The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Anime works turn into career

By Bethany Sanderson/reporter

NW student Amanda Neely has found a unique path to support her way through college — selling homemade items at anime conventions.

Neely makes cat tails, cat ears, cat collars, beanie hats, pillows and buttons to sell at these events related to anime, a form of Japanese animation.

Neely says she got into the business through artist and friend Robert Johnson. Traveling with Johnson, Neely saw he was struggling to sell his prints.

She also saw other vendors selling cat ears and tails at anime events in the northern U.S.

She thought to capitalize on the idea. Neely began to sell her crafts at $15 a piece.

“Andrea does a really good job making the things she sells,” Johnson said.

“She has a large following of people that look for her at the conventions she does. People really like her because she is friendly and isn’t pushy.”

Neely said she had years of sewing experience, so creating these items wasn’t hard for her to accomplish.

“If I can make it and people will buy it, I will do it,” she said.

Venturing to 41 states, Neely began to live the life of a traveling saleswoman.

Sleeping in the car and eating fast food became normal. Neely also has shared hotel rooms with up to 12 other artists at a time to save money.

“It was crowded and could be uncomfortable, but it was a lot of fun,” she said.

Now Neely pays up front for her expenses and reimburses her bank account once she returns.

“I have learned every way possible to save money,” she said.

Having been involved with anime conventions for the last seven years, Neely once attended up to 35 anime conventions a year.

“I have seen so much,” she said.

Lately, though, she has seen a steady decrease in her income.

Since coming back to school in 2007, Neely has attended only four or five conventions a year.

Neely’s mother Kay Adams was skeptical at first to see how well the items Neely made would sell.

“Who would have thought that so many people would want to buy cat ears and tails?” Adams said.

Neely has taken classes on NW to further her nursing degree.

“The conventions have been a little hard for Andrea,” Adams said. “She has had to cut way down on the number of conventions she can do in a year to keep up with her homework.”

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