Star Clipper is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2013! As part of the celebration we’re posting “Memories of Star Clipper” once a week all year long. If you are interested in contributing your favorite memory of Star Clipper, email email@example.com and your memory may be shared on our social media pages.
This week store owner A.J. Trujillo discusses how she first discovered Star Clipper and what the store has meant to her over the years.
Pictured above: A.J. Trujillo models as Princess Leia at Star Clipper
“I was a recent BFA graduate trying to make ends meet when I moved back to St. Louis in the summer of 1997. I’d had my first taste of retail working for the last several months as the stock lead at an Eddie Bauer in Landmark Mall, Virginia, and figured I could fall back on that if I couldn’t land a design job; but I first wanted to take my portfolio around the area and test the waters.
One of the places I took my book was Studio X. I clicked immediately with the staff and fell in love with the space, then located close to downtown St. Louis.
My portfolio was primarily design— back in the day, that meant cut paper and transfer lettering— but since Studio X did a great deal of illustration, I included a few sample pages of an issue of Wolverine I had “re-imagined.” When reviewing my portfolio, one of the principals summarized my design skills as “competent” but felt that the illustrations were my strength. Then one of the other designers (who grew into a friend, to whom I owe a lifelong debt for introducing me to Wacom tablets) said next:
“Have you heard of that comic book shop in U. City called Star Clipper? You should absolutely check them out.”
Never heard of it. I’d been out of town for years, and besides, I had only set foot in two other comic book specialty stores in my life. But… the praise for Star Clipper was so strong I had to see it for myself. And wouldn’t you know it? I went a few days later, and there was a “Help Wanted” sign on the door. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I can hardly imagine a world without Star Clipper. It has been a privilege to be connected to the comics industry, the St. Louis area community, and the excellent staff. Star Clipper has been the greatest single experience of my personal and professional life and I love it every day. If my luck holds I’ll get to be a part of twenty-five more years here.
Happy Birthday, Star Clipper. And thank you.”
-A.J. Trujillo - Store owner and avid cat lover
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