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Goth Mom Creates Mortal Dread

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Gory greetings horror peeps, Welcome to another HEXciting interview with your She-Wolf horror host, Slaughtercin. For those of you that don’t know, the month of February has been used to honor and celebrate Women in Horror. Since we’re at the end of January, I want to start off a little early with my gory guest. She’s a pretty skilled creator of monstrous “must-haves” You’ll be dying for her dreaded designs... Check it out!

1. Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what you do?

Hello! My name is Ophelia. I’m a goth mom hailing from the Bay Area California, and I make one of a kind handbags. I specialize is gothic/horror/obscure/fandom bags.

2. I love the name of your company. How’d you come up with the name?

I’ve actually had this name for a long time. Around 10 years ago, I was making cyber goth synthetic dreadfalls and made an Etsy shop that I named “Mortal Dread”. When I was first thinking of names for my Etsy shop back when I made cyber dreads- my best friend and hetero life mate Athena actually suggested the name Mortal Dread (she’s a badass artist herself and we did alot of creating together and even lived together for a couple years). I’ve crafted many other things since, but have always kept it under the same business name. I never felt a need to rebrand because I like the name and I think it works well with any of the alternative stuff I’ve made over the years.

3. What inspired you to get into handbag making?

I started making bags because I wanted an alternative diaper bag for myself and I hated everything on the market. My first bag was a goosebumps diaper bag after my second son was born.

4. How long have you been making your gruesome bags?

I made that first bag in April 2019. Although I’ve only been making bags a relatively short time, I’ve been sewing since my early 20’s (I’m 30 now).

5. Which are your most popular ones?

Are we talking bag styles or specific bags? Style wise, the most popular ones are probably the fairly basic smaller crossbody style (you’ll be getting one soon ), a classic dome shaped handbag, and recently doctor style bags. Examples of the more popular dome shaped handbags I’ve made are the vagina dentata bag, Audrey 2, and Sam (trick r treat). The doctor style is fairly new for me, but it’s fast becoming one of my favorites to make. Some examples I’ve made in that style are the plague doctor print and macabre ladies print.

6. What is the average price point for your bags?

This is a bit of a tricky question because I auction most of the bags now, so the prices vary depending on what people bid. I do make some of the simpler bags at set prices, starting at 60$. Those are first come first serve. For more expensive and labor intensive bags, I auction them for a few reasons: they’re one of a kind so I’ll never replicate it again, I don’t take customs, and so many people want them. When my business started gaining more traction, there were a lot of genuinely upset people who missed out on bags because they weren’t as fast checking out as someone else. Auctioning gives more people a chance at the bag. The auctions usually end up averaging around 150$, though the highest bid to date was 305$.

7. Besides the bags, what other things do you make and specialize in?

I’ve always been creative so I’ve tried tons of different creative outlets over the years. When I was a teenager/young adult, I loved to draw. I think I have a few charcoal drawings posted on my Instagram from those times. I dabbled in painting, but wasn’t all that great at it. I started casually sewing in my early 20’s, making various costumes and costume pieces because I love renaissance fairs and conventions. Other than costuming- I’ve made huge feather headdresses, jewelry, masks, fairy wings, and of course cybergoth dreads. I also love baking. Again, there’s probably pictures of some of this stuff on Instagram. Out of all of these creative outlets, making bags has been the most fulfilling for me. Aside from drawing in my teens, I’ve never stuck to one craft this long.

8. What are your future plans with Mortal Dread?

Mortal Dread started small on Etsy before moving to Facebook, and has grown into a much larger following than I ever imagined it would. After my last auction, it became pretty clear that I need to move platforms once again. I’ll still be keeping the group of course, but I have started working with a lovely web designer to hopefully launch an official website soon.

9. Do you do custom orders? If so, have you had any weird requests?

Typically, I never take custom orders. This is because I’m a stay at home mom of two boys (ages 2yrs and 5yrs old) so I don’t have time to commit to it. I sew almost exclusively at night after I’ve put them to bed, which just isn’t enough time for ord