Have you ever worn a piece of clothing that transformed you? Have you looked at your favorite character and wished you could have their wardrobe, if only to channel what you love most about them? Did you know that these desires are possible? Look no further than AbbyShot and their stunning recreations of media-inspired clothing.
I recently got the chance to sit down and interview AbbyShot founder and owner, Bonnie Cook, and learn more about the company. The first thing that struck me upon speaking with Cook was realizing the backbone of this company is passion – passion for clothing and design, passion for the fans, and passion for dreams coming true.
If I wasn’t impressed by their products before, I certainly was now. AbbyShot is a company full of people who care and are excited to share their creations with fans. I’m thrilled I have the opportunity to share more about them with you!
1. How did the company AbbyShot begin and what was the inspiration behind it?
Bonnie Cook: I ran a home-based sewing business for 20 years and sewing was always my passion. This opportunity came up to make a coat and we sold it on eBay. We got some great excitement so we moved forward and added a couple of new products. We then decided to make a web page and things took off from there. My daughter and I were the ones who were sewing and making the patterns in the beginning. It was unbelievable how it all unfolded.
2. On your website, you say that your products are intended to give fans “one more shot” at their favorite media. Can you tell me more about this and how you keep the fans in mind?
There’s one thing that I’m really passionate about personally and that is helping people feel empowered. That’s what we love to do. This business has the opportunity to help people tap into their inner hero and it’s what we truly believe in.
We’ve had experiences where customers have tried on a coat right in front of us and they can’t believe how they feel. I know it sounds like a cliché, but we actually watch people transform and take on the feelings behind that character.
3. The clothing you produce is gorgeous and highly detailed. What’s the process behind making these pieces and how do you stay true to the original costume?
In the very beginning, we realized people didn’t want them to be just a knock-off. They wanted to totally feel as close as they could to that character. We started asking our customers, “What is it you’d like to have in that coat?” People would send us the details about the costumes and since we had a good understanding of garment construction, we were able to make all these details sewn. Having high-quality garments is very important to us.
4. I learned that you get the opportunity to visit sets and see the actual props and costumes. How does this help the authenticity of the garments?
The first time I got to visit a site of all the original garments was the ultimate highlight of my career and it was for Once Upon a Time. I held Cruella’s clothing and Captain Hook’s coat and it was absolutely phenomenal. It must be like what a child feels when they’re in Disney and they see Elsa and Anna walking toward them.
5. What is the most rewarding aspect?
It’s the responses. We focus on the outcome of what we want for our customers and everything else falls into place. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to receive emails from customers about the quality of our clothes or stories they have from wearing the garments. We get great, fun stories and that’s our reward – we made someone else happy.
We were in London for a Doctor Who convention and this little boy, who must have been about six, comes up and says in his English accent: “Can my mummy buy me a bow tie?” The mother came over and said she’d be happy to buy him a bow tie and he was standing there, shifting his feet from one to the other, and he looked at my daughter and said: “This must be what Harry Potter felt like when he was getting his first wand!”
6. Some of the franchises you make clothes for, such as Doctor Who and Firefly, have passionate fanbases. Does that make it intimidating at all to get the pieces right? What’s been the response from fans?
No, we grow our relationship with customers to give them the very best that we can. They know the balance between perfection and acceptance. We put a lot of time and work into our pieces.
There are core values within this company and with those, we seem to attract all the right people. Our customers become friends and we keep up communication with them.
7. You have a Once Upon a Time line coming out later this summer. Can you tell me anything about that?
The Evil Queen is on our radar but I can’t tell you much more yet. There will be some affordable, fun pieces coming. We expect to debut some of the pieces at the end of the summer, perhaps the end of August.
The detail in these costumes are amazing. I held one of the Evil Queen’s dresses in my hands and it was stunning. The bead work was simplistic but beautiful. The costume designer was very open and supportive about the garments.
8. Do you get responses from the cosplaying community about your pieces?
We do and we see a lot of our clothing particularly at sci-fi conventions but one of the things we try to do is create pieces you can also wear in your everyday life. You can take a bit of your favorite character with you wherever you go.
9. Do you have any personal favorite pieces?
They all have a special meaning to me. I love the Eleventh Doctor’s Purple Coat because we made that in a ladies fit as well as a men’s. There’s a 50-50 fanbase and they want to experience their favorite show as well.
10. Is there any dream property you’d love to create for in the future?
There are many. We have some secret projects coming up. What’s happening now is that we’re being approached by the bigger properties saying they want us to be the company to produce their replica costumes. We’re so humbled by that.
The staff here would love for us to start creating Marvel pieces so that might be on the radar.
11. What more can fans expect from you in the future?
We have an Outlander line coming out. A lot of those pieces are tied into today’s clothing; not the kilts as much but certainly plaid is very popular these days. There’s a love that carries from these shows into the fans and we’re excited to be a part of that!