Welcome to Muggles Market Monday! Each week we are spotlighting one of the artisans scheduled to appear at our brand new Muggles’ Market at this year’s Geek Gala. This week’s featured artisan is The Wizard Yogi! Michael Burson took a few minutes to answer some questions about his business and general geekery.
- What kind of items will you be selling at this year’s Muggles Market?
The name of my store is The Wizard Yogi because the items I make are somehow connected to either use for yoga practice or some kind of geeky, magical craft. My primary items are my FANtastic eye pillows, each of which are made with different fabric styles from different fandoms. These lavender-scented eye pillows are perfect for savasana at the end of your yoga practice, for when you’re taking a bath, or just when you want to relax. I also make yoga mat bags: no more carrying your mat around rolling open all the time or by flimsy straps. You will also see yoga/workout headbands and yoga mat cleaner, as well as other magical crafts like wizard wands and Sorcerer’s Stones.
- How did you first get started making these things?
I started with the mat bags. One day I realized I had been carrying around my yoga mat with a belt for eight years and decided I needed to do something about that. I wanted something simple and durable that didn’t cost a lot of money. Since I couldn’t find anything in store that suited my needs, I started making my own. Then I expanded out the eye pillows. When I get to the end of a tough yoga class, all I want to do is lay out in savasana and completely melt into my mat. I learned about eye pillows from a friend and started making them for my wife and me. The other items were suggestions from friends and family to expand out my shop.
- What has been one of your favorite projects to work on?
My favorite project is definitely the eye pillows. I love going to fabric stores and picking out fabric from my favorite fandoms like Harry Potter, Star Wars, comics, video games, and movies. I like to mix up the pillow cases for my own yoga practice because having Link from Legend of Zelda or Rey from Star Wars there beside me reminds me to stay strong and keep going, especially when I want to quit. The rest at the end is always worth the effort. I am also a big cosplayer with my favorite creations being Kylo Ren, Gandalf the Grey, and Newt Scamander. I also make cosplays for my wife: Rey, Queenie Goldstein, and Rosie Cotton.
- What else can you tell us about yourself?
I am originally from Waynesville, NC, but I’ve lived in Charlotte for the past eight years going to school at UNC Charlotte getting my BA in Psychology and my MA in Counseling. I started a Harry Potter fan club called Potter Watch during my undergrad that is pretty much the proudest achievement, and it’s also where I met my wife, so I’ll always be grateful to that experience. I’ve been crafting pretty much my whole life and some of my favorite projects are Harry Potter crafts like wands, costumes, and magical items. I also love 3D printing accessories through the Public Library.
- So this year’s Geek Gala is about space travel – if you could join any TV/Movie space crew – who would it be and why?
Ok, so don’t judge me, but I’d probably be flying with the First Order from The Force Awakens. Not that I 100% agree with what they’re about, but I’ve never really been one to side with the rebel cause. Much cooler aesthetic flying with the baddies 😉 !
- Check out their website at: The Wizard Yogi
And make plans to come visit them on Saturday, October 22nd at this year’s Geek Gala!