The Viking

My name is Kelly Nall. Am I a Viking? No. Neither is anyone else alive today. Do I follow the path of the elder Futhark runes? Yes. I have been wholeheartedly amazed by the runes and studied much about them for almost 40 years. I also have had a lifelong fascination about the Norse culture and all things Viking. It was no stretch of imagination why I branded my small business in this theme. 

I learned woodworking at a very early age, first from my grandfather who was also an avid woodworker then later in a school shop class. I love the smell of fresh wood shavings and I don’t seem to be right without a little sawdust on my clothes or a little wood stain embeded deeply in my fingernails. I love the smell of burning wood as well—which makes pyrography that much more appealing to me. 

Do I make everything by hand? Not completely.  I purchase some of my stock as premade unfinished wood items. I try to utilize as much repurposed or recycled materials as possible. I use materials found at flea markets, garage sales, in nature and anywhere else. Some of my materials are purchased from the local sawmill, or ordered from companies online or big box hardware stores when I must. Among other tools, I have a sander, saws, drills, a Truart pyrography tool, and two laser engravers. Absolutely none of my pieces are completed without some portion of the process being done by my own hand. Some of my pieces are popular enough that I make more than one. These are my own design to the best of my knowledge despite any subconscious influences. I usually add my own twist or specific brand of humor to each piece as well. 

Is this my full-time occupation? Yes, it is. I devote my day Monday through Thursday (and Friday when I don’t have an event) to creating these handmade items: designing them, buying, organizing and prepping raw stock, woodburning or engraving, then applying finish, pricing, making labels, entering them in the POS system (which goes into the website as well) and then posting each piece on social media (usually Instagram and Facebook).

On weekends I am loading all of my product into our 2004 Ford Explorer. We’ve removed all the seating in the back and refer to it as the “truck”.   We transport numerous 27 gallon totes full of my wares along with shelves, grid rack, tables, chairs, and other miscellaneous display stuff to each an event. We unload everything and set up—a process that usually takes 2-3 hours. The events are generally 4-8 hours and afterwards it takes roughly 2 hours to pack everything up and put it back into the truck.

My wife and I travel around central Florida to various events. We try to stay within 2 hours from home so we don’t have the expense of a hotel. Vendor fees for these events usually range from around $40-$175 for a single day event to $200-$600 for a full weekend event. If we have never done a particular event, it’s risky to spend a lot not knowing if you’ll break even. We have taken a loss before and have just broken even a couple times as well.

We do some comic/cosplay/fan cons but these are hit or miss for us. We tend to love Renaissance faires, Celtic/Irish festivals and of course full-weekend art & craft fairs. We do love a couple norm (our term for non-geek) events. These are usually small farmers or artisan markets with a crowd that appreciates our fandoms.  We are happy to say we always meet interesting customers that may or may not be familiar with our genres—but the fandoms we serve are growing in popularity! Fantasy, Sci-fi, D&D and horror are our jam! In fact, from personal experience, we believe that our society as a whole is only one degree of separation from geekdom. You either love fantasy, sci-fi or horror—or know someone who does. You either play or have played D&D (or another pencil & dice RPG) or know someone who does or used to. The world wasn’t always like this!!  

Thanks to everyone who helped us bring dragons, monsters, starships, wizards, androids, aliens, magic and zombies into common pop culture! May you wander but not become lost in a galaxy far, far away. May you not dwell on dreams and forget to live long and prosper. May you remember to be afraid of the dark when winter is coming as you see how far the rabbit hole goes. May you drink and know things, especially the size of the room before you cast fireball. May the force be with you…always.