A young woman in Qingdao, China, is making the salary of a white-collar worker just by creating and wearing cosplay costumes.
She goes by the stage name of “Shiori,” and she has been involved in cosplay since high school, when she would often borrow costumes from the owner of a local comic book store for shows, according to People’s Daily Online.
A senior student at Qingdao College, Shiori is well known in the cosplayer community in the Shandong Province of eastern China. However, while many know her as Shiori, very few people know her true identity as she keeps to the strict code of cosplay secrecy.
When Shiori first started out, her parents were confused about why she was dressing up in costumes, makeup and accessories. They said:
“Why would our sweet baby dress like a monster?”
Shiori was not dissuaded by the disapproval of her parents, however. She instead immersed herself into the fantasy realm of cosplay because she loved the idea of being on stage dressed as someone else. She said it felt cool to become another person.
In 2013, Shiori turned her hobby into an online business selling accessories. During her first month, she brought in roughly 2,000 yuan ($314) and continues to see similar numbers on a regular basis. Shiori also gets paid at least 2,000 yuan for each show she performs in. When she books several gigs a month, her income is no less than an average white-collar worker’s income.
Shiori intends on continuing her cosplay business venture and said she has a five-year plan to earn a comfortable living. If it happens not to work out, Shiori said she will resort to finding a nine-to-five job.
So far Shiori has spent roughly 20,000 yuan ($3,147) on her “equipment” and owns 10 costumes, 20 wigs and contact lenses in a range of different colors.