Mo’s salon is located at the intersection of arts, crafts and entrepreneurship

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For many, going into business is a difficult decision that requires a lot of deliberation and a great deal of faith. But for Mo Green, owner of Mo’s Parlor, the decision to market his talents directly to the public just seems like part of his personality. As soon as she left school, it didn’t take long for her to start running.

Originally from Peoria, Illinois, Green and his mother traveled a bit to find the right place to build the best life. After short spells in Montana and Wyoming, they landed in Bellingham, where Green attended Sehome High School in his sophomore year, followed by a freshman year at Running Start full-time.

“Then they lost my records due to a computer malfunction and wanted me to stay in high school for two more years,” she says. She dropped out, got her GED, and went to school to become a dental assistant. “But then I realized I was doing something to fit into some kind of box, and I had no idea who I was trying to impress.”

So Green started his business in 2016, creating portable arcade machines that could bring the classic video games of his youth to gatherings all over the world. “I started building my arcades last year and bringing them to events, but cosplay just exploded – and I wasn’t expecting it,” says Green.

Anyone familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will recognize their nemesis, Shredder, seen here stalking the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy of Mo Green

Cosplay is short for “costume play” and involves creating outfits that allow fans of video games, movies, and more to dress like their favorite characters. What started out as a few people disguising themselves as Star Wars villains or video game heroes has grown into a worldwide phenomenon of painstakingly precise – and sometimes highly personalized, costume design – and includes competitions that make big money. to the winners.

Green’s love for the craft was personal, and his talent soon led to other cosplayers hiring him to craft materials for them. “I was going to participate in my first big cosplay competition next year. And I started taking orders from people, making armor and weapons and stuff, ”says Green. But COVID shut down conventions and competitions, so she took stock of what she had on hand and found a new path forward.

“I work with enamel resin in my cosplay, coat the parts with it, so I had all this resin around, I guess I’m going to make some jewelry.” Her earrings and necklaces are inspired by some of the same worlds her cosplay, from animated movies to arcade games, as well as more whimsical shapes, like lightning bolts and clouds. She’s created an ever-growing range of designs that appeal to everyone, from kids to fashionistas who want something a little more unique.

These cast resin jewelry pieces are favorites of customers of all ages, with designs ranging from fruit to video games to Star Wars. Photo courtesy of Mo Green

She makes all of her products available on social media, and it didn’t take long for an Instagram friend to launch her into another new area of ​​work. “My friend Tai runs Sovereign Comics, and with everything going on in the world, I think it’s really important to support black businesses,” Green said. “I don’t really know that there are a lot of black comic book artists out there, and I wanted to support them, so I sold Sovereign Comics and Millennial Comics on my stands.”

Most recently, his booth took the form of a vintage bus owned by Charlie Pasquier, one of the owners of downtown Black Sheep and Lorikeet restaurants. “Charlie said, ‘I have this bus outside of Black Sheep and thought you might want to sell your jewelry on it,'” Green said.

It is located in Holly Street Plaza, a pedestrianized area between Commercial and Bay Street that allows people to shop and dine out, maintaining a social distancing that protects them. “I’m there on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We’re really trying to make the Plaza more of a shopping center, so that we can have space for more businesses.

Note that Green’s version of the Canti robot from the FLCL animated series is detailed enough to include all nuts and bolts. Photo courtesy of Mo Green

Green’s motivation for financial success came from a very convenient place, and his creativity to achieve it was evident from the start.

When she was eight, she overheard her mother on the phone with my aunt one night before Halloween, telling her that she had no money. Green was treated for five hours and returned with three pillow cases full of candy. “I sorted it and rated it, and kept it for a month,” says Green, “then I sold it all to the school in November.”

She also made personalized bookmarks and taught herself how to sew and make bags. “I had a paper airplane kit at one point and made custom planes for the boys to fly, and I used to babysit.” The list goes on and on and continues to grow to this day.

“I think the most successful business people are the ones who diversify,” says Green. “So if I stick to all the markets – clothing, skincare, jewelry, cosplay – there’s no way I’m not going to be successful. “

Cosplay doesn’t have to be a strict copy of a character’s look. Green has created a kawaii (basically, “cute”) take on Canti’s boots for herself. Photo courtesy of Mo Green
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