Spirit animal and super power

This post is off topic from my usual and infrequent writings here on our new products, what inspires us and our fun events. But this struck me today. I was looking at LinkedIn and saw people liking and commenting on a particular post I found interesting from a man I am not connected to. He is a high level marketing professional, in his 40s or 50s I presume. He has experience with some of the leading fast food and consumer products in the world. An interviewer asked him what his spirit animal and his super power would be. He did not understand why these questions would be asked and what they would even reveal. He did not know what a spirit animal is. The number of outraged, angry responders to this, calling the questions ridiculous, rude and dumb just really surprised me.

I think the question is very revealing and probably did what it was meant to do. If you’re interviewing someone who will be working with brands that speak to younger people or are part of the pop culture world and the interviewee either doesn’t know what those things are or is too taken off guard by the question to adapt, then this is candidate is not for you.

I’m 48, was in advertising and marketing for 20 years before starting my own businesses. I love that these are interview questions. I say yes to more personality! Yes to questions that are fun and interesting!

To answer the interview question, I think my answer on spirit animal would be: That depends. I love my Patronus, which is a white stag (I’m pretty psyched about that). I was called a bulldog often in the corporate world and I took that as a huge compliment, whether they meant it that way or not. I also found a lion speaks to me because of a meme about “being the storm” with a lion as the image.

My super power? I think this is going to sound evil (probably why I’m Slytherin) but getting people to do what I want. When I was in marketing, biggest challenge was to get the departments to work together so we could support successful campaigns and do things out of the norm. As a small business owner, it’s getting in front of the buyers and properties. I’m thinking I could use my mind powers to make the buyers answer my emails and carry ALL OF OUR THINGS – mooooowahahahaha.

I guess I kind of wanted someone to ask me that question 😉


Our Love Letter to the SPNFamily (aka John Winchester’s Journal)

Before we even secured the license with Warner Bros. to produce Supernatural journals and creative merchandise, we knew we wanted to make a replica of John Winchester’s Journal and the Winchester Brothers Road Map for a lot of reasons.

  • First, Supernatural fans are the reason our business still exists. When we were struggling with our Con*Quest Adventure Journal (a special binder/smash journal for comic con photo ops, autographs and con memories), it was Creation Entertainment and the Supernatural family who saved us. Literally.
    • When we started Con*Quest Journals, it was Creation who first bought a wholesale order from us of the 1st draft of our journal.
    • Fast forward to one year later and an upcoming Supernatural con. We made a very rough Supernatural “inspired” journal. It was basically brown cardboard and brown pages. And we sold more of those journals at that Supernatural con in Vegas than we had at C2E2, Wondercon and a Wizard World con – COMBINED. That pretty much gave us our path.
  • Second, when we found our artist, siren and creative genius (aka Tracey Gurney) we knew we found someone who loved Supernatural. Someone who was an even bigger fan girl than me. And I do love it. But she KNOWS IT. So when Tracey and Ted and I would talk about what to make, John Winchester’s Journal was always on the top of our list because as fans, we wanted it too.
  • Finally, when you have the power and have made the investment with a license to make the one thing that we know every Supernatural fan would love then why the hell wouldn’t you do it? Exactly.

So after over a year of blood, sweat, frustration, tears, shrieks of joy and near gut wrenching struggle, we are so proud to announce pre-orders of a replica John Winchester Journal!

It took us 18 months to find manufacturing and sourcing. Research, design and approvals took us over 8 months. In the middle of this, Tracey said “you know what would be really cool? A road map. A map of all of the locations that the boys have been.” OH YES. Of course, this was a 6 month design and approval project too.

We did our very best to recreate as many of John’s original diary entries and monster pages as we could. We could not get approval on the photographs or some of the original news articles, so we drew images and we wrote articles and made up funeral notices and laughed.

Tracey wanted to make a Turducken Slammer ad so we did (and it’s glorious.)

We wanted a Mystery Spot brochure, so Tracey and I watched the episode hundreds of times, on the phone together, pausing it while Dean flips it around in his hands.

We have watched this 10 seconds so many, many times.

Our conversations went like this: “Is that an alien with a soda bottle?” – “Sure, let’s go with that.” 

We also wanted extra lined pages in the back so it’s a living journal. You can your own notes and stories to those pages.

We launched pre-orders for shipping June 19th this week. Amy Ratcliffe wrote an exclusive and wonderful post for The Nerdist. Ted, Tracey and I were on a 3 way call for the first 2 hours of launch when the story went live. Sometimes we were all quietly working, sometimes we were checking the comments on the Nerdist Facebook post together and sometimes we were talking about our strategy going forward. I love our team.

Team Con*Quest Journals

We plan to make more page packs with new monster info and drawings so you can add them to your journal.

To the Warner Bros. team: thank you for believing in us and letting us take this opportunity to make something truly remarkable and hopefully beloved by the fans.

To our Supernatural family and friends: we love you and thank you for the support and kindness you have shown us. We hope you love this journal and map as much as we do.

Our focus is clear. We plan to keep making more ways for fans to be creative with their fandom. Because ultimately that’s what is all about: the fans.

<3 Shelley























New Supernatural Spiral Journals!

