Studio Cosplay Going Forward
It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the unavoidable closure of our groundbreaking cosplay makerspace in Silver Spring at the end of July. We can’t express enough gratitude for the funding, support, encouragement, and hands-on assistance from every single person who took part in making Studio Cosplay a reality for Year One. We’re grateful for the thousands of followers on social media; the hundreds of con-goers who attend our cosplay panels; our partners, teachers, and volunteers who help make things go; the members who have used the space to make epic cosplays; and the friends, family, and fans who have spread the word about our humble little non-profit. It’s been a tremendously inspiring experience and we thank you all! We could not have gotten this far without you.
Though Studio Cosplay had no shortage of heart, as is sometimes the case with vulnerable startups our first year of operation was wrought with a thousand papercuts. Despite crossing our marketing T’s and dotting our logistical I’s we just didn’t have the membership, class, or event turnout we had hoped for. Some significant sponsorships fell through, and other potential sponsors were seeking a more well-established organization to invest in. Most of our team had compelling life responsibilities to focus on, including family health emergencies, and most of our long-term volunteers had to step down after a short time because of life demands, so our team was stretched quite thin for most of our duration. Due to a large number of delays we weren’t able to open until several weeks after signing the lease on the space. We had a lot of revenue-impacting online technical problems that were never resolved. We also have a niche demographic that we’re trying to accommodate so we had some marketing limitations to overcome. We’ve been humbled by the overwhelming encouragement from the community for our idea, but sadly the only thing we can pay the studio’s bills with is money.
So what next?
Studio Cosplay will continue!! Our board met a few months ago to talk about contingencies and our mission hasn’t changed: we still plan to provide D/M/V cosplayers with cosplay education, events, and community. We still intend to deliver cosplay panels and our popular repair station at local conventions, we’ll look to partner with other organizations and spaces to host events, and we’re looking into online solutions for cosplay instruction. We’ll have an auction at our space towards the end of July to liquidate equipment and furniture (details coming soon!), and all of these funds plus those raised by our spring GoFundMe campaign (thank you notes to be delivered soon!) will go towards paying off debts and liabilities required for closure of the space, and towards future events and classes. Who knows, maybe someday after more successful fundraising, generous sponsorships, a bigger team, and more resources, we can re-open in a less expensive location and be an even better home for cosplayers than ever before. Until we have to close our doors, we’ll keep going full speed ahead. Thank you all again for your support!
As we always say, don’t stop believin’.