivals
So here’s the thing, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money on every single person on your shopping list. If your budget is $25 or less then we recommend a gift card. Your friend can come in and use that GC towards anything they want. Maybe they need goggles for Burning Man, maybe they need an entire outfit either way that GC can help them build their festival wardrobe. If your budget is $50 then we recommend a pocket belt. Pocket belts are a great alternative to a purse or backpack. They let you keep your phone and wallet safe and keep your hands free for dancing. If your budget is $100 or less, leggings are a great option. Leggings are perfect for festival evenings when it starts to cool off. Plus they look great on men and women!
Your Friend Who is Super into Harry Potter/ Cosplay
We all have a friend who is super into Harry Potter, anime or cosplay. If your budget is $25 or less, I suggest a time turner necklace. If your friend isn’t into Harry Potter, don’t worry we also have TARDIS necklaces, Mockingjay necklaces and Supernatural necklaces available in store. If your budget is $50 or less, then contacts make a pretty cool gift. Changing your eye colour can totally change your look. Need to be evil? Try red or black contacts. Need to look dead? Try some white contacts. The possibilities are endless. If your budget is $100 or less then I suggest a short cloak. What could be better for a Harry Potter fan than a handmade cloak in their house colours? Even if your friend isn’t a Harry Potter fan, they’ll probably love a cloak because who doesn’t want a cool cloak?
Your Friend Who is Super into Steampunk
Steampunk is awesome. People are having more and more steampunk themed weddings and parties and it has become a staple Halloween costume. If your budget is $25 or less then I suggest checking out some of our unisex steampunk jewelry. We have big gear pins or key necklaces that any steampunk enthusiast is sure to love. If your budget is $50 or less, why not give the gift of really cool goggles? We have a huge selection of steampunk goggles available for less than $50 that are perfect for adventure. If your budget is $100 or less, a holster vest makes an excellent gift. They are adjustable in size so you don’t need to worry about finding the perfect fit. On top of that, they have 6 pockets which are perfect holding an assortment of gadgets.
Giving gifts is a great way to show people that you care about them. Try not to get overwhelmed or stressed out because at the end of the day it’s the thought that counts. Paying attention to your friends interests is a great way to show them that you were thinking of them. You’re doing great. You deserve a break so go get a rum and eggnog and watch some Hallmark holiday specials on TV.
December Store Hours
- Monday – Saturday 11am – 7pm
- Sunday 11am – 5pm
- December 24, 2018 11am – 5pm
- December 25, 2018 CLOSED
Happy Christmas Season! If you don’t think you can handle going into a mall this December, I don’t blame you. Malls in December are basically hell. There’s people everywhere. No one is happy to be there. And to top it off Christmas music is play everywhere. Don’t worry, we’re here for you.
If you need a little break from the Christmas spirit, then come on into VM and center yourself with some corsets, kilts and cloaks. We’ll be send out some gift guides throughout the month to help you with your Christmas shopping but we also have all your favorite things if you just need to take a moment for yourself. As always, our website will be open 24/7 if you don’t want to leave your house at all and you want to do all your shopping in your pjs while drinking wine.
Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if you want outfit or gift ideas for this holiday season!
Why we don’t do custom work
One of our most frequently asked questions is: do you do custom and/or alterations? It’s a totally reasonable question. If everything with the Venus & Mars label is handmade in store then it only seems logical that we would be set up to do custom but the truth is we’re not. Back in the day we used to do custom but a steady increase in business and customers has made it impossible to continue. The following is why.
Custom is expensive
Custom work is expensive. In the time that it takes to make one custom jacket, we could probably make two dozen steampunk frock coats (more on that below). From an accounting standpoint, it’s difficult to justify charging the same amount for one custom jacket as it would be for one regular jacket that we could produce in a small production run. We don’t think it’s fair to charge $1,000 or more for just one jacket but we wouldn’t be able to survive if we charged the same amount for custom as we do for off the rack.
It is time consuming
Everything we make is made in small production runs. That means that Sanne uses a pattern (of her own design) to cut multiple items at the same time. She then bundles everything together for our sewer and we get shiny new awesome products once they are all put together. If it is a brand new design then Sanne will cut one and sew a sample for our sewer. Depending on what we are making, we generally have a turn around time of a week for multiple items in a size run. Custom work requires a lot more time.We have to set up a consultation, make a new pattern, construct the garment, provide a fitting, and make any necessary alterations. In the time that it takes to do a consultation alone, Sanne could have cut 6 black wool cloaks.
Bonus: Putting together a cosplay? Check out What is cosplay for suggestions on how to put something together off the rack.
We don’t want to
Sanne started Venus & Mars in 1993 because she wanted to make her own designs. People come to us with excellent suggestions and incredibly creative ideas that we love to hear about. Sometimes these ideas even inspire us to make new things (for example the ladies tails vest) but that’s on our own terms and in our own designs. What has made the store successful for a quarter century is Sanne’s unique designs and we would like to continue in that vein.
We totally want to make your vision a reality. If you bring in a picture of what your trying to recreate, we can offer suggestions and help you come up with at least a base for your outfit. We’ll try to recommend other places too that might have what you’re looking for. If you do end up getting custom work done then make sure to do your homework. Look up reviews from other customers and shop around for a price that fits your budget.
What has your experience been with getting custom clothing made? Let us know in the comments below.
Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.