We are so excited to introduce our new Supernatural spiral journals! We’ve created three designs: our Winchester brothers journal with Dean featured on the front and Sam on the back, a Castiel journal and a Crowley journal. All three have gorgeous art wrap around from the front cover to the back. They are 5″ x 7″ with 50 pt gloss board covers and each journal has 100 watermarked pages. We even have a special deal when you buy all three!

We have more new Supernatural merchandise coming soon so keep watching!


Gen Con, Star Trek and Salt Lake Comic Con!

Hey guys! It’s been a crazy summer! We successfully funded our Star Trek inspired First Officer’s Log Kickstarter, sold out of The Road So Far Hunter’s Journals at the Supernatural Pittsburgh con and then Ted and I split up to do simultaneous huge conventions during a single weekend: the Star Trek 50th Vegas celebration and Gen Con. It was a huge and busy summer!

Next up we head to Salt Lake Comic Con for the first time, taking all of our fandom inspired journals, tote bags and accessories! We’ll be in booth 400 and we hope to take SLCC by storm! The first 100 people to stop by our booth every day will get a free limited edition Star Trek 50th inspired sticker. It’s SO COOL!

Star Trek sticker for SLCC

Make sure to come and see us at SLCC!

We also have a huge announcement we will be making soon!

Here’s my photo recap of the summer shows:

Pittsburgh Supernatural!

Our tables at the Pittsburgh Supernatural con!

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Ted’s booth set up at the Star Trek Vegas 50th Celebration con!


At Gen Con, it was SO HOT when we were setting up. Seriously.


We’re pretty sure those cookies my husband dropped off were like, sleepy time cookies…

Meanwhile, in Vegas, this was happening.

Jim from Geek Dads LOVED the journals!

Love Liz and Cathy! So glad they stopped by and here’s to hoping for a LARPs the Series season 3!!

Adorable girl running the demo. Love it!

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Confessions of a Geek Mom

I was thinking about dinner out last night with family and some of their friends and it’s occurred to me that I may have an easier time talking to teenage boys than to my peers. I know that sounds super creepy, but hear me out. As I was making conversation, I started asking another couple if they watch Game of Thrones? “No? How about Walking Dead? Supernatural? Gilmore Girls? Doctor Who? You’ve seen The Force Awakens, yes that’s my BB-8 purse. I have a Star Trek Kickstarter going right now too! What’s Kickstarter? Um, well.”

I leaned over to the kids area of the table where my teenage daughter and son and three other teenagers sat and had this unsettling feeling that I have more in common with them than my peers. In fact, I had been on Snapchat singing the Gilmore Girls theme on Friday and sang Finn’s buff baby song (that Marceline saw him sing as a baby “Punch a yo buns!”) on Saturday. (Psst, Finn is from Adventure Time FYI).

This got me to thinking about how I grew up and where I am now, trying to build a business out of journals for conventions. Using my deep fandom passions that have driven me to this point my whole life. Yes, it’s trendy to say you’re a Geek mom now, but the reality is that it’s not always been the case, wasn’t always trendy. And it’s not just since I’ve been a mom. I’ve been awkward my whole life.



Little Shelley: “How many times have you seen Star Wars? You haven’t? Me? 7 times and the movie theater is all the way in Muncie!”

“Mother where is my ET nightgown?”

“Can I get a land speeder and R2D2 for Christmas?”

“I want to watch the Archie movie again. Where are my Mad Magazines? Can I get this Betty and Veronica digest? I want to name my daughter Veronica so we can call her Ronnie.”


“Everyone STOP TALKING! John Taylor is on and it’s the Reflex video!”

“This is the best Bugs Bunny ever made, I know it’s an opera and I still cry every time.”

“When is Watership Down going to be on again? I know I’ve seen it 10 times.”

“Bon Jovi? No, I just bought the new Cure and New Order albums.”

Adult Me

“Sally, Mother, you have to read these new Stephen King Chapter books with me. It’s called the Green Mile and we can all read them at the same time.”

To my sister “When does Order of the Phoenix come out? I’m going to come over and lock myself in your guest bedroom to avoid my family and read it.”

“Have you ever seen Buffy? I didn’t see it when it was on but I stayed up until 3 am watching season 5. I’m a Spike girl all the way.”

“Anyone read Twilight? No? I’m obsessed. New Moon just came out and we have to wait a year before Eclipse. Let’s all go to Forks!” (this was before a movie was even optioned.)

You get the picture. So sometimes I’m not quite fitting in with the other 40 something parents around me, who look at me blankly when I try to find that thing we can relate about. And my kids are working to find their own way in the world, to befriend their own ‘people.’ But I no longer always feel out of place. I meet people all the time who are even more into their thing than even I am. People who are savants of fandom detail and people who are beautifully creative and make gorgeous things.

This all leads me to conclude that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. And to all of the people who may not understand my crazy but love and support me anyway, I deeply appreciate it. So if you see me at a con and want to talk about how SpongeBob was a miracle in the first 4 seasons, I’m all about it! I’ll also do my level best to talk about adult stuff, but I may not be able to quote George Stephanopoulos as well as I can Patrick Star.


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