I came from There.com, a former designer for that virtual world. Lured into SecondLife by a few friends, I set about
becoming a nooblet all over again. However, fate would have it that an established woman named Briana met me two weeks into
my SL journey and offered me land to live on and a place in her enterprise: the Aqua Mall, SL's first major sim-wide mall.
To give you a small insight into how primitive SL was back then, virtually no one wore skins, there were no hair add-ons or
prim shoes, and the only animations we had for dance, emote or movement were the default ones provided with the interface
(You kids have no idea how easy you have it!). With the woman's encouragement and daily demands I began to create in SL,
my first endeavor being hair add-ons and skinless cosmetic faces. Thus was born Nevermore, named for the Edgar Allen Poe poem
Nevermore was the first store in all of SL to be found in the search engine for alternative/gothic/dark genre and for a while I catered toward that simply because no one else was providing these things to people who didn't want to run around in pastel tops and jeans. After a few months I endeavored to create my first skin line because there were only four other skin designers out there and they charged L$5,000 per skin. I refused to pay that much and plus there were very limited cosmetic options (If you've been to my stores and seen my skins, you *know* I am alllll about cosmetic choices). Two months later I crashed the small skin market with my first Hybrid line, selling them at L$1,500 for the first skin and L$500 for each additional... Then dropped my prices to a base of L$1,000 altogether. Eventually, this forced the other existing skin designers to reluctantly lower their costs on skins, as well, due to the competition and this is a large reason why skins are roughly L$1,000 each today throughout SL. You're welcome. =P
My second influential contribution in SecondLife was the shiny hair revolution. Once people started creating prim-based wigs to liberate us from that God awful Linden hair base we began to aspire to greater things (have hair, will travel). Prim hair in SL left something to be desired. Mostly it was flat textures tinted through the color picker in edit. It lacked realism or refinement. So one day as I was creating a wig for myself, I decided to try something different and combined the hair texture with a gradient ribbon I'd made. It was fairly equivalent to the first caveman discovering how to make fire. Zyrrah of Panache came to visit and saw me wearing my newly crafted and oh-so-shiny wig and inquired about the texture to me. I granted her the texture with full perms and then released it to another hair designer. Between them both the shiny hair fad bloomed, and we admonished the flat, lifeless hair textures as we had known them to that point. It hit like wildfire and I cannot emphasize how many designers ripped my hair textures off myself and others to perpetuate the drive. Today, if it ain't shiny, we don't buy it. Luckily, people have perfected their own shiny hair textures and we have a plethora of shiny hair wigs to roll around in like feisty kittens.
By my third year into SecondLife I began to burn out. I'd erected my mini empire and found that between SL and my "real life," the stress levels were getting to me. I retreated from SL for a long spell and only visited on secret alts to avoid discovery. Nevermore grew stagnant. Other designers rose up and carried the torch which we, the first designers within SecondLife, had failed to uphold. I launched the dollfie boot line and returned to obscurity. Earlier this year (2009) it dawned on me as to what went wrong and why I had abandoned creating clothes and the likes when I actually enjoyed doing such. The problem was that when I began Nevermore, I was creating things for myself and only marketing them at low prices because others may want them, too. Then it wasn't about things I may have wanted, but what might sell. I lost the drive to create in SL because I wasn't making things which tempted my tummy with the taste of nuts 'n honey. And that was when I decided to launch my second store.
Despite how..er.. dated most of the Nevermore loot is (pre-flexy prims), I still have a dedicated clientele base to this day
(Thank you! <3). I didn't want to do away with Nevermore because of the demand which still exists for the items, but the overall theme
of Nevermore no longer applies to me. I like gypsy-esque attire, boho chic, ornate silver jewelry, things which flow. No, I'm not a
hippy, damn you. I'm more bohemian in nature. So I thought about this and decided that was what my new angle was going to be. I
missed creating things and the only way to get that back was to return to my true roots and design what I want and to hell with
merchandising. Well, in part.
La Boheme is a work in progress. I have 43985498934 projects in play for it, but I am doing them at my leisure and not allowing too much of the pressure to get to me so that I won't burn out again. I am making things I actually want to (and do!) wear in SL rather than worrying about what will sell. However, I am retailing my stuffs that I make now because I know people will want it, as well. This is why I still maintain my uber low pricing ranges on my creations - to be affordable as always. It's about creating things which I and others will feel beautiful and fun in and be able to express ourselves without needing to adjust our style to fit into what is only available out there in SecondLife.
The decision to remove my stores from the in-world environment is because I am not on SecondLife enough to validate me paying for an entire empty sim so my store can sit there. I have one anchor in-world which directs people to this site, and this site provides everything a normal SL store does - pretty advertisement pictures, purchasing capability and demos where applicable. So please, sit back in your jammies, sip your cocktail and enjoy browsing my site. I hope, at the very least, something within these pages inspires you.
I'm sure everyone has heard of Maxim Magazine... Gorgeous, air-brushed women, articles for the "real" man. Yeah, well,
Maxim Magazine holds a 'Hot 100' issue annually to point out the most shaggable women in the media and back in 2007 decided
they wanted one of these 100 women to be from SecondLife. They came to SL and scoured the grid for the best representation
for what they were endeavoring (believe me, everyone in SL is beautiful, haha) and zeroed in on
Callie Cline. Callie, as many who know her are aware, swears by
wearing custom skins from my old Hybrid II line. In fact, while many designers try to get her to wear their skins, she refuses
and sticks to the good ole Hybrid II's. Callie, much love. <3
In any case, one day Callie bounces over to me (She's very bubbly so the term 'bouncing' feels applicable) and was just squirming like crazy. We banter, and I was worried her head was going to explode like that guy from the movie Scanners. When she couldn't hold back any longer she gushed all over me about being chosen by Maxim. At the time, the Maxim issue was not released, but she had some of the behind-the-scenes info and the image which was being used (later she provided me with a ginormous scan from the magazine to show me, but I had already purchased three copies of it for my own keepsake). She was one of Maxim's 100 most beautiful (also beating Kim Kardashian and Shauna Moakler in the count down!), and she got it because she wore my skin and worked it the way only she can.
More so, a month after that, she appeared in the Pontiac Motorati two-page ad featured in Maxim, rocking a Hybrid II and looking like the sultriest set of pixels this side of Microsoft (other models are wearing the Hybrid II's in the ad, as well). Then, not long after, I'm flipping through cable channels and VH1 (I swear I never even watch that channel, so it was really by chance) had coverage of the Maxim's Hot 100 and -boom- I see my skin on the television screen. "NO (censored) way!" I yelped. True enough, there was Callie sporting my Hybrid II skin for all of the VH1 victims to see. -miniflex-
I've been reviewed by a number of blogs, SL-based magazines, been given awards... For each and every kind remark - a million thank you's, that means the world to me (it really does). But I have to say, Callie Cline really made my year with what she did, I'm honored that she wore something I created for such prestigious recognitions as she'd received (crossing over to IRL media from a virtual world is not easy). I'll take something like that any day of the week.
Callie Cline in a Nevermore Hybrid II - Pontiac Motorati Ad, Maxim Magazine July 2007
Maxim's Hot 100, Maxim Magazine June 2007 - Callie Cline #95 as "SecondLife Girl"
Or see the page scan straight from Maxim here.