Lumikha is a marketplace from cosplayers for cosplayers
Lumikha Cosplay Resale is bringing ease and sustainability into selling and buying second-hand cosplay among the community.
"My criteria for marketplace software were flexibility and that it would allow me to validate the idea quickly."
– Myleah, founder of Lumikha Cosplay Resale
Buying cosplay online on social media has never been a walk in the park. In fact, many cosplayers know it can be quite a pain.
Myleah, the founder of Lumikha Cosplay Resale, knows this first-hand. She prefers buying second-hand, but when looking for second-hand cosplay, she rarely found anything through existing channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.
“It was super frustrating, and I thought, ‘There has to be a better way.’ I noticed how many people were buying new cosplays and then talked about how the items would just sit in their closets or be donated to thrift stores. Wouldn’t it be better if we could connect sellers directly with those interested in buying cosplay items?”
On a trip to Japan in the summer of 2019, Myleah came across brick-and-mortar second-hand cosplay stores and was inspired to create a virtual version of them. Myleah’s criteria for marketplace software were flexibility and that it would allow her to validate the idea quickly. After reading guides on building a marketplace in Sharetribe’s Marketplace Academy, she decided that Sharetribe Go, a predecessor of Sharetribe's current marketplace software, would be the perfect fit. Compared to alternatives, its biggest advantages were the level of support and payment flexibility. Myleah wanted to ensure that the users of her site would have options for payment processing, and Go offered two, Stripe and PayPal.
After careful planning and testing, Lumikha Cosplay Resale was launched in February 2021. Sharetribe Go allowed Myleah to hit the ground running without any coding, just like Sharetribe today.
Lumikha proves the power of community as a building block for online marketplaces. Being a long-time member of the cosplay community herself, Myleah did not run into trouble finding engaged beta testers and initial users. She reached out to social media connections, convention acquaintances, and friends from her journey as a cosplayer. Many were eager to try out the site as it was solving a hot topic issue. To operate the platform, Myleah is supported by a team of volunteers who bring extensive knowledge of crafting, cosplay, and business to the table.
In Tagalog, “lumikha” means to create or to invent. As a half-black, half-Filipino person, the marketplace’s name was a way for Myleah to pay homage to her heritage. And creating is what cosplay is all about. Myleah herself has eight years of experience in crafting and cosplay.
Lumikha Cosplay Resale offers a great platform for cosplayers to engage in their craft in an inclusive way. If you buy everything new, cosplay will get expensive fast.
“I think creating a second-hand cosplay marketplace allows cosplay to be a lot more inclusive towards people who might not otherwise be able to afford cosplay. You can buy cheaper wigs, you can buy cheaper costumes, all because they’re second-hand.”
Myleah also noticed that many social media groups for second-hand cosplay were not very inclusive of plus-size cosplayers. To guarantee users can find costumes in their own size, listings on Lumikha can be filtered and sorted based on multiple attributes like hip and waist size.
Lumikha also seeks to minimize the impact cosplay has on our planet. By providing a place where people can buy and sell second-hand items, they can tackle environmental issues like fast fashion and fabric waste in cosplay. Lumikha encourages users to upcycle and sell unused costumes, wigs, and accessories, but also remnants and unfinished costumes that might be valuable to others.
Since its launch, Lumikha has grown to over 3,000 registered users and shown that cosplayers are really looking for a trusted platform to buy, sell, and exchange costumes and accessories.
It’s a place where cosplay crafters, resellers, and buyers come together around a shared interest. It is a marketplace for cosplayers, by cosplayers.
Article photo by Ubevisuals.
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