About Shade

A photo of Samantha Smead, owner of Shade's Findings, dressed as her mascot Shade the fairy.

Shade’s Findings was founded in 2009 by Samantha Smead.  At the start, Shade’s made costumes for family and a few choice friends.  We entered in costume contests and the state fair whenever possible.  Slowly, things grew from being an occasional costume to multiple costumes a month and vending at conventions all over the Midwest.  Shade’s hopes to keep expanding both in products and convention appearances.
Samantha has been sewing for over 25 years.  At a young age she had a fascination with costumes. She helped her mother create halloween costumes year after year.  In her teens she took most of the sewing responsibility of these costumes upon herself, with her mother still guiding.  The details were always a favorite aspect.  She fondly recalls watching Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, repeatedly, to see where Esmerelda wore her dagger under her skirts so that it could be added to the costume.  In college, Samantha was gifted her own sewing machine; which gave her the ability to create whenever she wanted to.  At this time she took to designing clothing for herself in addition to her costuming and made themed outfits such as a pirate lolita as well as a black and white ring master outift.  After college she created her business Shade’s Findings as an outlet for her creativity.
Shade, as a character, was inspired by a former boyfriend’s story he wrote for her.  Samantha took the fairy from the book, added more details and special touches, and made Shade into an alter ego.  Shade’s Findings was developed in a business writing class Samantha took at the University of Iowa, with Shade as the mascot. Shade takes Samantha’s passion for sewing and brings it to the masses.  At conventions Samantha cosplays as this confident, quirky, gothic, fae.