Balancing a business and a degree: Angella Zayerz creates merchandise for all kinds of fans

Rachel Dvareckas, Herald Contributor

Owning and operating a business is a tough job. Add being a full-time student on top of that and it requires a pretty talented person to manage it all.

Angella Zayerz, a freshman graphic design major, knows all about this juggling act. She is the founder of the Fandom Corner Shop, an online store for fans of bands, anime, Youtube, movies and tv shows to get custom made merchandise. Zayerz sells everything from shirts and tote bags to mugs and soaps.

Zayerz started the shop two years ago on Etsy and has now moved to her own website, https://www.thefandomcornershop.com/. She decided to open the shop because she found there was a lack of fan merchandise for her favorite anime. She would spend so much time looking for merchandise from anime like “No.6” and “Ouran High Host Club” and end up empty-handed, so she decided to do something about it.

 “I wanted to be able to help others find that stuff, too. Plus, I love to draw and I do all my designs by hand so it’s a lot of fun for me and time worth spending,” Zayerz said.

She has since begun to provide products for other fan bases like Panic! At the Disco and Dan and Phil from Youtube. She continues to expand as she has a horror section coming out in the near future.

As the only employee, aside from the models and occasional designer, Zayerz has her hands pretty full.

 “The hardest part is staying on top of everything all at once since I don’t really have coworkers,” she says.

Her favorite part of the business is the process. She receives multiple notifications that an order has been placed. She then checks her inventory, prepares and designs the desired product. Within seven days the order is shipped.

Zayerz utilizes her social media accounts when contacting potential customers. She has accounts on Instagram and Facebook, but has found that Instagram yields the best results in terms of reaching out to and connecting with new people who are interested in her shop.

 “I’ve been in many Instagram chat rooms about anime, movies, bands, etc. which has led to new friends and customers,” she says. “It’s about how you market your business, in short, how you market yourself.”

Customer service is very important to Zayerz. She provides a customer service phone number that is her own and has a business email that she checks regularly. She finds marketing the product easy because she is a fan of the things she makes and sells. This makes it difficult to pick just one favorite piece, but if she had to choose, she says it would be the Pikachu hats or the Dan and Phil #1 Phan mugs.
 
Expansion is definitely in the picture for the Fandom Corner Shop. She hopes the business will turn into a brick-and-mortar shop where she can sell her product and begin adding cosplays to the product line. She wants to fill the niche in the fanbase realm by opening a physical store.

Being a student isn’t slowing her down as she just recently finished her website, making it easier for people to shop. She continues to make connections with peers and new friends.