I am a geek. I love Battletech, Mechwarrior, Star Trek, Halo, The Walking Dead, the rather long list goes on and on. I love the life lessons that you can glean from extra-ordinary experiences you live vicariously through great story lines. I also love face time with people, and playing great games. Poker, Mao, Uno with friends. Chutes and ladders, Life, Mouse trap, and Halo Clix with the kids. Or Mechwarrior with my true geek compatriots. When I first became aware of Geek Chic I was helping a good friend and artist at Comic-Con in San Diego. This was also the first time I’d ever been to a Comic-Con. I was walking the halls and kept seeing people carrying intricate wood items. Swords, Hammers, Mustaches, and hushed tones of furniture … Furniture? Of all the things I’ve seen people get excited about here at the San Diego Comic-Con like the Twilight panel, the new Superman and Star Trek previews, the Walking Dead display and cast, The G4 booth, I could go on. So why them? Then I found their booth tucked away, and enlightenment struck me. Ah, Geek Chic.
Lifestyle with a geek twist. Coffee tables with hidden gaming surfaces, Kitchen tables with vaults, drawers and LAN capabilities. Cabinets designed to protect, care for, and showcase treasured comic books and statues. Even picture frames designed to show off your miniature collection. I’ll be honest I stood there for a good five minutes just recovering from having my geek mind blown. I’ve always wanted a coffee table like that. I sketched out the picture frames to hold my miniatures, the table … well that was just amazing, and the cabinets we’re worthy of holding something just as valuable, yet infinitely more interesting, than porcelain dolls or fine china. The best part, all of this incredible stuff is custom. Sure there are standards, but if you want to make changes they’ll change anything, literally anything to suit your specific needs.
Being the ever marketer standing in front of their booth I brought up their website … Huh?
This didn’t match what I was seeing. If you’re jumping over to look at it as well you see the same thing. Don’t worry they did that on purpose. Yes, they made their site difficult to navigate on Purpose. Difficult to buy from, on purpose. Why? Because they can’t keep up with demand. There is a nine month long line to get one of these items. I had the honest thought, but who needs a gaming kitchen table, or coffee table, or cabinet with customized drawers? Then I had a better question. Who has gone to the garage to get out the “Card Table” or had to clear off a half finished game of RISK because it was dinner time, or put half built LEGO invention away because it was time for school or homework, or placed rare and irreplaceable comics in cardboard boxes in the bottom of a closet Or for gamers how many of us have gone to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Max, and random fabric stores to get what we NEED (not what we want) to play our favorite games?
I bet you a thousand dollars more people can use these tables than can use the $5000 mountain bikes I’m so used to selling.Decision made I had to talk to them about their marketing strategy, and their plans for the future. That conversation was brief, they were really busy. We were standing on the floor of the largest Comic-Con on a Saturday morning after all. I made sure to send an email to them that night. What I said in it seemed mad even as I typed it. “I’d like to work for you.”
A few months later I got a call. They were back in town and wanted to have a meeting. That one hour meeting turned into a five hour meeting. In fact the only reason that it ended is that it was close to midnight. Soon after that I began consulting for them directly, assisting them on projects they needed done. I’ll admit that being able to customize a solution for them as fitting as the solutions they provide to fulfill the needs, wants, and even desires of their customers I found pleasantly ironic. Then the unexpected happened. I got a full time employment offer. What do I do? I’ve got an incredible job on an amazing career path. Yet something felt natural about this. It’s difficult to describe without sounding hyper religious but I’ll try. I knew that Geek Chic is where I needed to be, where I was supposed to be more specifically. Taking the time to talk that through with my wife was not nearly as difficult as I thought, she had the same ‘feeling’ about it that I did. To this point every puzzle piece for this journey is fitting with minimal difficulty.
So here I sit incredibly appreciative for the generosity of Jenson USA and all that they have helped me become, and the people that have helped me get here. I’ve learned more here than I ever did in any classroom on the subject of Marketing, and have had way too much fun in the process. I am also looking forward for the next lessons, the new challenges, and the incredible time I am going to have helping Geek Chic become everything I saw them become as I stood geeking out in front of their booth at the San Diego Comic-Con.