Someone who came to the shop told a photographer for the Record about it. Thanks to Matthew and Terry for taking such excellent pictures and writing a wonderful article about my little corner of the world. My wands made the front page XD
Waterloo wand shop inspired by Harry Potter
WATERLOO REGION RECORD
W A T E R L O O There is a basement shop on Waterloo Street that is straight out of Hogsmeade — the wizarding village near the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The owner was known as Twilight Rabbit online, but uses their real name, Jessie Clayman, at the brick-and-mortar shop called Dubleve Wands in the basement of 142 Waterloo St.
“Platform 9 ¾” says the train station sign on the wall — the magic spot on the platform for the Hogwarts Express train in the Harry Potter stories.
These books and movies have millions of devoted fans, with an estimated 500 million books sold worldwide. But even then, Clayman stands out as one of the most dedicated.
After they started making wands in 2010, Clayman used the name Twilight Rabbit to sell them on Etsy, an online market place for crafters.
They also sold wands at fairs, festivals, and conventions. In October 2019, they opened their shop.
“I figured it was sustainable between festivals and what I would make at the shop,” said Clayman. “And then, yeah, COVID.”
Wearing a Witch’s hat and an N95 mask, Clayman sits behind a desk in the shop and talks about the importance of the Harry Potter books to their family.
“My mother really wanted us to read them as a family. She had started reading them to my baby brother. There is a nine-year difference in age,” said Clayman.
When they hesitated, Clayman’s mother urged them to try the first chapter on their own.
“I was hooked,” said Clayman.
So Clayman started reading the books to their younger brother, The books and stories weaved their way into the fabric of the family.
They was cat-sitting in Oakville for some relatives when the third book was expected, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” They walked for five hours through the suburbs to a bookstore on Lake Ontario only to be told it was not out yet.
In high school, Clayman was intrigued by Tarot cards and eventually illustrated two decks of their own. They’s currently writing a companion book for them. Their cards are displayed in the shop too, near the wands.
They started making wands in 2010 while working for a costume business. When some new product
arrived, Clayman and their manager were excited to open it. The box said “Harry Potter Wands”.
“The wands are an integral part to the Harry Potter story and plot,” said Clayman.
After opening the box, they started at the brown, moulded plastic wands that looked like “fake poop.”
“I said: ‘I can do better.’ My boss said: ‘Prove it,'” said Clayman.So they started making wands, and in 2016 struck out on their own selling them, at medieval fairs, Harry Potter festivals and the like.
They started with a dowel, stained it to make it look nice, wrapped fabric around one end for a handle, and decorated it.
“The problem is, charms that are moulded to the wand meands you can’t customize the wand,” said Clayman.
“So it evolved, I add a link to my wand handles now.”
Fans can hang their own charms and decorate it toward “potions” or “quidditch,” said Clayman.
“They have really evolved. I am decorating them with Swarovski or Preciosa crystals because as a kid I was very sad when there was a plastic crystal in something, it didn’t shine.”
The wooden dowels are shaped by hand. They paints them with and air-drying polymer, and wraps the handle with fabric using hot glue. Some have what looks like a stone at the end of the handle.
“This is my latest iteration, where I have added on a polymer-clay pommel, a lot of them look like stone and a lot of time I try to make it look like painted-and-fired-clay.”
Clayman’s wands and Tarot cards take up a small amount of space in the shop. They displays the work of several other local artists, some of whom they met while renting space upstairs at the KW Artists Co-op.
When this space became available, they snapped it up. They sold hats and wands online during the worst of the pandemic, and since reopening the magic of word-of-mouth advertising helped the business grow.
Like the literary hero who inspired them, Clayman is generous with their friends.
“I wanted to keep the connections I have with local artists alive,” said Clayman. “It’s been hard on them. We didn’t have festivals to go to, we didn’t have conventions and so I offer my space to local artists for free.”
TERRY PENDER IS A WATERLOO REGION-BASED REPORTER FOCUSING ON ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE RECORD. REACH HIME VIA EMAIL: TPENDER@THERECORD.COM
You may notice that Terry’s online article uses presumed pronouns. I’ve edited the article on my site to use my pronouns. I forgot to have a conversation about which pronouns to use before the article was published. Always remember to discuss pronouns when having an interview. I was so excited, I plum forgot about it. Now I have an online article that I can’t fix. It’s on me for not bringing it up.
I had a follow-up conversation with Terry about it. He was very understanding.
It reminds me of a time when I was going pescatarian (only fish for meat) and I asked what was in a salad. All the ingredients the maker of the salad listed off made it sound like a vegetarian salad. I had some. There was bacon in it. I called her out on it, and she honestly thought of bacon as a garnish and not meat. I had specifically asked if there was meat in the salad, and she’d said no when listing off everything… but bacon.
These slights can seem thoughtless, and they are. But they’re not meant to hurt, but they can and do. I’ve come to recognize the onus is on me to protect myself, as a result, I tend to ask a lot of questions. I come across as annoying, but it’s to keep me safe from other’s lack of consideration.
I do not think either Terry nor the salad maker rude, see that’s what I find so funny in society. I do not get offended by these things. I’m hurt, yea sure, but not offended. It’s human nature when these things happen. One cannot be expected to consider other’s every-little-thing all the time.
The onus is on me to inform or remind others what I consent and don’t condone. As such, the online article is nice and I like it, even though the wrong pronouns make me upset. I’m happy to have a version on my site I can read and be more delighted with.
I wanted to write this so you could see my thoughts on the matter. In future I will always ensure my pronouns are made known to those interviewing me as I know using presumed pronouns upsets me so much. I learn and grow as a person.
Asking others their pronouns isn’t always good etiquette. Those who wish to pass delight when we guess the pronoun correctly. If we guess wrong, when corrected, use the pronoun you’ve been told to utilize, apologize once, and move on. Don’t keep apologizing or explaining why you used the wrong one. Really, don’t make a big deal of it. Move on using the correct pronoun.
I do not try to pass as non-binary or appear androgynous. Non-binary looks like me because that’s what I am. Do not presume to know. If you’re unsure, it’s okay to ask. Some personalities don’t want to hazard a guess at gender identity and offend. That’s okay, too. Ask, get the answer, use the answer, move on.
I like taking things like this that have happened that were negative and turning them into a positive. This article really taught me something about how I see myself in the world and how others should perceive/receive me. How I fit amongst others. I am they/them. Honouring that makes me comfortable in my skin.